IPL 2015 Young Gun Scouting Report; The Skipper’s Successor, Sanju Samson

Hard Work Pays Off | Sanju Samson
Hard Work Pays Off | Sanju Samson
Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals

The extremely competitive and resolve challenging nature of the sport continues to live on in this innovative shortened format of the game, T20 cricket has been another wind in the sails for one of mans most beloved pastimes and the support for the beloved sport has returned to its glorious levels of yesteryear with competitions like the Pepsi IPL making the game as fiery and as adored as it has ever been across all echelons and classes. Within this great hive of growth and success across the sport, the culture of youth development in cricket has once again received its platform to shine within the game as more competitions and formats equate to a need for more players as playing opportunities become available across the realm. The Pepsi IPL has begun to mark itself out as a competition where uncut diamonds are unearthed and the 2015 edition has continued that growing culture in some style, our Talent Scout will continue to run the rule over some of the best u/23 players in the competition in this IPL 2015 Young Gun Scouting Report feature. Bless you.

#TheTalentScout

Sanju Samson

Bio

Full Name: Sanju Viswanath Samson

DoB: November 11th, 1994 (20)

PoB: Pulluvila, Trivandrum, Kerala, India

Batting Style: Right-Hand

Bowling Style: N/A

Playing Role: Wicketkeeper Batsman

IPL Franchise: Rajasthan Royals

IPL Squad No: #9

Represented Teams: India u/19, India A, Kerala, Kerala Cricket Association XI, Kolkata Knight Riders

IPL 2015 Record: 6 Innings, 68 Runs, S/R 93.15, Ave 13.60, T/S 26, 5 Catches

T20 Record: 57 Innings, 1224 Runs, S/R 116.79, Ave 24.00, T/S 74, 8 50’s, 43 Catches, 4 Stumpings, 1 Wicket

T20 Debut: Hyderabad (India) v Kerala; October 16th, 2011 (Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy)

The Grand Stand View

5 1oo’s, 4 50’s, an average of 44.70 and a top score of 211; those look like the type of numbers many good batsmen retire without fully matching or eclipsing, but those are the current First Class numbers of a 20 year old wicketkeeper batsman who has been dubbed, “The Future Of India” and a worthy heir apparent to the void MS Dhoni will naturally leave when he leaves the international scene in years to come.

Sanju Samson seems to have become accustomed to the pressures of being a young man playing to justify his potential at a level some may have thought was too high for him, the Kerala born run machine was selected to play for Kerala in the Ranji Trophy debut when he was just 15 years old and went on to make his debut at 17 and never looked out of place as he showed the composure and stroke play to score big runs and entertain the fans with his athleticism behind the stumps.

The lad took his brilliant form along with him as he vice-captained a talented squad of young Indian cricketers as they battled for world supremacy at youth level in the United Arab Emirates, Sanju top scored for the Indian u/19’s in the 2014 ICC u/19 Cricket World Cup with an impressive 267 runs scored off 276 ball at an average of 44.50 and a top score of 85. That confident showing was more than enough to see him included in the India A side for the 2014 Quadrangular A-Team One-Day Series in Australia where he was the leading run scorer for the India A side with 244 runs in 7 innings with an average of 81.33 and two 50’s thrown in for added measure. Batting lower down the order, Sanju showed that he had the composure to take an innings deep and finish for his side while also providing an extra bit of insightfulness to the team with his leadership qualities and processional approach.

While the numbers themselves should be enough to justify why this lad deserves to be recognised as one of the best young talents out there right now, he has backed up his ability with impressive stoke play and his ability to construct an innings so well at such a young age; the honour of setting the record for being the youngest player to score a half-century in the IPL and the Champions League Twenty20 is just a welcome justification of the potential laden lads talent. The experience he has garnered from playing in different types of conditions while encountering drastically different in-game situations at such a young age will bode well for a lad that has been earmarked for a role in the middle-order for India, such experiences will put him good stead as he seeks to excel in a role that can be unpredictable and highly pressuring for any cricketer regardless of their years in the game.

What Happened To That Boi; The Young Gun Named Kerrea Gilbert

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This | Kerrea Gilbert
Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This | Kerrea Gilbert
Born To Be Amongst Kings | Kerrea Gilbert
Born To Be Amongst Kings | Kerrea Gilbert

Being the very vocal advocates for youth development that we are, we need to accept all the possible downsides to more and more people embracing the notion of investing in younger players and their development with the belief that this ideology will always afford the beautiful game a solid foundation for growth. With all those positives brought into consideration, it’s not a rarity for one to see many young players succumbing to the heavy expectations paced on them and the media circus that comes with being so gifted in this age of technology and the increased pressure to perform at a level that justifies the increased levels of remuneration, for so many diverse and often bizarre reasons an alarming number of these players ultimately fail to become the super talents that people predicted they would be and thus the common question in the barroom over a pint as the football plays, “what happened to that boi?”

Introduced himself as

A clean faced teenager with bags of pace and the confidence of Vin Diesel  in a room full of bored housewives, competent on the ball and solid in the tackle; Kerrea seemed to be the next best defender to come out of Enfield since Ashley Cole burst onto the scene. With Le Prof having a less than admirable record when it comes to scouting, signing and developing good young defenders, Gilbert looked like a bit of a revelation with his versatility seeing him actually break into the side as a left fullback even though he was naturally a right sided fullback. Depth and quality on both flanks during his stay at the Gooners meant that he was always going to be considered a back-up option until he was fully developed; it’s that reality that resulted in the lad being shunted out on loan to continue his development and play football at a level that could help him become a better player in the long run.

Where did it go wrong?

It is no secret that Academy players at Arsenal are implored to go out on loan when they find themselves on the peripherals of the first team squad as the management feels the players would benefit off playing competitive lower league football more than playing reserve league football while trying to prove their first team readiness. The debatable issue when it comes to that policy is that unlike teams like Manchester United and Chelsea, Arsenal tend to loan out the bulk of their players to lower league sides in England, predominantly to League One & below, the lack of continuity in playing culture or playing standard leads to many young lads failing to add that extra dynamic to their game and thus struggling to prove themselves as comparative or better than their foreign counterparts in the first team. Although I liked Ebouè a lot as a fullback, Emmanuel was nowhere near good enough to command a regular starting berth for The Arsenal and a young British lad like Kerrea would have been better off if he was given some of the chances that the Ivorian received and often wasted.

Injuries begun to take their toll on the fitness freak as he fought to ensure that his body was ready to afford him a chance at solidifying his slot in the Premier League once Wenger finally recalled him, although it begun to seem like Le Prof had forgotten about his talented prodigy with lads like Gavin Hoyte and Nico Yennaris coming into the picture. It seemed at the time that Wenger had begun to lose faith in his young British lads as promising players like Jay Simpson, Mark Randall, Henri Lansbury and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas begun to see their route to the first team blocked by young imports from across the globe; it was that change in recruitment, coupled with career threatening injuries and a few off field issues that truly lead to the unfortunate situation Kerrea finds himself in.

The legend

It may seem naïve to rate Kerrea as the best defensive Arsenal Academy graduate since Ashley Cole as his career never materialised into what many expected, yet his potential and natural ability was always undoubted so that title may not be misplaced after all. My personal take of the Gilbert story always ends on a positive note, a young player taught at one of the greatest football development institutions in the entire realm has refused to let his failures define him as he now seeks to make a career for himself as a fully qualified personal trainer after doing his training with Focus Fitness Academy; its humbling to know that sports may have birthed a fitness professional after a promising football career was cut short. Kerrea Gilbert may not be a name that too many outside of the Football Manager realm will remember, but the lad will always be considered something of an Arsenal legend and Bob’s your father’s mirror image twin brother.

Kerrea Gilbert

Bio

Full Name: Kerrea Kuche Gilbert

DoB: February 28th, 1987 (28)

PoB: Willesden, London; England

Nationality: English

Caps & Goals: N/A

Position/s: Right/Left Fullback, Wingback

Height: 1, 75m

Current Club: Free Agent

Market Value: € 300 000

Previous Clubs: Arsenal, Cardiff City (Loan), Southend United (Loan), Leicester City (Loan), Peterborough United (Loan), Yeovil Town, Shamrock Rovers, Maidenhead United, St Albans City

Career Club Record: 123 Games, 1 Goal, 2 Assists

2015 IPL Team Profile; The Regal Royal Challengers Bangalore

Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore
The Regal Standard | Royal Challengers Bangalore
The Regal Standard | Royal Challengers Bangalore

#PepsiIPL

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Bio

Founded: 2008

Owner: Royal Challengers Sports Private Ltd.

City: Bengaluru, Karnataka; India

Home Ground: M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru (36, 760)

IPL Titles: 0

CL T20 Titles: 0 (Runners-up 2011)

Best IPL Finish: Runners-up 2009 & 2011

Captain: Virat Kohli

Coach: Daniel Vettori

Highest Ranked T20 Batsman: Virat Kohli (1st)

Highest Ranked T20 Bowler: Mitchell Starc (9th)

Highest Ranked T20 All-Rounder: Chris Gayle (10th)

2014 IPL Record: 5-9 (Finished 7th out of 8 teams, failed to make the Playoffs)

2015 Squad

Batsmen

Name: Mandeep Singh; Age: 23 Batting Style: Right-Handed; Bowling Style: Right-Arm Medium

Name: Rilee Russouw Age: 25; Batting Style: Left-Handed; Bowling Style: Right-Arm OffBreak

Name: Virat Kohli; Age: 26; Batting Style: Right-Handed; Bowling Style: Right-Arm Medium

Name: Subramaniam Badrinath Age: 34; Batting Style: Right-Handed; Bowling Style: Right-Arm Off Break

Name: Nic Maddinson Age: 23 Batting Style: Left-Handed; Bowling Style: Left-Arm Orthodox

Name: Sarafaraz Khan; Age: 17; Batting Style: Right-Handed; Bowling Style: Right-Arm Off Break

Name:  Chris Gayle; Age: 35; Batting Style: Left-Handed; Bowling Style: Right-Arm Off Break

Name: Vijay Zol; Age: 20; Batting Style: Left-Handed; Bowling Style: Right-Arm Off Break

Name: Shishir Bhavane; Age: 23; Batting Style: Left-Handed; Bowling Style: Right-Arm Off Break

All-Rounders

Name: Darren Sammy; Age: 31; Batting Style: Right-Handed; Bowling Style: Right-Arm Medium-Fast

Name: David Wiese; Age: 29; Batting Style: Right-Handed; Bowling Style: Right-Arm Medium-Fast

Name: Jalaj Saxena; Age: 28; Batting Style: Right-Handed; Bowling Style: Right-Arm Off Break

Wicketkeepers

Name: Yogesh Takawale; Age: 30; Batting Style: Right-Handed; Bowling Style: N/A

Name: AB de Villiers; Age: 31; Batting Style: Right-Handed; Bowling Style: Right-Arm Medium

Name: Dinesh Karthik; Age: 29; Batting Style: Right-Handed; Bowling Style: N/A

Name: Manvinder Bista; Age: 30; Batting Style: Right-Handed; Bowling Style: N/A

Bowlers

Name: Ashok Dinda; Age: 31; Batting Style: Right-Handed; Bowling Style: Right-Arm Medium-Fast

Name: Yuvzendra Chahal; Age: 24; Batting Style: Right-Handed; Bowling Style: Right-Leg Break

Name: Harshal Patel; Age: 24; Batting Style: Right-Handed; Bowling Style: Right-Arm Medium-Fast

Name: Iqbal Abdulla; Age: 25; Batting Style: Left-Handed; Bowling Style: Slow Left-Arm Orthodox

Name: Abu Nechim; Age: 26; Batting Style: Right-Handed; Bowling Style: Right-Arm Medium-Fast

Name: Varun Aaron; Age: 25; Batting Style: Right-Handed; Bowling Style: Right-Arm Fast

Name: Mitchell Starc; Age: 25; Batting Style: Left-Handed; Bowling Style: Left-Arm Fast

Name: Sean Abbott; Age: 23; Batting Style: Right-Handed; Bowling Style: Right-Arm Fast-Medium

Name: Sandeep Warrier; Age: 24; Batting Style: Right-Handed; Bowling Style: Left-Arm Fast-Medium

Name: Adam Milne; Age: 23; Batting Style: Right-Handed; Bowling Style: Right-Arm Fast

Name: Sreenath Aravind; Age: 31; Batting Style: Left-Handed; Bowling Style: Left-Arm Medium-Fast

The Money List (Top 5 Highest Paid Players)

Virat Kohli ($ 2m)

Dinesh Karthik ($ 1,7m)

Chris Gayle ($ 1,5m)

AB de Villiers ($ 1,2m)

Mitchell Starc ($ 790 000)

The Grand Stand View

It could be safe to say that the Royal Challengers Bangalore are probably the best franchise never to win an IPL title, after having the dishonour of being the bridesmaid twice to date in their 7 year history; the second most expensively acquired franchise in the league after the Mumbai Indians at $ 111.6m, RCB are a great side that has great ambitions that they have fallen short of greatly in the last few seasons. There has been no Playoff cricket for RCB in the last 3 seasons and they will like to address that issue as well as the losing record of 5-9 from last season that saw them almost equal their worst ever season since the inception of the IPL.

The talent is there within the side to erase the memories of coming up short against the Deccan Chargers by 6 runs in 2008 and stumbling again in 2011 against their nemesis the Chennai Super Kings who beat them to the trophy by 58 runs. RCB now seem like a well balanced side that can hurt you with the sheer force of their batting line-up before taking you to task with their Mitchell Starc led bowling attack, this double threat is complimented by a fielding unit that gives away few opportunities to the batting side and make RCB hard to dominate as a team. It seems to be coming together for the reds in Bengaluru and their fans will hope that the competitive edge and winning results continue as the tournament progresses because everybody with a soft spot for the Royal Challengers Bangalore will feel as if they are due a title very soon, we at GSV would like to wish them strength and success in their quest.