When Sanju Samson was named as the captain of the Rajasthan Royals (RR)franchise, many doubted whether he will be able to live up to the expectations of the franchise as well as the fans or not. He was still very young but RR management felt that he had played enough number of matches to get the leadership role. RR were looking for a captain who knew what playing for this team meant. Sanju fit the bill perfectly. 

Ahead of the 2022 IPL season, RR lead owner Manoj Badale approached Sanju after a match in Dubai with the offer to lead the Royals in IPL. It was a big but exciting responsibility and Sanju did not want to let it go. He accepted the offer with any hesitation in his mind.

On Star Sports ‘Star Nahi Far’ event in Kochi, Sanju was asked about his reaction to being asked to lead RR. He said that the moment he was asked to lead, he knew he can do the job. 

Sanju said “I think that happened before this season. I think we were playing in Dubai, and our lead owner, Manoj Badale, came up to me and asked whether I’m ready to lead the side. I said I am ready. So that was it, it was as simple as that, and I felt like I’ve played enough number of matches and I’ve spent enough time in this franchise to know that I can do that role, and I was confident that I could do it. And I was very happy that things are going good.”

Samson also emphasised his desire to stand out through his batting style and performance. He revealed a shift in mindset towards adopting a more aggressive approach, aiming to unleash power strokes from the outset of his innings. 

Sanju said, “I think when you are playing cricket in the world’s best country, which I think is number 1 in the whole world, I think the number of players who play and the number of talent we have and the level of competition which we have, a guy from Kerala, if he has to come and cement his place in the national side, he has to do something special, so I just always wanted to be special.

“I always wanted to stand out with the way I bat. I just wanted to create my own style of batting and no matter even if it was the first ball, I just want to go out there and hit a six. So, that’s a shift in the mindset that I had and I just wanted to do something different like why do we have to wait for 10 balls to hit a six? If I feel like I do it at the first ball and that was the motive behind the development of my power stroke I was putting lots and lots of effort and time and I think a lot of people helped me, lots of things goes behind the scenes which only I only know and my close people know so I’m very happy that things are coming on nice and as you know the grind keeps on going. Actually, I’m never satisfied I want to keep on and go on doing something spectacular for the side I play for.”

After becoming captain of RR, Sanju led the team to their first-ever final since 2008. They lost to Hardik Pandya’s Gujarat Titans (GT). RR did not make it to the final in 2023 but vows to lift the trophy for the second time in 2024.


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