HomeSportsCricketSanju Samson: A long lasting solution to India’s T20 batting problem
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Sanju Samson: A long lasting solution to India’s T20 batting problem

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Sanju Samson, a flamboyant free-flowing batsman caught everyone’s eye when he arrived in T20 IPL as a teenager for Rajasthan Royals. The batter oozes class when he plays his shots every time he bats. His eye-pleasing drives and ability to easily play big shots take your breath away. He can make any bowler look ordinary. He goes about his business without breaking any sweat.

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Source: NDTV Sports

Sanju made his international debut at the age of 23 against Zimbabwe in 2015. But 7 years since his debut, he is yet to find a permanent place in the side. 

There have been lots of talks and discussions about the consistency of Sanju Samson since he arrived in IPL and International Cricket. Every person, whether or not a pundit has a say about Sanju Samson’s inconsistency with the bat. 

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But since 2020, stats tell you a very different story. 

Sanju Samson Record Since T20 IPL 2020

Sanju Samson averages 32.6 runs in IPL with a Strike Rate of 147.47. Suryakumar Yadav who is at the peak of his form averages 35 with a Strike Rate of 144. 

Sanju Strike Rate- KreedOn
Source: Twitter

All other batters who have averages in the thirties have a Strike Rate in the 130s. Sanju Samson manages to have a higher average than everyone with a destructive Strike Rate of almost 150. Even with a high-risk approach, he manages to stay consistent above his peers.   

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Flexibility in Batting Order

Sanju Samson Batting Record in International Cricket (By Position)

Batting Position Innings  Runs  Average Strike Rate
Opening  4 105 26.25 164.06
3 2 27 16.50  150.0
4 7 39 15.57 126.74
5 1 30*  130.43
7 1 19 19 79.17

Sanju has batted at numerous positions in his short T20 international career. He has batted at 3,4 and 5 and still managed to play with a high strike rate. 

The wicketkeeper-batsman provides flexibility and can bat at any position the team demands him to bat. India needs someone flexible enough to come in any situation and keep the scoreboard moving. 

If given a fixed role, clarity, and a long rope to perform, Sanju can make any spot on his own and cement his place in the side.

Excellent Strike Rate Against Spin

While many Indian batters slow down against spin, Samson bats with a high strike rate against the slower bowlers. 

Samson is explosive in the V and has a very high attacking percentage against the spinners. Since the 2020 IPL, he has had a Strike Rate of over 170 against the slow bowlers (IPL + International Cricket).

From the 2020 IPL, when Sanju Samson attacks spinners in the V, he has been striking them over 450. This means that the ball is most certain to clear the ropes and go for a maximum.

Since 2020, he has been dismissed by leg spinners 11 times in IPL as well as Internationally. But with such a high strike rate, India could afford a batsman who goes hard against the spinners and set the foundation for the finishers. 

Nowadays, there is a lot of emphasis on matchups of right-handed batsmen against left-arm spinners and right-arm leg spinners. Despite being a right-hander, having an average of over 150 against left-arm seamers and over 135 against leg spinners is a very unique trait of its kind. 

Sanju Samson Record against left-arm seamers

Sanju Samson is yet to be dismissed by left-arm fast bowlers since the 2020 IPL. He has an average of 57.5 against left-arm medium pacers with a Strike Rate of 162. Traditionally, Indian batsmen face problems while facing left-arm fast bowlers, but Sanju would provide the solution to that problem. 

Attacking Straightaway

Sanju Samson In T20 (IPL + International) since 2020

Dismissal % Strike Rate  Balls Per Boundary
1-10 39.6 130.63 5.3
11-20 26.4 155.41 5.1
21-30 20.8 150.65 5.1
31-40 3.8 170.67 4.4
40+ 9.4 184.13 3.9

Since 2020, Sanju Samson has had an overall strike rate of 130.63 (approx.) in the first 10 balls of his innings. As a benchmark for quick beginnings in the middle overs, Suryakumar Yadav had a strike rate of 136.98 on his first 10 balls since 2020.

After facing 10 balls, the Strike Rate swells over 150 and never slows down. The strike rate is threatening over 180 when Sanju has faced 40+ balls. India desperately needs a batter who starts quickly and Sanju Samson can be the solution in the middle order. 

Sanju Samson: Reliable behind stumps & on the field

SS KreedOn
Credits IPL

Samson is safe behind the stumps and provides an option as a backup keeper. He is very quick in the outfield and has a bullet arm. He can cover the ground quickly and releases the ball quickly in a smooth motion making the batsmen think twice before taking a run.

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Sanju Samson-Consistency: A tradeoff

Sanju Samson provides the solution to most of the current problems faced by team India. Samson provides uniqueness to the team. He provides flexibility and a mixture of calmness yet explosiveness. He provides flexibility to bat anywhere in the batting order, maintains a high strike rate against spin, and does not take time to settle. Going forward, India should look at Sanju Samson’s innings in terms of strike rate and the impact he makes on the innings rather than how many runs he scores. A quick-fire cameo in the middle overs, in the powerplay, or at the death can change the game. The contribution may seem less, but it might have an impact on the result of the game.

The talent he possesses is immense. Very few players in the world can play like him. Samson is the X-factor for team India. He is a match-winner and wins your games single-handedly. Even if he is a little inconsistent sometimes, the Indian team needs to give Sanju Samson clarity about his role and play him for a longer period because players of his ability are rare.

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