Sanju Samson is one of the brightest young players currently playing in India. His performances in the IPL and domestic cricket have always brought cricket fans and legends together wishing he represents the nation on an international level.
However, the Keralite batsman has struggled with consistency in his performances. This should not overlook the fact that if he decides to bring his A-game to the pitch, he can be a very lethal batsman.
He doesn’t need to prove it as the stats speak for themselves. Moreover, that’s not just the issue. Even when he was playing good cricket, he was often overlooked by the selectors. There is a section of Indian fans who certainly believe that.
He is as good a wicket-keeper as he is a batsman. The India national cricket team at some point would definitely need his services should they decide to. With a player so talented, he has had an illustrious domestic career that involves some serious stats and achievements. Let’s take a look at Sanju Samson’s life so far.
“Everyone says I need to be consistent, but if you want me to be consistent, I have to change my game. I will never do that. I’m happy to score double hundreds every 10 innings rather than scoring 40’s and 50’s,” Samson said in an interview with The Hindu.
26 years [ As of April 2021]
Date of Birth
11th Nov. 1994
Trivandrum, Kerala, India
$4 million (₹29.83 crores)
Samson Viswanath, Lily Viswanath
T 20 Debut
Zimbabwe vs India at Harare - July 18, 2015
Right-arm off break
Teams Played for
Delhi Capitals, India A (India Blues), India A India Under-19s (Young Cricketers), India Under-19s, Indian Board President's XI, Kerala (and Travancore-Cochin), Kerala Kerala Cricket Association XI , Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals,
Coming from Kerala where cricket is not a big sport, his father was a passionate footballer who followed cricket closely. Sanju has an older brother Saly, who had represented Kerala in the under 25 levels.
“Agreed, cricket is still not as big in Kerala as it is in the rest of the country. Kerala has won the Santosh Trophy (prestigious football trophy) so many times. I want my sons to win the Ranji Trophy for the state for the first time,” Said his father, Vishwanadh.
Sanju Samson was a part of the under 13 cricket team of Kerala, which he captained and scored a century in his debut game. In the South Zone under 13 tournament, he scored 4 centuries in 5 games. Samson also captained under 16 and under 19 sides of the Kerala Cricket State team. In 2010, Samson scored a double century playing for Kerala against Goa in the under-16 Vijay Merchant Trophy South Zone.
Education is something that cricketers tend to leave behind in order to focus on playing cricket for the rest of their lives. Sanju, on the other hand, apart from focusing fully on cricket, also gave education equal importance.
“Since his childhood, he has been sincere when it comes to his studies. Even though he could hardly attend school due to his cricketing commitments, he would carry his school books wherever he went and would keep pace with classwork.” Said his father in an interview.
He was picked by Rajasthan Royals at a young age. At one point, his 12th board exams clashed with the pre-season training camp for Rajasthan Royals.
“He used to land in Thiruvananthapuram early in the morning, I used to pick him up from the airport and head straight to the examination centre. He would get freshened up at the school itself, write his paper and then I would drop him back at the airport,” Sanju Samson’s father on his dedication towards education.
Samson was selected for the 2012 Asia Cup under 19 squad after impressive performances for Kerala under-19’s. He had below-average performances at the tournament. However, in the following year at the ACC Cup in UAE, he scored a century in the finals as India defeated Pakistan and lifted the trophy.
Samson was selected to play for the Kerala Ranji side when he was 15. Dubbed as the next biggest thing in Kerala, Sanju Samson made his first-class debut when he was 17, against Vidarbha. Samson was the leading run-scorer in the 2017-2018 season after scoring 627 runs in 7 matches.
In the 2013-2014 Ranji trophy, Sanju Samson scored his career-best knock of 211 runs while chasing a target of 323 which was set by Assam. He hit 23 fours and five sixes to register his first double hundred and give Kerala a 39 run lead.
His fantastic form for Kerala continued in the second game against Andhra Pradesh, in which he scored 115 runs from 281 balls to help Kerala post a massive total of 486 runs in the first innings. He remained not out for 51 runs in the second innings.
In 6 matches, he scored a total of 530 runs, averaging 58.88 which made him the highest run-scorer for Kerala and of the 2013-2014 Ranji Trophy Season.
In October 2019, playing for Kerala in a game against Goa in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, Samson smashed 212 runs to break and set many records on the same day. His score was the highest runs ever scored by an individual in List A cricket.
His magnificent knock was also the highest individual score by a wicketkeeper in List A cricket history. Samson and his skipper Sachin Baby broke the record for the highest 3rd wicket partnership in List A cricket history.
After impressing in domestic cricket, Sanju was picked to be a part of the Kolkata Knight Riders team for the 2012 IPL season. He, however, did not feature in any of the games for KKR and was picked by Rajasthan Royals the following year.
He made his debut for Rajasthan Royals on 13th April 2011, replacing their regular wicketkeeper Dishant Yagnik who failed to recover from an injury. Samson was picked again by Rajasthan Royals in the next couple of IPL seasons and got to play his second game for them against RCB on 29 April 2013. In that game, he scored 63 runs and won a man-of-the-match award for his impressive batting display and winning Rajasthan Royals the game. His 41 ball 63 runs score also saw him become the youngest player to score 50+ runs in an IPL match as he was only 18 years of age at the time. Samson received the best young player award in the 2013 season.
Sanju Samson continued to perform well in the 2014 season for the Rajasthan Royals. However, the team lost in the finals in which Samson scored 74 runs.
The 2015 season was disappointing for Sanju as he scored only one 50+ score in 15 matches. The following year he was purchased by Delhi Daredevils for ₹ 4.2 crores. In 2017 he scored his maiden IPL T20 century against Rising Pune Supergiants. He was bought back by Rajasthan Royals before the 2018 season for ₹ 8 crores.
Sanju Samson was named the captain of Rajasthan Royals for IPL 2021. The franchise released Steve Smith before the auction in February 2021.
— Mohanlal (@Mohanlal) April 12, 2021
Pink. Blue. Royal. 🔥😍
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) April 4, 2021
“It was tough keeping it to myself. I got some nice congratulatory messages from Virat Bhai, Rohit Bhai, and Mahi Bhai,” Samson told Hindustan Times.
“Sanga (Sangarkara-Former Sri Lankan Player) is a legend; not just because of his cricket. He is a wonderful person to interact with. That takes a lot of pressure off me.”I couldn’t have asked for anything more than having Sanga as my partner in this role,” the 26-year-old said.
Batting & Fielding
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Personal Life: Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson hails from the city of Trivandrum, Kerala. Born to Lily and Samson Vishwanadh, his father was a police constable in Delhi Police. Sanju did his schooling at Rosary Secondary School in Delhi, then completed his high school at St. Joseph’s Higher Secondary School, Trivandrum.
Sanju married his college sweetheart Charulatha Remesh in December 2018.
Records and Achievements of Sanju Samson
- 1st player to score a century in IPL debut, as a captain (119 against PBKS-IPL 2021)
- Highest total by a wicket-keeper in List A cricket
- Youngest batsman to score 2,000 runs in IPL
- Highest individual score in List A cricket
- Score the fastest double century in List A cricket
- Partnership with Sachin Baby saw him break the record for the highest 3rd wicket partnership in List A cricket.
- Youngest batsman to score 1,000 runs in IPL
- Youngest cricketer to captain a Ranji side
- Best Young Player of the Season, IPL 2013
- Fastest double hundred in List-A