IPL 2023: Reasons why Sanju Samson makes a terrific captain

Rajasthan Royals (RR), who have played half of their games in the IPL 2023 league stage, are in third place with four victories out of seven games. By no means is it a terrible start for the previous victors. The Royals have developed into a strong force under Sanju Samson, who has served as their captain since the IPL 2021 season and are planning to participate in their second consecutive final in the hopes of winning this time.

 When no one gave the Royals a chance, they won the first competition in 2008 and went on to become the champions. The team recruited ace Shane Warne, who played the roles of captain and coach and motivated an inexperienced team to win the tournament. Graeme Smith, Mohammed Kaif, and other international stars played for the late Australian leg-spinner, but a slew of lesser-known players rose to the occasion in his wake.

 The Jaipur-based franchise experienced a period of lethargy till the 2012 IPL after Warne-led RR’s inaugural victory. The 2013 victors qualified for the playoffs, took third place and even competed in the final of the now-defunct Champions League (CLT20) that year. Rahul Dravid, a similarly inspirational figure to Warne back then, served as RR’s leader.

After Dravid and Warne, the squad was headed by knowledgeable players like Shane Watson, Steve Smith, and Ajinkya Rahane, who had intermittent success but never really challenged for the championship. With the exception of 2015 and 2016, when the team was suspended for spot-fixing, Samson remained a member of the Royals’ dugout from the Dravid period till IPL 2020 and was subtly developed by a number of esteemed camp leaders.

 While Samson’s batting prowess in his inaugural IPL season in 2013 attracted attention, nothing was known about his leadership abilities. Before the 2021 season, RR team management named Samson as their new captain following a disappointing IPL 2020. Samson didn’t appear to be a fish out of water, despite the fact that his club finished eighth that season. He became better in IPL 2022, and Rajasthan Royals now unquestionably appears to be a Samson-controlled unit. 

Here is the reasons why Sanju Samson makes a terrific captain

 Leading stars like Trent Boult, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jos Buttler, and others can be frightful. However, Samson has always carried himself confidently and like a commander. He maintains composure behind the wickets, makes intelligent use of his bowlers, and is not afraid to alter his plans when necessary. Additionally, he avoids passing too many pointless recommendations from behind the stumps by not communicating too much.


Does not let winning or losing bother him

 Samson stated that he thinks it’s very normal in this tournament when you have a couple of losses or you have a couple of wins in the locker room following RR’s defeat to RCB, their second straight defeat. Further, he said that his team’s pattern and franchise’s attitude is to be modest when things are going well, and when things aren’t going well, they believe in themselves.


Does not shy away from responsibility

 Many captains get overburdened with duties or become overly careful in their core responsibilities. Samson, however, has not experienced this. He has accumulated more than 400 runs every season since taking over as RR’s captain. He scored 484 runs in 2021, including a lot of them at 136.72. Compared to the previous edition, where he struck at 158.89, his strike rate did decline, but it was still respectable. It significantly increased in 2022, when he scored 458 runs at an average of 146.79. His strikeout rate after seven games this year is over 150 (158.77).

One can’t predict what the future holds for RR in IPL 2023. Regardless of the outcome, the Royals deserve praise for seeing a unique talent like Samson, developing him among other leaders, keeping him on the team, and elevating him to the position of leader in his late 20s—a time when a cricketer has developed with enough experience and mistakes under his belt. The right-hander has already displayed some leadership qualities, and if given a longer rope, which now looks likely, he will develop much more quickly.

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