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IPL 2021: "I never felt I may possibly be the leader of the Rajasthan Royals": Sanju Samson

Sanju Samson will lead Rajasthan Royals in the upcoming season of the IPL.
Sanju Samson will lead Rajasthan Royals in the upcoming season of the IPL.
ANALYST
Modified 03 Apr 2021
News

Newly-appointed Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson has said that he had never imagined becoming the captain of the franchise.

The wicketkeeper-batsman added that a lot of different things are going through his mind as the leader of his team. But he would look to keep things simple going into the new season of the IPL.

Steve Smith led the Royals in the last edition of the IPL, but the Australian batsman was released by the franchise ahead of the 2021 auction; Smith will ply his trade for the Delhi Capitals this season.

In a recent interview on RR's website, Sanju Samson said that he didn't expect to become the new Royals captain going into the upcoming IPL season.

"I am very much looking forward to leading the Royals. Definitely, a lot of different thoughts are going through my mind, but I would like to keep it simple. I am happy to take on this role. To be very honest, until last year, I never felt that I may possibly be the leader of the Royals. Our lead owner, Manoj Badale, told me that the franchise wants me to lead the team and asked me to take up this role," Sanju Samson said.

Sanju Samson has a big task on his hands as the Royals finished at the bottom of the points table last season. It remains to be seen how the new captain goes about changing his team's fortunes in the upcoming IPL campaign.

"This is a dream come true"- Sanju Samson on working with Kumar Sangakkara

Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Sangakkara

Rajasthan Royals also appointed former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara as their director of cricket for the 2021 edition of the IPL.

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Sanju Samson said that he is looking forward to the opportunity of working with a legend like Sangakkara.

"My first memory of Sanga is definitely his cover-drive, and I loved his batting. This is a dream come true, and it was very exciting to know that I will be working so closely with a legend like Kumar Sangakkara," Sanju Samson observed.

On what he would try to learn from the Sri Lankan legend, the Indian wicketkeeper-batsman added:

"Everything actually. If you look up to people like Rahul Dravid, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene or Ricky Ponting, they are legends of their time. Everyone was so evenly balanced; and everything they did looked perfect. I am waiting to learn every side of Kumar Sangakkara in this IPL season."

Sanju Samson, who has been with the Rajasthan Royals since 2013, has managed to establish himself as the leader of the team in the last few years. Last season, the 26-year-old scored 375 runs in 14 matches at an average of 28.84.

What stood out for Sanju Samson was his strike rate of 158.89 and his ability to tee off from the word go. For the Royals to make the playoffs, the wicketkeeper-batsman will undoubtedly have to play a key role with the bat.

Rajasthan Royals begin their IPL 2021 campaign against the Punjab Kings on 12th April in Mumbai.

Published 03 Apr 2021, 18:11 IST
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