Former India batsman Gautam Gambhir believes it is a bit premature for Sanju Samson to be handed over the Rajasthan Royals (RR) captaincy.
On a recent edition of the Star Sports show Cricket Connected, Gautam Gambhir was asked his views on both the decisions taken by the franchise.
The southpaw agreed with the Rajasthan Royals' decision to let go of Steve Smith. He reasoned that the Aussie batting great is not that proficient in the shortest format of the game and did not merit the huge bucks that were being shelled out for him.
"They have taken one right decision because Steve Smith is not as dangerous in T20 cricket as he is ODIs or Test cricket. When you make him the captain and open with him, that was an even worse decision. So, I feel it is a correct decision to release him as he was retained at a huge price," said Gambhir.
However, Gambhir is not too convinced with the Rajasthan Royals handing the captaincy role to Sanju Samson.
"They didn't have too many options but according to me it is a bit too early for Sanju Samson to captain the Rajasthan Royals," Gambhir added.
I would have given the Rajasthan Royals captaincy to Jos Buttler: Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir instead wanted Jos Buttler to skipper the Rajasthan Royals, subject to his availability for the entire duration of the IPL.
"They had players like Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes. If the English players are available for the entire IPL, I would have given it to Jos Buttler because he is a player who will play all the 14 matches in whatever form he might be in," said Gambhir.
Gambhir added he would have preferred to give the Rajasthan Royals vice-captaincy to Sanju Samson. He reasoned that the Keralite wicket-keeper-batsman is already under pressure to secure a place in the Indian T20I team and the responsibility of captaining the franchise side would add to that.
"So, I would have made Jos Buttler the captain and given the vice-captaincy to Sanju Samson because he has only recently played for India, so he would have a lot of pressure to cement his place and you know IPL is a very big factor, if you do well in the IPL then somewhere or the other you get considered for the national side in the T20 format," observed Gautam Gambhir.
The former IPL-winning skipper feels Sanju Samson could either flourish with the responsibility of captaincy, as was the case with Rohit Sharma, or it might inhibit his natural game.
"They have promoted Sanju Samson as a captain, it will have to be seen if the move will be successful like Rohit Sharma or if it will backfire because his form has to remain good. It is not neccessary that he bats in the same dangerous fashion once he becomes captain. A lot of the times you curb your natural instincts with responsibility, which you will not want from Sanju Samson," stated Gambhir.
Gautam Gambhir signed off by stating that it would have been better if the Rajasthan Royals waited another year before handing the captaincy role to Sanju Samson.
"So, I would have liked it more if Jos Buttler was given the captaincy for one year and then Sanju Samson was given it for the next three consecutive years," concluded Gambhir.
Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Chennai Super Kings were credited with showing interest in Sanju Samson. The Rajasthan Royals might have given him the captaincy as an additional incentive to remain at the franchise.