Out of favour wicket-keeper batsman Sanju Samson has been working hard on his fitness since the recent Team India snub. Samson did not make India's T20 squad for the series against England, as the selectors chose to go with Ishan Kishan instead.
The Kerala batsman also lost his place in the ODI squad for the three-match series against England after Rishabh Pant made a comeback into the side. Sanju Samson was part of both squads in the limited-overs series against Australia towards the end of last year.
Sanju Samson didn't have a great time in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He scored just 128 runs in 5 matches, at an average of 25.60 and a strike rate of 137.
His struggles continued in the Vijay Hazare Trophy as well. In the 50-over tournament, he scored 121 runs in 5 matches at an average of 30.25.
Sanju Samson to lead the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021
Meanwhile, the Rajasthan Royals (RR) appointed Sanju Samson as their captain a few weeks ago. The move came after the franchise released their former skipper Steve Smith just before last month's IPL auction.
Sanju Samson seemed pleased with his appointment as skipper and claimed he was looking forward to the challenges ahead.
"It's a team that is so close to my heart, which I've been lucky enough to play for over the years, and I'm excited about the challenge that lies ahead of me as the leader of the team," said Sanju Samson.
The 26-year-old has got his task cut out with the Rajasthan Royals. The team finished last in the points table last season and 7th in the 2019 edition of the tournament
After emerging as champions in the first IPL season, the Rajasthan Royals have never reached the finals again. They last made it to the playoffs in 2018.
At this year's auction, the Royals have made some valuable additions to their squad in the form of Chris Morris and Shivam Dube.
It'll be interesting to see how Sanju Samson makes the best use of the resources at his disposal in his maiden IPL season as a captain.