Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin acclaimed Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson for his willingness to listen to everyone’s suggestions around him. Samson took over the captaincy reins from Australia’s Steve Smith after the latter moved to Delhi Capitals ahead of IPL 2021.
Rajasthan Royals won just five matches in the previous edition of the cash-rich league and finished seventh on the points table with 10 points. The franchise hasn’t won the title since they lifted the trophy in the inaugural season in 2008.
Samson scored 484 runs in 14 innings at a strike rate of 136.72 in IPL 2021, he slammed 119 off 63 balls against Punjab Kings in the first match, which Royals narrowly lost by four runs.
Sanju Samson has got an amazing attitude: Ravichandran Ashwin
Although Samson didn’t have an ideal start with his captaincy in the first season for Royals, the Kerala wicketkeeper-batter received the support of veteran Indian bowler Ashwin, who will be playing his first season for the franchise this year.
“I think Sanju has got an amazing attitude and a good head on his shoulders. He’s always open for discussion, open to opinions around the game, so that’s a great quality to have,” Ashwin was quoted as saying in a RR release.
“I do believe Sanju has got the vantage point as a wicketkeeper to judge the game with all the angles, the pitch and how things are going to work. He also has age on his side, and will definitely get better,” he further said.
The numbers are great: Ravichandran Ashwin on his overall IPL performance
Ashwin started his IPL journey under MS Dhoni’s leadership at CSK and the spinner was an integral part of the Yellow Army until it was handed a suspension for two years (2016 & 2017). He played for now-defunct franchise Rising Pune Supergiant for a couple of years before he was appointed captain of Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings).
Ashwin’s latest association in IPL was with Delhi Capitals for the last two seasons, he was released by the franchise along with a host of star players like Shreyas Iyer, Shikhar Dhawan, Avesh Khan, Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer and Kagiso Rabada.
Ashwin has picked 145 IPL wickets from 167 fixtures at an economy rate of 6.91, his best figures of 4/34 came against Kings XI Punjab in the final league match of IPL 2016 in Visakhapatnam.
“The numbers are great, and it’s humbling really to see what I’ve been able to do in terms of the numbers. The more I’ve played, the more it felt like the numbers are a part of the journey rather than the destination,” Ashwin said.
Rajasthan Royals will play their first match against Sunrisers Hyderabad on March 29 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune.