Sanju Samson has proven his worth time and again, winning matches for his team: Matthew Hayden

"He's been a master blaster, handling both spin and pace with finesse. He times his innings well. He's got the power. And the power is a big thing in T20 cricket," Hayden said.

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Sanju Samson
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Sanju Samson. (Source -IPL/BCCI)

Former Australia cricketer Matthew Hayden shared his thoughts on Sanju Samson’s batting in the ongoing IPL season. The Rajasthan Royals skipper has been in stellar form since the start of the IPL and is currently the third-highest run-getter, having scored 471 runs in 11 innings at a commendable average of 67.28 and strike rate over 160. Unlike previous seasons, where he used to start the league promisingly before losing his touch, Samson has sustained his form this year with five scores over 50 so far. 

It was this consistency that prompted the Indian selectors to trust Samson as one of the wicketkeepers alongside Rishabh Pant in India's T20 World Cup squad, ahead of KL Rahul, who was believed to be the first-choice. Samson's bat did the talking against Delhi Capitals in his team's latest clash on May 7, however, his innings was cut short at 86 off 46 after a contentious catch by Shai Hope close to the boundary line, eventually culminating in a collapse that saw the Royals lose the game by 20 runs.

Also read: Sanju Samson's controversial catch shifted momentum of the match: Pragyan Ojha

“Sanju Samson was batting like a dream, scoring 86 off 46 balls. He's proven his worth time and again, winning matches for his team like he did against LSG. However, he'll be disappointed he couldn't carry Rajasthan across the finish line. Throughout the tournament, he's been a master blaster, handling both spin and pace with finesse. He times his innings well. He's got the power. And the power is a big thing in T20 cricket. Yet, what stands out is his commitment to his team. He just needed a bit of luck, especially towards the end of the match,” Hayden said on Star Sports Cricket Live.

Former India cricketer Varun Aaron also shared his thoughts on Sanju Samson's batting. “I think Sanju Samson has been batting really well. However, bowlers are keen on dismissing him, evident from their reluctance to bowl bouncers despite being allowed two per over in this IPL. Interestingly, the over he got out, Khaleel Ahmed bowled the first bouncer to him in the match. This seemed to disrupt his footwork, as the subsequent wide slow ball, which he typically dispatches for six over covers, resulted in his dismissal. It's crucial for bowlers to bowl aggressively, even when under pressure, as batsmen often rule out the bouncer and focus on deliveries in a particular area. Sending up a bouncer can unsettle their footwork and potentially lead to a wicket, as we witnessed today.”

Also read: IPL 2024: Sanju Samson fined 30 percent match fees for breaching Code of Conduct

Aaron also lauded Player of the Match Kuldeep Yadav for his performance against the Royals. Kuldeep, who finished with figures of 2/25 in his quota, was critical in pegging back the Royals with a double-wicket 17th over in which he sent back Donovan Ferreira and R Ashwin. 

"Kuldeep was absolutely phenomenal. He was my player of the match as well because to do those kinds of things in that situation, in those conditions, is really not easy. Those two wickets in the 17th over, we must also give credit to Rishabh Pant because that was a brave call. You can shy away from it and give it to your fast bowler, but Rishabh Pant took that gamble and gave it to Kuldeep, and he delivered like he said in the post-match presentation."

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