Sanju Samson is perhaps the biggest enigma in Indian cricket right now. Samson looks a million dollars when at the crease, yet before you could be drowned in all that beauty and elegance, he brings you back to ground reality with another failure.
The story of his career so far has been about a few sparkling knocks here and there, that has viewers craving for more, separated by long stretches of poor scores.
This is Samson's eighth Indian T20 League season, yet not even once has the wicket-keeper batsman crossed the 500-run mark in the league. His best came in 2018 when he made 441 runs, but even then his average was a disappointing 31.5 and just three half-centuries came from him.
In 2017 and 2019, when Samson made centuries, he scored just 386 and 342 runs in the season, totalling 524 runs in the remaining 24 innings - an average of 23.81. This stat perhaps tells all you need to know of Samson.
|Samson - Year-wise in Indian T20 League|
If at the beginning of the season, there was a sense that Samson was coming into his own but the next few games have rubbished that notion. In his first two matches this year at Sharjah, Samson made 85 and 74, slamming 16 maximums in these two games, easily the best by any player.
But before you could put him on a pedestal, Samson was back to his inconsistent self. In his next four games, the Kerala batsman has made just 17 runs in all with the last knock coming in Sharjah again.
Under pressure after a hat-trick of failures outside Sharjah, Samson returned to the venue against Delhi Capitals only to hole out for another lacklustre score.
This trend in Samson is so frustrating and is perhaps what prevents him from earning more game time with the national team. A look at his domestic record in other formats also clearly shows a similar trend. He averages 37.64 in first-class cricket after 55 games and 30.57 in List A matches with just one century.
High on the talent scale, Samson has failed to live up to his reputation time and again despite looking excellent when on song. Touted as a future India player by none other than Rahul Dravid, Samson's disappointing trend is more a result of him not focusing enough on his own game rather than match situations or peer pressure.
Samson still has time to buck this trend, but for that, he has to start improving his execution when attacking the ball, an area where Rishabh Pant, his competitor, surges ahead despite never looking as eye-pleasing as Samson.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter.com / @IamSanjuSamson