The appointment of Sanju Samson as the captain of Rajasthan Royals is probably one of the bravest calls made by any franchise ahead of the upcoming Indian Premier League.
While Sanju has been a regular in the IPL and it has largely been the platform where he comes alive, being named the skipper of a side full of international stars and World Cup winners is a big sign of trust by the franchise.
The wicketkeeper-batsman is not new to captaincy as Tinu Yohannan recently made him Kerala's captain for the 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Under Sanju, Kerala narrowly missed out on qualification from the group stages as they finished third behind Haryana and Delhi in Elite Group E.
Yohannan feels Sanju will be up to the task as the Royals captain despite the weight of expectations.
"It's a big call from the franchise, but Sanju has been playing in the IPL for quite a long time. He knows the tournament really well and he really enjoys the platform. He's been learning from the best like Shane Warne and others and it's all about backing yourself. The idea is not to over-complicate things but focus on his game and learn to finish off games for them," said Yohannan.
The former RCB man feels that he can take a leaf out of MS Dhoni's career.
"Dhoni is a fine example to follow. I hope he matures as a cricketer and learns to win games for his team with his batting. He won't get over-awed by the responsibility because the star players and seniors in the team are there to help him and it is a professional set-up," said Yohannan.
Sanju's Kerala team-mate MD Nidheesh who is currently with the Royals squad as a net bowler feels the 26-year-old should be given time and immediate results shouldn't be expected.
"It's one of the toughest leagues in the world but I feel Sanju is ready. The results may not come right away but he'll find his feet soon. When he was leading the Kerala team, Sanju was a team player who would try to get the best out of everyone. I feel he deserves this opportunity. Knowing the franchise and the players will also be helpful," said the former Mumbai Indians pacer.
Sanju was recently dropped from the Indian team squad for the T20I series against England, and one could argue that he would be looking to win his place back.
"I don't think he has a point to prove after losing his spot in the team. It's more of taking the next step in his career and this is a big opportunity for him. But we don't want him to just do well in the IPL, but now that he is a senior figure for Kerala, we want him to do consistently well in domestic cricket as well," suggested Yohannan.