New Delhi: Wicket-keeper batter Sanju Samson is Rajasthan Royals' 'long-term leader' and his retention in the team for next seasons of IPL was a 'no-brainer', the franchise's director of cricket, Kumar Sangakkara said on Thursday.
Royals retained two Indians and one overseas player in the form of their captain Sanju (Rs 14 crore), uncapped young batter Yashasvi Jaiswal (Rs 4 crore) , along with England's talismanic star Jos Buttler (Rs 10 crore) ahead of the IPL 2022 mega auction.
"We worked really hard in terms of working with our newly-formed data analytic team, with the help of all our partners in India and in the US we finally decided, of course Sanju Samson, it was a no-brainer in terms of being our captain, number one," Sangakkara said in a video posted by RR on Twitter.
"He is going to be the long-term leader of this unit of Rajasthan Royals. He is an exceptional player and he has shown time and time again what a wonderful asset he has been for RR," he added.
The 19-year-old Jaiswal had shown glimpses of his brilliance while playing as an opener for Royals in IPL 2021. And for Sangakkara, the young batter is an absolute star in the making.
"We have retained Yashasvi Jaiswal, the young Indian opener, an absolute star in the making, he had a very very good season pre-retention, extremely talented. He is a very very quick learner, he is a hard worker and he will be our uncapped retention," the former cricketer said.
The Sri Lankan legend also termed Jos Buttler as a phenomenal player and exceptional match-winner.
"In terms of the sole international retention we have gone with Jos Buttler. Again, phenomenal player. Everyone in the world knows what he can do, whether at the top of the order or middle order or wherever he plays. He is an exceptional match-winner," he said.
England cricketers Both Stokes and Jofra Archer missed the UAE leg of IPL 2021 for Royals and the franchise decided to let go both ahead of the mega auction. However, Sangakkara mentioned that it was a tough call for them to not retain Stokes and Archer.
"It was quite a tough choice for all of us to sit down and run through the names, the options, the auction nitty gritty in terms of managing our retention and our purse, what the best options and permutations were.
"… once the auction rules are announced, we dig a lot deeper and we do a lot of work in terms of analytic and evaluation of what the best options are for us in terms of how many retentions, who are they, what is the ideal sweetspot in terms of an auction purse?"
"So on and so forth, and we break it down into as much detail as possible so that we have all the tools with which to make the information as well with which to make the right decision. I know the players themselves understand our reasoning, even though they may be disappointed. I am sure they are as we are as a franchise," he added.