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Sanju Samson vs Rishabh Pant: Who comes out on top?

Rishabh Pant seems to be the clear winner of the discussions between Sanju Samson vs Rishabh Pant. Pant is already an established cricketer in the Indian team across all formats while Sanju Samson is yet to truly find his feet in international cricket.

Both wicketkeepers are captains of their respective sides in the Indian Premier League. Rajasthan Royals appointed Sanju Samson as captain ahead of IPL 2021. On the other hand, Rishabh Pant was thrust into the captaincy role at Delhi Capitals following a shoulder injury that sidelined Shreyas Iyer. However, Pant has continued in that role since then.

As both the players gear up for what promises to be an exciting IPL 2022, let’s compare the two cricketers and find out who comes out on top!

Sanju Samson vs Rishabh Pant: In Tests, ODIs and T20s

Sanju Samson is yet to play a Test match for Team India. Therefore, we’ll compare the two cricketers in First-class cricket instead.

PlayerODI matchesODI runsT20I matchesT20I runs
Sanju Samson14613174
Rishabh Pant2471543683

Sanju Samson’s sample size in ODIs and T20Is is also too small to be compared to Rishabh who already has over 65 appearances to his name in international white-ball cricket. He has also established himself as one of the dominant performers in Test cricket and matches involving Rishabh Pant have a tendency to become box-office affairs.

Rishabh Pant has amassed 1920 runs in 51 Test innings at an average of 40.85 and at a tremendous strike rate of 70.45. He has already scored four centuries and nine half-centuries in the longest format of the sport and is not afraid of taking on any bowling unit in the world.

Rishabh Pant is already the heir to the throne vacated by MS Dhoni in Team India and is regarded by many to be well on the way to becoming an all-time great. He has never shied away from the audacious methods that are so characteristic of his batting approach. Pant has already scored Test centuries in England, Australia and South Africa and was the hero of India’s iconic Border-Gavaskar Trophy triumph in Australia in 2020/21. Even in ICC rankings, Rishabh Pant is already ranked 10th among batsmen.

Pant also has a healthy average of 32.50 in ODI cricket and strikes the ball at 109.32. Although he is yet to score his first century in One-Day cricket, it only seems to be a matter of time before the 24-year-old gets to that milestone.

Rishabh Pant hasn’t exactly been able to translate his dominant performances from the Indian Premier League into T20I cricket. He has scored 683 runs and needs to work on his average of 24.39 which is considerably lower than his IPL average of 34.91. His T20I strike rate of 125.78 is also lower than his IPL career strike rate of 147.46.

Sanju Samson hasn’t really had the opportunity to play international cricket in the manner that Rishabh Pant has. In fact, he was given his first and only opportunity to play ODI cricket on the Sri Lanka tour last year. With that being said, as far as international cricket is concerned, Rishabh Pant emerges as the clear winner.

Sanju Samson vs Rishabh Pant: In Domestic cricket

Numbers and data from First-class, List A, and T20 cricket will paint a fairer comparison between the two cricketers. Both Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson first came to the spotlight while playing domestic cricket.

PlayerSanju SamsonRishabh Pant
First Class matches5554
First Class runs31623772
Highest score211308

The two players have pretty similar numbers when it comes to playing the purest format of the sport. However, Rishabh Pant’s average of 47.15 stands out in comparison to Sanju Samson’s 37.64.

PlayerSanju SamsonRishabh Pant
List A matches10260
List A runs26101633
Highest score212*135

Again, there’s not much to separate the two players based on numbers in List A cricket. Sanju Samson has scored more runs but Rishabh Pant has a better average. During the 2019-20 Vijay Hazare Trophy match with Goa, Sanju Samson brought up his maiden List A double-century and became the sixth Indian to do so in One-Day cricket. It was also the second-fastest double ton in the format in the entire world.

PlayerSanju SamsonRishabh Pant
T20 matches198142
T20 runs48343710
Highest score119128*
Strike Rate130.68145.83

Despite playing lesser matches and scoring lesser runs than Sanju Samson, it’s Rishabh Pant who has had a greater influence on his team in T20 matches. Pant has a much better average and strike rate compared to Samson which has resulted in greater success for his teams.

Sanju Samson vs Rishabh Pant: In IPL

Both Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant have received their fair amount of limelight in the Indian Premier League. They both emerged onto the scene as fearless, hard-hitting youngsters and while Sanju Samson’s breakthrough did not exactly result in international recognition with the national team, Pant has had a longer rope and a more substantiated international career.

PlayerSanju SamsonRishabh Pant
IPL matches12184
IPL runs30682498
Highest score119128
Strike Rate134.21147.46

Sanju Samson has played 121 IPL matches over nine seasons and has scored 3068 runs at an average of 29.22. He has scored three centuries and has the highest score of 119. Meanwhile, Rishabh Pant has amassed 2498 runs in 84 matches across six IPL seasons. He has a healthy IPL average of 35.18 and a phenomenal strike rate of 147.46. Pant has also scored a century which resulted in his highest score of 128.

When it comes to run-scoring, the two wicket-keeper batters have had almost similar IPL trajectories so far.

In head-to-head battles between the two teams, Rishabh Pant has scored 300 runs against Rajasthan Royals in seven matches at a strike rate of 164.84. He has smashed 29 fours and 14 sixes against them. On the other hand, Sanju Samson hasn’t really found his feet against Delhi Capitals, a team he once played for. Samson has scored 234 runs against them in 13 matches.

Captaincy and Wicket-keeping in IPL

Sanju Samson scored a century on his debut as IPL captain, becoming the first cricketer to achieve this feat. However, he was unable to find plenty of success as Rajasthan Royals won five of their 14 matches and finished second from bottom in the first year of his leadership.

On the other hand, Rishabh Pant became the fifth-youngest captain in the Indian Premier League. Delhi Capitals led the league table with Pant as captain, winning 10 of their 14 matches. He guided them to the playoffs where they ended up losing to Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders respectively.

As a wicketkeeper, Rishabh Pant has affected 67 dismissals in IPL. He has taken 53 catches and has an impressive 14 stumpings to his name. Meanwhile, Sanju Samson has been responsible for 46 dismissals as a wicketkeeper. He has taken 36 catches and has 10 stumpings from the 62 matches in which he has kept wickets.

Therefore, when all formats and factors are taken into consideration, it is not surprising to see Rishabh Pant emerge as the clear winner. Although Sanju Samson has unbelievable abilities and has been unfortunate to not receive more protagonist in international cricket, he has also been extremely erratic inconsistent.

Rishabh Pant, too, has had his issues with inconsistency at the beginning, but he is now showing signs of a truly great wicket-keeper batsman who is going to leave his mark in cricket history.


Is Sanju Samson a good captain?

Despite not having a very strong unit and missing several key players due to injuries, Sanju Samson led Rajasthan Royals really well in IPL 2021. Although they finished second from bottom in the points table, there were plenty of positives from their displays throughout the season. Rajasthan also played an attacking brand of cricket under his leadership.

When was Rishabh Pant born?

Rishabh Pant was born on October 4, 1997, in Roorkee, Uttarakhand.

Who comes out on top between Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan?

Mumbai Indians’ flamboyant batsman Ishan Kishan is likely to come out on top in this discussion. Ishan Kishan is also finding more prominence in Indian cricket than Sanju Samson at the moment.


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