All-rounder Daniel Sams showing the raw potential to be a big-game player in IPL and T20I

Australian all-rounder Daniel Sams is a late bloomer in international cricket, but his performances in the IPL for the struggling Mumbai Indians could help him book a place at the T20 World Cup.

At 29 years old, Daniel Sams' arrival on the international scene came fairly late. He made his T20 international debut for Australia in 2020 and is now going through a redemptive period in franchise cricket that is starting to show that he could become a very good top level cricketer.

The all-rounder has showcased his skills in the Big Bash League over the past few seasons, bursting onto the scene with the best figures ever on BBL debut - 4 for 14. In his first two seasons with Sydney Thunder, Sams took a grand total of 45 wickets, averaging just 17.26.

His wickets tally has risen steadily since then; the left-armer has taken 82 scalps in his five BBL seasons, placing him 13th on the list of all-time leading wicket-takers in the competition.

As a true T20 player should, Sams has shown a penchant for hitting big, notching 622 runs in his 62 matches in the Big Bash League.

The best knock of those came in BBL11, when Sams, batting at no.4, mullered the Melbourne Renegades attack to all parts, ending 98 not out from just 44 deliveries. His exceptional tournament with both bat and ball afforded him a place in the team of the tournament.

Furthermore, it gave Sams the opportunity at another season in the premier T20 competition in the world, the IPL.

Sams' IPL career

He had played five games over the previous two seasons, for Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore, but the Mumbai Indians gave him a chance to be a core player in their squad in the 2022 competition.

Despite getting some tap - notably when Pat Cummins hit the joint-fastest 50 in IPL history, as Sams was walloped for 50 runs in just three overs, including one which was sent for 35 - there have been some very good moments in Sams' season.

His tall frame and ability to swing the ball prodigiously has stood him in good stead against some strong batting units. A mixture of good-paced deliveries, both full and short, and well-executed slower balls have been on show from the Aussie throughout the tournament.

The best figures of his IPL career so far are 4 for 30, against Chennai Super Kings, when he dismissed four of the top five batters. In fact, Sams amassed seven wickets against CSK in the 2022 season. He took 3 for 16 in their second meeting, and dismissed each of the top three - in-form Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Moeen Ali.

While his T20 international stats - 72 runs and four wickets in seven games - are not the best, he has acquitted himself well at a high standard of cricket in the IPL, given his lengthy period in the side at Mumbai Indians. However, the five-time winners have been stuck at the foot the table for much of the campaign, and have endured a tough time of it in 2022.

Still, Sams has been a shining light, and transferring the talent he so clearly possesses to international cricket would be big for Australia.

With another T20 World Cup just around the corner, Sams is putting himself in the conversation to make that squad, and he could play an important role going forwards, should he be picked.

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