The cricketing world, indeed any sport, is littered with players who had all the talent in the world, but never quite made it to the levels their talents demanded, purely because they weren't mentally strong enough or didn't have the right temperament for the big stage. The worry has been Sanju Samson might end up in that category.
For years now, Samson has shown talent that most cricketers in the world would love to have, but not quite the right temperament, with his attitude, at times, coming into question as well.
When Samson played an awful shot to get out at an inopportune time for the Delhi Daredevils in their opening IPL 2017 match against RCB, it wasn't that big a surprise, because we've seen that too often from the man from Kerala.
However, amidst all the worries, the bright spot was the fact that, Samson had age on his side. Because when he announced himself in the IPL, he was still a teenager.
And after all those years, including a glowing endorsement from the greatest of them all – Sachin Tendulkar – he is still only 22.
So, patience was going to be the key and Samson has been helped by the fact that he has the perfect coach/mentor in his camp in Rahul Dravid, who has watched this precociously talented batsman from his Rajasthan Royals days to the Delhi Daredevils.
Dravid, the epitome of mental toughness, would have probably sat down with Samson after he gave his wicket away last Saturday, and spoken to him about taking responsibility and the importance of making use of all that natural talent.
Well, that conversation certainly seemed to have done wonders.
On Tuesday, at the MCA Stadium in Pune, Samson (102, 63b, 8x4, 5x6) played one of the great Indian Premier League innings, with it scoring his first ever hundred in T20 cricket and becoming the first player to get to three-figures in IPL 2017.
The moment he walked in, you felt this could be a special knock from the right-hander, whose every shot is so elegant, so effortless, that all you can do is sit back and admire.
Samson started his innings in brilliant fashion, gliding boundaries at will through the offside, finding the gap between point and backward point with unerring accuracy.
Too often, after such a great start, Samson has thrown his wicket away with a daft shot, but not this time. This innings was about the maturity that everyone wants to see in this youngster.
Once the six overs came to an end and the field spread, Samson stepped down a couple of gears, just picking up the singles and twos – he was particularly watchful against the dangerous Imran Tahir – getting ready to unload on the bowlers in the final five overs.
And boy did he do that well.
After getting the bulk of his early runs through the offside, Samson targeted the straight boundary, and such is his sense of timing – almost Mahela Jayawardene like – that the ball sailed over the ropes time and again.
Samson got to his hundred with one of those straight sixes, and while he got out the very next ball, this was an innings that will remain in the memory for a while.
Hopefully, he makes people forget about it quickly by putting on another brilliant performance and then another and then one more.
Someone of Samson's talent should be competing for the Orange Cap and maybe IPL 2017 is the season that the Sanju Samson we all want to see comes to the fore.
A brilliant Samson innings from the past