Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson acknowledged that it’s important to play according to the demands of the situation and that he has learnt it over the years while playing in the Indian Premier League. Samson’s comments came after he hit a matured 41-ball 42 to help the Royals seal a 6-wicket win against Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 18 of IPL 2021 in Mumbai on Saturday.
Sanju Samson had been facing criticism for throwing his wickets away after he started IPL 2021 season with a valiant 119 against Mumbai Indians in their opening match. However, the Rajasthan Royals captain managed scores of 4, 1, and 21 as he played expansive shots to lose his wickets.
Samson’s comments were also in stark contrast to his own words from earlier in the tournament. The RR captain had said he would continue to play his shots and was ready to accept failures if they came his way while doing so.
Cut to Saturday, Samson played an anchor’s role on a not-so-typical Wankhede Stadium wicket when the Royals were chasing 134. Samson hit only 1 six and 2 boundaries as he remained unbeaten when his side sealed the 6-wicket win. He stitched an unbeaten 34-run stand with senior batsman David Miller as the two batsmen cut out the risks in a comfortable chase. Even when the required number of runs came down to single digits, Samson did not go for the glory shot but finished it off with a single in the 19th over.
Samson’s matured knock and Chris Morris’s 4/23 earlier in the day helped the Royals move to the 6th spot while Kolkata Knight Riders slipped to the last spot on the 8-team IPL 2021 points table with 4 successive defeats.
“My thought process is actually I don’t come with a mindset. I just love to keep enjoying my batting, but nowadays I play according to a situation and try to win games for my team. The situation of the match demands the way I play. That’s what I’ve learnt from previous years. Even if you bat and score a quick fifty you feel bad if the team doesn’t win,” Samson told after leading the Royals to a 6-wicket victory.
When Chris Morris’s eyes told the story
Meanwhile, Samson heaped rich praise on Chris Morris, saying the South Africa all-rounder was determined to make an impact for the Royals who were struggling for momentum early in the season. Morris picked up the big wickets of Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik and Pat Cummins as Kolkata struggled to get any kind of rhythm while slipping to 133 for 9 in 20 overs.
In fact, Morris’s spell was a breath of fresh air for the Royals who were hammered by 10 wickets by Rajasthan Royals on Thursday at the same venue even after they posted 177 on the board. Along with Morris, the left-arm pace trio of Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya and Jaydev Unadkat kept the big-hitters from Kolkata quiet after Samson won the toss and opted to bowl.
“Our bowlers have been doing really well for the last 4-5 matches. There are many options for me to juggle around. Really enjoy captaining them. You could see in his (Morris’) eyes he wanted the competition,” Samson said.
Having won 2 out of their first 5 matches in Mumbai, the Royals will head to Delhi where they face defending champions ar the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Thursday.