Former India wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel said Sanju Samson’s 42 against Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday was not just an important knock for Rajasthan Royals but for himself after criticism over his approach to batting in the recent past.

Sanju Samson reined in his natural instincts and played a calm and composed knock in a chase of 134 on a tricky pitch at the Wankhede Stadium. Samson walked in when Rajasthan lost star opener, Jos Buttler, early. He along with young Yashasvi Jaiswal made sure the Royals got 50 runs in the powerplay, 25 more than what KKR managed.

Samson then stitched a 45-run partnership with Shivam Dube for the third wicket that took the Royals close to the finish line. Despite the Royals losing Dube and Rahul Tewatia in quick succession, Samson and David Miller made sure the former champions gunned down the target without any further hiccups.

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Samson, who was dismissed for three low scores after a hundred in their opening match, hit 42 from 41 balls, finding the boundary only 3 times. Samson got the winning runs with a single as RR snapped their two-game losing streak and got 2 crucial points.

“It was very important for him because we have been criticising him for not putting a prize on his wickets. Today, he exactly did that. His captaincy was spot on. He remained not out. Sometimes you can get hundreds but when you’re not out and winning the game for your team, that feels a lot different,” Patel told Star Sports on Saturday.

“He took his time because the low score helped him to take some time. Some of the shots he played were outstanding. When he is batting well, he is just timing the ball well and not trying to hit them too hard.

“I wanted Rajasthan Royals head boy to play like a head boy and it was good to see him do that,” he added.

Samson himself acknowledged that he played according to the situation on Saturday — something that has leant over the years playing in the IPL. Notably, the young skipper was marshalling his troops well, making good bowling changes and getting the field placements right against KKR, who came up with a strange batting approach.

“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 had 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.



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