Rajasthan Royals’ Director of Cricket Kumar Sangakkara has backed his newly-appointed skipper Sanju Samson after the latter denied a single to Chris Morris in the final over of the game against Punjab Kings.
With five runs to win off two balls, RR captain Samson decided not to run a single. The move prompted quizzical looks from the Royals’ bench, while Morris himself seemed perplexed.
However, Samson was unable to hit the match-winning six, caught by Deepak Hooda on the boundary rope from Punjab quick Arshdeep Singh’s final ball.
Claiming that it was encouraging to see Samson believing in his abilities, Sangakkara reckons the new RR skipper backed himself to do the job and nearly pulled it off.
“I think Sanju backed himself to get the job done and he nearly did. He was five or six yards short of hitting the last ball for a six and sometimes when you know you’re hitting the ball well and you’re in form and you believe that you can do it, you’ve got to take that responsibility. And it was really encouraging to see Sanju do that,” Sangakkara said at the post-match press conference.
Former Sri Lanka great added that Samson was 5-6 yards short of hitting the last ball over the boundary but was instead caught by Deepak Hooda between the deep cover and deep extra cover. Sangakkara said that Samson will finish the job in the next game by hitting the ball 10 yards further than the boundary rope.
“We can always talk about a missed single here or there but the crucial thing for me is the players’ belief in attitude and commitment and they know what their strengths are. And Sanju took it upon himself to finish that game and he just fell a few yards short. That happens, but the next time I’ll believe he’ll hit it that 10 yards further to win us the game.”
‘Man of the Match’ Samson scored 119 off 63 in his debut as IPL captain. Sanju Samson hit as many as 7 sixes and 12 boundaries as he single-handedly took the Royals close to the finish line in a mammoth chase of 222.