Samson: ‘We go really hard in the powerplay, but today it didn’t work’

Samson: ‘We go really hard in the powerplay, but today it didn’t work’

Sanju Samson did not have an answer to why and how Rajasthan Royals’ fortunes have fluctuated in IPL 2023 as they were skittled out for 59 – the third-lowest total in the history of IPL – chasing 172 against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Jaipur.

Royals’ top three of Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Samson have done the bulk of the scoring this season in the powerplay, but with them falling inside the first two overs, the chase never took flight. With the Jaipur surface showing signs of slowing down, all three batters were dismissed playing expansive strokes, which Samson agreed was down to the nature of the surface.

“In our batting, the top three were scoring a lot of runs in the past few games. We go really hard in the powerplay, but today it did not come out well,” Samson told the host broadcasters after the game.

“It is the nature of T20 cricket. You have to go hard at the bowlers in the powerplay, knowing that the wicket is slowing down when the ball is getting older. That’s how Jaiswal, Jos and myself play in the powerplay, but today it didn’t work.”

RCB’s 171 always felt a bit above par on a two-paced surface, but Samson felt the score was just about par and with a decent powerplay the result could have been different.

“I think that [the game] could have gone to the wire, that’s what I felt. It could have been a very tight match if we had a decent powerplay and through the middle if we played spin really well. That was a par score on this wicket,” he said.

Faf du Plessis, on the other hand, said that the Jaipur pitch was a “really difficult” one and felt that 160 was a really good score here. That RCB managed 171 gave the side extra confidence. Anuj Rawat‘s 11-ball 29 not out came in handy as they collected 18 runs off the final over to breach the 170-mark.

“It was a really difficult pitch,” du Plessis said. “We batted first and assessed the conditions. Even early on in the powerplay, we felt like that ball was staying really low. So we kind of thought 160 would be a good score. The last few hits towards the end pushed us to a really good score.

“For someone to just give us the momentum at the backend, we haven’t quite managed to do that very well. Today to do that and then you get that feeling in the dugout and you have everyone’s shoulders out, the confidence is high.

“It is really good for our net run rate as well. We needed it. Lucky it unfolded the way it did.”

With four wins in their first five games, Royals started their tournament brightly. However, since then things have taken a turn for the worst. They have managed just two wins in eight games and a loss by a margin of 112 runs means their net run rate has also taken a massive hit.

With wickets falling at regular intervals, could the batters out in the middle then have taken a safety approach keeping the net run rate in mind?

“You can think about the game in a lot of different ways. People batting there might have thought they still have the game in their hands. You can’t blame them the way they batted, but we will have to take the responsibility as a whole team,” Samson said.

Royals are currently on 12 points with just a game in hand and have their playoffs spot hanging by a thread. Samson, though, is not losing hope just yet and believes “funny things happen at the end of the league stage.”

“We all know the nature of IPL, we all know that things can change in a couple of days. You never know how teams come up, how actually things happen. So we will have to be strong, we’ll have to keep the confidence up, we’ll have to do the job. We have to be professional,” he said.

“We have to take one day off and then think about the game we are playing in Dharamsala and we’ll have to give our best. We never know. With the run rate and with all people playing really well, you definitely have to keep your hopes high.”

(With Inputs from ESPN)

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