After suffering a narrow four-run loss against Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Rajasthan Royals' Director of Cricket, Kumar Sangakkara said that skipper Sanju Samson backed himself to finish off the game for his side and it was good to see him taking responsibility.
Samson's fighting hundred went in vain as Arshdeep Singh held his nerves in the final over to help Punjab Kings register a thrilling win over Rajasthan Royals here at the Wankhede on Monday. KL Rahul's calm and composed knock, aided by Deepak Hooda's belligerent hitting, helped Punjab Kings post 221 in the allotted 20 overs. In response, Rajasthan Royals fell just four runs short of the target to clinch the game.
Rajasthan needed 5 runs off the final two overs, on the penultimate ball, Samson declined to take a single and on the final ball, he was dismissed by Arshdeep, giving Punjab Kings a win by four runs. "I think Sanju backed himself to get the job done, he nearly got it done. He was just five or six yards short of hitting the last ball for a six. Sometimes when you know you are hitting the ball so well and you are in form, you have to take that responsibility. It was encouraging to see Sanju do that, we can always talk about a missed single here or there, the crucial thing for me is players' belief and attitude to what they know their strengths are, Sanju took it upon himself to finish the game and he just fell few runs short. But I belief next time, it happens, he will take it ten yards further to win us the game," said Sangakkara during a virtual press conference.
"Sanju is an exceptional player and I know when you start off with a bang, you want to talk about consistency but the real key is to understand it differs from game to game. There are passages of play when you have to play differently. Somedays you have to take more risk, but understanding your rhythm and how to build the innings, it is about constructing the innings on a new day. There is nothing for him to worry about in terms of technique, he is a special player as you saw, he has to restart from now," he added. Rajasthan Royals' bowlers took a fair bit stick from Punjab Kings batters, but debutant Chetan Sakariya managed to hold his own as he returned with figures of 3-31.
Talking about Sakariya, Sangakkara said: "I think Chetan was just brilliant, his skill was on his display. It was so wonderful to watch a bowler always smiling and always in the game in a high-scoring game. He bowled with the new ball and he bowled at the death. Speaks a lot about his skill and attitude, it is great to have him in the side, he is a simple guy, he has had ups and downs in life. He is here to enjoy his cricket, our job is to support him. It is really good to see the control he had, the changeups. Chetan is a young man who I think will have a very good future." "It is our first game, we have to stay ahead of the game a little bit and stay committed to our plans. There was a three-over period in the middle that's where we should have stayed committed and had more energy. You need to belief that you are there to bowl good balls and take wickets. We have to keep supporting the players, we have to make them belief in their own strengths."