After playing around with openers last season, RR new skipper Sanju Samson has admitted that it is crucial to give an individual or a pair of openers enough time to make an impact in the tournament. Kumar Sangakkara, on the other hand, added that RR would be looking to play free and relaxed cricket.
Ahead of Rajasthan Royals’ opening fixture against Punjab Kings, the main focus of the debate is on their opening pair. While last season, they started with Yashasvi Jaiswal and Steve Smith at the top of the order, they ended the tournament with Ben Stokes and Robin Uthappa. However, this season, they don’t have either Steve Smith or Robin Uthappa to open the innings, which really has put them in a spot of bother.
Newly appointed RR skipper Sanju Samson, in the press conference ahead of the clash, admitted that it is crucial to give an individual or a pair of openers enough time to perform to their best in the tournament, unlike last year.
"Myself and Sanga will try to give the best combination. From my point of view, it's crucial to give an individual or a pair of opening partners enough time in the tournament. So, I think a bit of stability will be seen in this tournament. The rest it depends on how we go," Samson told pressers, reported Cricbuzz.
On the other hand, RR’s new Director of Cricket, Kumar Sangakkara insisted that Rajasthan would be aiming to play consistent philosophy of cricket. He also opened up that the franchise would be playing quite freely and relaxed, unperturbed. Sangakkara also put the weight on the shoulders of the individual players to step up their game and be problem-solvers of their own.
"What we planned to do is get a balanced side, everyone available, a full squad, try and have a consistent philosophy of cricket. The brand of cricket that we want to play is quite free and relaxed. Also in terms of preparing well and executing well... to get everyone prepared to think and to be problem-solvers,” Sanga told.
With it being Samson’s first stint as a skipper of an IPL side, Sangakkara called for the help of the others in the team to help their skipper with their contribution.
“To think for themselves. It helps Sanju a lot on the field when people are thinking for themselves and know what's going on. It builds a lot of trust within the group as well. Everyone has individual strengths that they bring into the side which are highly valued. We try and build that into a good unit where everyone knows what they're doing, what their value is and what their roles are. Then we'll go and try to play some good cricket."
The Sri Lankan legend, who in the past has been part of several IPL franchises, credited the Royals set up, adding that there are a lot of match-winners in the franchise. However, Sangakkara called for support from the entire team to chip in with match-winning contributions.
"We have a lot of match-winners who are absolutely wonderful players...in Sanju Samson, Rahul Tewatia, our fast bowlers. The key is to have different people who do something a little bit special on the day and the point of a great team performance is to have your regular players performing consistently and once in a while. Someone stepping in to do a little bit extra. If it's a different player most of the time and not the same person, it's even better."