Rajasthan Royals' Director of Cricket, Kumar Sangakkara defended Sanju Samson's approach at the end and stated that he almost got the job done. He also had words of praise for youngster Chetan Sakariya and felt his 'attitude' and 'skill' were brilliant to witness in a high-scoring thriller.
Sanju Samson slammed 119 off 63 deliveries against Punjab Kings in an edge of the seat thriller on Monday, at the Wankhede. However, his side fell agonizingly short of four runs after they failed to score 13 off the final over delivered by Arshdeep Singh. When the team needed five off the final two deliveries, the RR skipper had denied Chris Morris the strike, who's known for using the long handle, which had attracted Samson a fair bit of criticism. He had failed to hit a maximum on the final delivery of the game.
But RR's Director of Cricket, Kumar Sangakkara has been left impressed with the way Sanju went about his business at the fag-end of the game. He lauded Samson for taking that 'responsibility' of trying to get his team across the finishing line on his own, and reckoned that he nearly got the job done.
"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 believe next time, it happens, he will take it ten yards further to win us the game," said Sangakkara during a virtual press conference, reported TOI.
There has never been an iota of doubt about the special abilities of the Kerala gloveman and it was on display against PBKS in all its might. Sangakkara also reiterated the same, terming him an 'exceptional' player.
"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.
There was no dearth of big names in the RR's bowling line-up, be it Mustafizur Rahman or Chris Morris, but it was youngster Chetan Sakariya, who stole the limelight, after he finished the game with an impeccable figures of 3/31, the best among both the sides. The Sri Lankan great absolutely loved his 'skill' and 'attitude' and expressed his delight over Chetan's presence in the RR unit.
"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 on 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."