The Rajasthan Royals happen to be one of the most enigmatic teams in the Indian Premier League, arguably speaking one of the most checkered franchise-based T20 leagues in the whole world. What sets them apart from the rest is the fact that they were the ones to earn early success and that too, at a time where no one had sort of perfected the well-oiled art of hammering and mastering this T20 competition.
Their triumph might be old or dated, pertaining to 2008 but is cherished and widely respected even to this date. That being said, over the years, the Rajasthan Royals have suffered a sort of slump in fortunes. They were, it could be said, at their most potent best during the time of Rahul Dravid’s captaincy. For under his tutelage, the likes of Ajinkya Rahane (presently with Delhi Capitals) and Sanju Samson honed their craft and blossomed in their IPL games.
Today, the team led by Sanju Samson definitely carries some panache but not consistency, the latter so desperately needed by the team originally from the famous Pink City called Jaipur.
And where the 2021 edition goes, then the Sanju Samson-led side has already slumped to its fourth defeat in the tournament. Though, it can be said that these aren’t very early days since nearly every side has already contested in no fewer than 5 games apiece, it must be maintained that the way to climb up the ladder is to be significantly more consistent heading forward.
What do you reckon?
But as the Mumbai Indians smashed the Rajasthan Royals side to smithereens in New Delhi on April 29, the result was accepted with a pinch of salt by the young Keralite captain Sanju Samson.
Although, personally speaking Sanju Samson has been batting like a feathered knight, unafraid to take on the bowlers, attacking from the very go. As a matter of fact, as on date, in this edition, he remains the only batsman from the RR camp to register a century, that belligerent unbeaten 119 against the Punjab Kings.
But where the other batsmen stand, then it’s not really been a heavy rush of runs, of the kinds that would help Sanju Samson’s fortunes.
That being said, the task confronting the RR ahead is pretty straightforward: they cannot afford to lose any more games as they’ve already lost four. And in a bid to draw some sense from their latest defeat and motivate the camp, here’s what Samson had to share:
“Surely, a few runs short, maybe around 20-25 runs short. We were going on nicely (with the bat), but didn’t finish well. The bowlers have been doing their job well, but as batsmen, we need to get them a good score to defend.”
Speaking to the broadcasters post the defeat conceded to MI, he would also add, “t was a good wicket, the ball was coming on nicely and they (MI) batted really well, as a team, we will need to score more runs as a batting group. Trust yourself, play positive and fearless cricket – that’s all one should do.”
And maybe it makes perfect sense; that the RR should play fearless and attacking cricket, of the kinds that Samson backs himself to play. Even in the contest against the Mumbai Indians, they were 91 for 2 in 10 overs. A score that they should have further built on. Alas they could only put 170 odd runs on the board.
But then in some ways, one also has to consider the fact that the team are short on one huge match-winner in the form of Ben Stokes, who after breaking a finger had to rush back home and is no longer a part of the Rajasthan camp. Guess, a lot now depends on the triumvirate of David Miller, Sanju Samson, and Rahul Tewatia.