Sanju Samson: “Playing in Sharjah was massively different”

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Rajasthan Royals (RR) skipper Sanju Samson refused to blame his batters for his team’s big defeat against Mumbai Indians (MI) in the 51st match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 in Sharjah.

Sent in to bat first, RR managed only 90, a score MI chased down in the ninth over. The sluggish surfaces in Sharjah have seen several low-scoring affairs and to RR’s disadvantage, this was their first match there this season.

Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals |Twitter

In their last match in Abu Dhabi, RR had chased down 190 against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) with 15 balls to spare. Hence, Tuesday’s defeat was quite a contrast.

“It was a bit challenging wicket to bat on, it was tougher in the first innings. Coming from Abu Dhabi, playing in Sharjah was a massive difference.”

“Can’t blame the batsmen a lot. It was tough to bat in the first innings. Abu Dhabi had one of the best batting wickets, switching to Sharjah was tough.” said Sanju Samson in the post-match interview.

Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson |Twitter

Sanju Samson also had a rare off game, scoring a six-ball three. With 483 runs at an average of 43.9 and a strike rate of 138. He remains the fourth-highest run-getter in the tournament.

Mind is a bit cloudy right now: Sanju Samson

Sanju Samson knew that MI would come hard at RR in order to better their net run rate (NRR), as the defending champions are competing against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for a playoff position.

On being asked about their plans for their final game of the season at the same venue, Samson added:

“Mindset – it’s a bit cloudy right now, so we need to take some time off and then think about the next game. We’d definitely like to play a better game of cricket in the next game.”

Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan
Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan |Twitter

“We knew that they’ll (MI) be coming strong, in the powerplay they wanted to increase the run-rate. The wicket was a bit better than the first innings but they batted really well.”

The defeat all but ends RR’s playoff qualification hopes this season as they fall to seventh spot in the points table. KKR and RR will tussle in Sharjah on Thursday for their respective last matches in the league stage.

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