‘I believe he’ll hit it 10 yards further next time’ – Kumar Sangakkara on Sanju Samson denying Chris Morris the strike in RR vs PBKS match
Former New Zealand cricketer Simon Doull wasn't pleased with Samson's strategy in the critical situation.
Updated - Apr 13, 2021 9:08 am
Kumar Sangakkara, the director of cricket at Rajasthan Royals (RR), backed Sanju Samson’s decision to turn down a single in the penultimate ball of the run-chase against Punjab Kings (PBKS). Chasing 222, the Royals needed five runs off two balls, and Sanju decided to farm the strike. Chris Morris, almost, reached the striker’s end after which he had to return to the non-striker’s end.
With five runs needed off the last ball, Samson tried to find the boundary off left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh. However, he couldn’t get enough timing and holed out to Deepak Hooda at the boundary, handing PBKS a four-run win at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Even as Samson received a bit of criticism, Sangakkara, also a former Sri Lankan cricketer, had his back, saying the youngster took the responsibility of finishing the game. Samson scored a 63-ball 119 with 12 fours and seven sixes and got the Player of the Match award.
It was really encouraging to see Sanju do that: Kumar Sangakkara
“I think Sanju backed himself to get the job done and he nearly did. He was five or six yards short of hitting the last ball for a six and sometimes when you know you’re hitting the ball well and you’re in form and you believe that you can do it, you’ve got to take that responsibility. And it was really encouraging to see Sanju do that,” Sangakkara told in the post-match press conference.
“We can always talk about a missed single here or there but the crucial thing for me is the players’ belief in attitude and commitment and they know what their strengths are. And Sanju took it upon himself to finish that game and he just fell a few yards short. That happens, but the next time I’ll believe he’ll hit it that 10 yards further to win us the game,” he stated.
Earlier, commentator Simon Doull was left surprised after Samson turned down the single in the crucial situation. The former New Zealand cricketer reckoned that had the Royals’ skipper taken the single, Morris could have won the game by hitting a four. Meanwhile, Samson also had the support of former Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar.