The Rajasthan Royals fell short of qualifying for the playoffs in the 2023 Indian Premier League, finishing fifth in the table with 14 points. Despite a strong start with four wins in their first six matches, the Royals struggled to maintain consistency throughout the season, experiencing four defeats in their next five games due to disappointing performances from their batting lineup.
The team’s captain, Sanju Samson, mirrored the team’s struggles with his own performances. After scoring 55 and 42 runs in the first two matches, Samson faced consecutive ducks in the following games. Ultimately, Samson accumulated 362 runs in 14 matches, leaving fans and former cricketers disappointed with his batting displays as the team’s leader.
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S Sreesanth, the former Indian bowler and Samson’s teammate for their state team Kerala revealed that legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar had advised the RR skipper to spend more time at the crease during the IPL 2023. However, Samson chose to stick to his own batting style.
“I have always supported Sanju since he played under my captaincy in U-14. Over the past few years, I have constantly urged him to perform consistently in first-class cricket, not just the IPL. Players like Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant were and still are ahead of him. Pant may not be there currently, but he will make a strong comeback. I recently met him, and he firmly believes he can bounce back within 6-to-8 months.”
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“But during this IPL, the way Sanju got out in consecutive matches… Gavaskar sir advised him to give himself at least 10 balls, read the wicket, and utilize his immense talent. Even if he scores 0 runs in 12 balls, he has the ability to score 50 in 25. However, when RR lost one of their last matches in the league phase, Sanju said, ‘no, my style is to play like this only.’ I couldn’t accept that,” S Sreesanth expressed during an interview with Star Sports.
S Sreesanth further advised Samson to seize the opportunities and work on improving his mindset while playing in the IPL.