Sanju Samson walked in to bat at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday with his side in a spot of bother. The woefully out of form Yashasvi Jaiswal had consumed 8 powerplay deliveries to score just 3 runs, before edging one to the keeper off Yash Dayal. Samson spent the first over in the middle watching Jos Buttler struggle from the other end. On his first delivery Samson did what Samson does.
He saw the ball pitch, didn’t move an inch and just let his extended wrists do the rest. An effortless lift over long-on, against the angle formed by the left-armer Dayal bowling over the wicket. It was an effortless six and yet another show of Samson’s ability.
But the question has never been about his ability. It has been about his temperament and shot selection. Samson, who wasn’t included in India’s T20I squad for the South Africa series had a point to prove and another crisp shot through the covers in the over seemed like his answer to the snub.
More was to come as he played delightful strokes on the up against both pacers and spinner to give Rajasthan’s innings the jump start it needed on a day when their main man Jos Buttler was struggling to get going.
Samson was in his 40s in no time and looked set to score a 50, and beyond, when he miss-hit an attempted shot off left arm Sai Kishore. He departed for 47 off 26 balls. Another fluent innings cut short due to poor shot selection.
Former India head coach Ravi Shastri applauded Samson for setting the foundation for RR which helped them post 188/6 eventually as Buttler finally got going. But Shastri expressed disappointment too as Samson failing to get a big one again.
“It was an all round game. Anything up – hitting through the line, hitting straight, hitting big. Anythng short – he was ready to pull it, hit it into the stands. Against spinner he played the waiting game, he threatened to go down the track but played the waiting game. He played a couple of beautiful shots, late, square of the wicket. Top innings. Would have loved it to carry on but that’s always the case with Sanju Samson,” Shastri told Star Sports.
“But at least he put his team on the roof especially when even Buttler was struggling,” Shastri added.
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