Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson played down the talks around their title drought, saying the franchise gives him the freedom and doesn’t put undue pressure. Samson’s comments came after the winners of the inaugural edition began the IPL 2022 season with a dominant 61-run win over SunRisers Hyderabad in Pune on Tuesday.
Sanju Samson, who has been part of Rajasthan Royals from the 2013 season, took over from Australia batter Steve Smith as Rajasthan’s captain ahead of last season. However, the Kerala batting star was not able to reverse the team’s fortunes as they finished second from last in 2021 following a series of injury issues. Rajasthan last qualified for the play-offs in 2018 following which they have finished 7th, 8th and 7th.
However, after adding plenty of firepower and experience, Rajasthan look like a well-rounded squad and they lived up to the billing on Tuesday, comfortably outclassing SRH in a one-sided contest to begin their campaign with a bang.
“I think every season we come with great dreams. I think it’s a franchise that really takes care of its players. It doesn’t give too much pressure as you’re giving me right now. It likes it as simple as possible. They trust the players throughout the tournament,” Sanju Samson said while responding to commentator Danny Morrison.
“We will take it one game at a time. We know it’s a really tough tournament, lot of good sides and I think we will keep it simple and see how it goes,” he added.
Rajasthan Royals remained the likes of Jos Buttler, Yasasvi Jaiswal along with captain Samson and added plenty of experienced stars in Trent Boult, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal as they did fine business at the mega auction. Also, the addition of the likes of Shimron Hetmyer, Devdutt Padikkal and Prasidh Krishna gave them early results in the opening match.
Samson said he gave his inputs before RR went to he auction table and having a good leader like Kumar Sangakkara, their Director of Cricket, helped them.
“Yes I had some say. Having a leader like Sanga (Sangakkara), he gave me final option. Luckily everyone, lot of cricketing brains have worked together to get a good squad,” he added.
‘GAME AWARENESS KEY’
Samson, who recently earned a recall to the Indian national side, continued his good run, smashing 55 in just 27 balls. The skipper took the SunRisers attack to the cleaners, hitting 5 sixes and 3 boundaries as the Royals posted 210 on the board.
Speaking on his work behind the scenes, Samson added: “No long term goals, just want to win as much as possible and contribute to team’s victory. Working on my fitness, game awareness, understanding conditions, and choosing my scoring options. Not rushing. I would like to spend lot of time in the middle knowing I can catch up anytime.”