After starting the 13th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a bang, Rajasthan Royals (RR) wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson tapered off as questions were raised on his failure with bat in the previous 5-6 games. He shut down the critics with another match-winning performance against Mumbai Indians (MI) in Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening.
Sanju and centurion Ben Stokes shared an unbroken 152-run stand for the third wicket to take Royals over the finish line. Sanju celebrated his fifty by showing his muscles on the arm.
“I was just reminding myself of my name, Samson is the strongest man in the world,” Sanju told the official broadcasters when asked about his ‘bicep’ celebration.
Sanju also stated that his lean run of form in the ongoing IPL after smashing two fifties in a row did not bother him.
“I kept on believing in myself. When you play 14 games, you will go through ups and downs. Different wickets you play differently and that’s what I did. The last 2-3 games we’ve spent some time together, this game was the best one. To be very honest, I wasn’t looking at the required runs, I just reacted to the ball.
“My game is simple, I hit it if it’s there and take singles and doubles otherwise. I did give myself time but I was looking for boundaries. The intent was there, but I took 5-6 balls to get myself in,” Samson added.
Fine batting against MI also meant Sanju has gone back to his usual six-hitting ways, as he ended his innings with the most sixes in the tournament so far. Royals will hope that Sanju carries this form in the remaining two matches against fellow playoff aspirants Kings XI Punjab (on October 30) and Kolkata Knight Riders (on November 1).