Rajasthan Royals’ (RR) new captain Sanju Samson played a heroic knock of 119 from just 63 deliveries packed with 12 fours and seven massive sixes. But it wasn’t enough as the Royals fell short by four runs in their chase of Punjab Kings’ 221/6 in the Monday night thriller at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.
Sanju fought like a lone warrior as big fishes like Jos Butter and Ben Stokes failed to contribute much to the total. Despite all the entertainment, Samson triggered a debate on social media after he refused to take a single on the penultimate delivery of the final over of RR’s innings.
With 5 needed to win off 2 balls, the Kerala-lad hit the ball towards deep extra cover but decided not to take the single with all-rounder Chris Morris on the other end. This left the equation with six to win the game and a four to tie. But neither of the things happened as Samson was caught at long-off while trying to whack a maximum.
On-air commentator and former New Zealand cricketer Simon Doull was shocked by the call to send Morris back. Doull believed that Morris could’ve at least hit a boundary.
“My goodness. My goodness. He’s turned the run down, Sanju Samson. I don’t believe what I’ve just seen because at least Morris can hit a four for the win,” said Doull.
However, Doull’s co-commentator and Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar had a different opinion. Gavaskar pointed out that Morris was yet to threaten the bowling attack as he had only managed to grab two singles.
“He (Morris) can (hit a boundary), but so far, he hasn’t. His strike rate at the moment is just 50. He’s just managed two singles,” said Gavaskar.
After the game, few fans questioned Sanju’s decision to avoid taking a single, while many supported the 26-year-old, stating that he made the right choice. Reacting to the red-hot topic, former India international Sanjay Manjrekar termed it as the correct call as Sanju was already a set batsman and hitting the ball nicely.
“Greater possibility of Samson hitting a six in that form than new batsman in Morris hitting a four. Right call by Samson to keep strike last ball, I thought,” tweeted Manjrekar.
Greater possibility of Samson hitting a six in that form than new batsman in Morris hitting a four. Right call by Samson to keep strike last ball I thought.
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) April 12, 2021
Mumbai Indians (MI) latest recruit James Neesham asserted that he could see it both ways, making it clear there was ultimate ‘no wrong answer’. But the Kiwi star also mentioned that the way Sanju was hitting, he would surely have the confidence to hit another.
“It’s whether you think Samson is more likely to hit a 6 than Morris is to hit 4 or 6. The way Samson was hitting it, I can see why he would have confidence in himself. No wrong answer, really,” Neesham wrote on Twitter.
Not necessarily. It’s whether you think Samson is more likely to hit a 6 than Morris is to hit 4 or 6. The way Samson was hitting it I can see why he would have confidence in himself.
No wrong answer really https://t.co/shzLCGkxRZ
— Jimmy Neesham (@JimmyNeesh) April 12, 2021