The Rajasthan Royals failed to qualify for the playoffs in the 2023 Indian Premier League, as they finished fifth in the table with 14 points to their name. The RR had reached the final of the season last year, but failed to replicate consistent performances in 2023 even after a strong start; the Royals had won four of their first six matches but faced four defeats in the next five, as their batting lineup had numerous disappointing outings.
RR’s captain Sanju Samson’s performances mirrored the side’s outings as well; after registering scores of 55 and 42 in the first two matches, Samson was dismissed on consecutive ducks in the next two. Samson ended the season with with 362 runs to his name in 14 matches, and fans and former cricketers alike were disappointed with the captain’s performances with the bat.
Sreesanth, the former India bowler who played with Samson for their state side Kerala, also revealed that India’s batting great Sunil Gavaskar had advised the RR skipper to bide time at the crease during IPL 2023. Samson, however, stuck to his own batting style.
“I support Sanju because he played under my captaincy in U-14. In the past 4-5 years, when I see him as a cricketer, I’ve always told him to perform in first-class cricket, not just IPL. Produce consistent performances. Ishan Kishan, and Rishabh Pant — both were and still are ahead of him. Pant is not there, but he will make a comeback. I met him recently, he firmly believes he can come back within 6-to-8 months.
“But in this IPL, the way Sanju got out in 2-3 matches straight… Gavaskar sir told him, ‘give yourself at least 10 balls. Read the wicket. We know you have a lot of talent, even if you have 0 runs in 12 balls, you can score 50 in 25’. When RR lost in one of their last matches in the league phase, Sanju said, ‘no, my style is to play like this only’. I couldn’t digest that,” Sreesanth told Star Sports.
Sreesanth further advised Samson to make the most out of the opportunities and improve his “mindset” while playing in the IPL.