Sanju Samson and Rahul Tewatia were the protagonists of Rajasthan Royals’ (RR) improbable win against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020. While Samson set the platform with a breathtaking 85 (42 balls), Tewatia rose to the occasion with a match-winning 53 (31) as the Royals chased down a total of 224 to defeat KXIP by four wickets at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
Matter of one-shot for Tewatia
Tewatia came out to bat at number four and he was struggling at one stage as he had scored just 8 runs from his first 19 balls. After struggling for the first half of his innings, redemption came when he whacked five sixes in a brutal assault on Sheldon Cottrell.
“When I came to bat it was a good platform. I was under pressure because I could not hit from the start. But then Sanju Samson told me it was a matter of just one hit and that was always going through my mind,” Tewatia said in a virtual press-conference.
“I had the confidence that once I started hitting I would take my team closer and Cottrell’s over was game-changing one. I got one shot then got them consistently and we were getting closer to the target.”
“The plan was always to take on the bowlers and that was the role given to me by our think-tank. They were very happy and they kept saying that they believed that it was the matter of one hit for me to get momentum and get going.”
“It was a nice feeling to prove them right and repay their faith,” he added.
Before Tewatia exploded, it was Kerala-born Sanju Samson who led the chase with a terrific start. While Tewatia was overcoming his demons in the middle, it was Samson who held one end. In fact, at one stage he even refused a single to the southpaw.
Revealing the reason behind it, he said, “When you play a format like T20, the first ball of an over from each and every bowler is very important. Maxwell, who was bowling at the time, is an off-spinner and I wanted to face maximum deliveries from him. Tewatia was not in the right format that time and one or two sixes can change the match and that is why I refused the single.”
Clearing the boundaries at will, Samson performing admirably well and said that he has started to understand his game better.
“I have understood my game, it’s more of power hitting. So I have been training on my strengths on my power hitting. I was lucky enough to get four to five months where I trained on my hitting and that is helping me now,” he said.
Samson also said that playing most of his cricket in Kerala and Jaipur has helped him in adapting to the hot and humid conditions of the UAE better.
“I am in a very good space mentally. I have worked closely with our video analyst for four to five months and that really helped me improve,” he signed off.
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