Dale Steyn, former South Africa pace bowler whose last stint in the IPL was with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the 2020 season too felt Sanju Samson’s decision to not take a single was a ‘tight call’ but subsequently maintained that Chris Morris too is capable of ‘clearing the ropes’.
Chris Morris played alongside Dale Steyn in RCB in IPL 2020 before being the costliest buy ever at the auction in IPL 2021 and was bought by Rajasthan. While some experts hailed Sanju Samson’s magical swashbuckling innings as the debutante captain, some were quick to disparage at his decision of refusing Chris Morris a single, which cost RR the game.
Sanjay Manjrekar: Sanju Samson Took The Right Call And Almost Managed To Hit The Winning Runs By Hitting A Six
A day after Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson played the magical 119-run innings but fell just short of guiding his team past the target set by Punjab Kings, opinion was divided on whether he took the right decision to not go for a run off the penultimate ball of the innings.
The new RR skipper declined a single to Chris Morris off the second-last ball of the innings, while chasing a mammoth target of 221. Sanju Samson, instead, decided to go for a big hit off the last ball from Arshdeep Singh but couldn’t clear deep cover and was caught by Deepak Hooda instead.
Rajasthan Royals finally managed 217 for 7 in 20 overs. Former India batsman and cricket commentator Sanjay Manjrekar said the RR captain took the right decision to not go for a single.
“Yes, he took the right call because I am thinking, which is the greatest possibility. Samson hitting the last ball for a six with the kind of form that he was in and Morris had just come in — hitting that ball for a four and, you know, I thought hitting the six was a greater possibility than Morris hitting a four.
“I thought he (Samson) took the right call and almost managed it but, unfortunately, it turned out to be a great innings in a losing cause,” Manjrekar was quoted as saying.
Chris Morris had not looked in the finest of touches with the bat till then but had only faced 4 deliveries, scoring 2 runs. The match produced a debatable incident when Sanju Samson, needing 5 runs from 2 balls, denied his non-striking partner Chris Morris a single on the penultimate ball of the match.
Facing Arshdeep Singh, Sanju Samson hit the ball towards the extra-cover region but the shot only guaranteed a single. Chris Morris ran towards him was but sent back after crossing the halfway line.
Dale Steyn: Sanju Samson Can’t Be Blamed For Not Taking A Single
Former South Africa pace bowler Dale Steyn felt the decision to refuse a single was a tough call but felt Chris Morris too is capable of ‘clearing the ropes’.
“When you’re in and you feel like you can hit any ball for a six and that’s the situation that he (Samson) was in, you can’t blame him (for not taking a single).
“I think, he knew where (Arshdeep) Singh was going to bowl… (but) you know when someone like Chris Morris on the other side can also clear the ropes, it’s probably the wrong decision. Well, it’s such a tight (decision) to make..,” Dale Steyn stated.
On his part, Samson said, “When I am in the zone and watching the ball well, the sixes come out naturally. I don’t think I could have done better than that. I thought I timed it well for a six but unfortunately, couldn’t clear the man in the deep.”
The South African all-rounder Chris Morris remains the costliest player to have been purchased in the auction (INR 16.5 crore) but his first match in the RR shirt hadn’t gone as per plan yet.
Back in January, Dale Steyn, who has represented several teams in IPL in the past, had taken to Twitter to announce that he has withdrawn from the 14th season of the cash-rich IPL but he will continue to play in other franchise-based leagues around the world.