IPL 2021: Stuart Broad Questions Rajasthan Royals For Not Opening With Jos Buttler
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IPL 2021: Stuart Broad Questions Rajasthan Royals For Not Opening With Jos Buttler

Rajasthan Royals wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler in action in IPL 2019. - AFP
Rajasthan Royals wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler in action in IPL 2019. - AFP

Stuart Broad, England’s veteran pacer has questioned why the Rajasthan Royals’ (RR) did not open their batting with the ‘best opening wicketkeeper in the world’ Jos Buttler.

Rajasthan Royals were eventually defeated by 4 runs against the Punjab Kings (PBKS) who posted a mammoth 221 runs on board at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Stuart Broad holds the ball to celebrate taking 500 wickets Martin Rickett/Pool via AP
England’s Stuart Broad holds the ball to celebrate taking 500 wickets- Martin Rickett/Pool via AP

Stuart Broad Surprised At Rajasthan Opting To Play Jos Buttler In The Middle Order

After Punjab’s captain keeper KL Rahul (91) and middle order batsman Deepak Hooda’s (64) heroics had led PBKS to a gigantic 221/6, RR’s opening combination of Ben Stokes and Manan Vohra failed to provide them with a good start, and the duo was back in the hut with just 25 runs on the board.

Replying to a tweet by Sky Sports after the dismissal of Ben Stokes, Stuart Broad expressed his surprise at Rajasthan opting to play Jos Buttler (25 off 13 balls) in the middle order instead of opening the batting with him.

Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler in action | Sportzpics for BCCI / Pankaj Nangia
Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler in action | Sportzpics for BCCI / Pankaj Nangia

Coming in to bat at No.4, Jos Buttler looked in sublime touch as he smashed four consecutive boundaries off the fifth over of the innings, bowled by IPL debutant Punjab Kings pacer Riley Meredith.

But just as he was beginning to snatch a bit of momentum back for Rajasthan along with captain Sanju Samson (119* off 63 balls), Jos Buttler was undone by an excellent slower delivery bowled by another IPL debutant and another Australian, pacer Jhye Richardson.

Stuart Broad, Michael Vaughan, and Harsha Bhogle have questioned Rajasthan Royals’ decision to not play Jos Buttler as an opener during Rajasthan Royals vs Punjab Kings match in IPL 2021. All the three were confused and surprised to watch Jos Buttler batting at no.4 position instead of an opener during the match.

They expressed their confusion over the matter on Twitter. England cricketer Stuart Broad called Jos Buttler the best opening wicket-keeper in the world in his tweet and questioned why he is not opening for Rajasthan Royals.

Stuart Broad’s Opinions Echoed By Harsha Bhogle And Michael Vaughan

Rajasthan’s move of not opening with Jos Buttler was also questioned by commentators Harsha Bhogle and former England captain Michael Vaughan on Twitter. Jos Buttler’s dismissal after scoring 25 off 13 balls left RR’s chase stuttering with the score at 70/3 from 7.3 overs. However, with the required asking run-rate touching 12 runs in an over, a struggling Sanju Samson slowly but surely started finding the middle of the bat.

The 26-year-old Sanju Samson was on 29 off 22 balls at the time of Jos Buttler’s untimely dismissal but smashed 90 runs off the next 41 balls he faced to almost pull off the impossible for his team.

Rajasthan Royals' Sanju Samson in action during IPL 2020 | Sportzpics for BCCI
Rajasthan Royals’ Sanju Samson in action during IPL 2020 | Sportzpics for BCCI

Well-supported by Shivam Dube (23) and Riyan Parag’s (25) quickfire cameos, Sanju Samson never looked ruffled and went about his business in a nonchalant manner, smashing 12 sixes and 7 fours in what was his third IPL century. In fact, with 13 runs needed off the last over bowled by young Arshdeep Singh, victory seemed to be there for the taking for RR.

But left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh delivered his wide yorkers well, making it difficult for Sanju Samson to get under the ball, and conceded only one maximum off the first five balls of the over. With 5 needed off the last ball, Sanju Samson failed to clear the ropes and could only slice another wide yorker into the hands of Deepak Hooda towards the extra cover boundary for a heart-breaking RR loss.

Brief Scores: Punjab Kings 221/6 (KL Rahul 91, Deepak Hooda 64, Chetan Sakariya 3/31) beat Rajasthan Royals 217/7 (Sanju Samson 119, Riyan Parag 25, Arshdeep Singh 3/35) by 4 runs