Steve Smith has lavished praise on Sanju Samson and other teammates after Rajasthan Royals beat Chennai Super Kings by 16 runs to open their IPL 2020 campaign on a winning note. The Royals beat the three-time champions to start their campaign on a good note after the disastrous last season.
Asked to bat first, the Royals recovered from a shaky start to post a massive 216 for 7, the highest total of this season so far. Sanju Samson was the star of the show, smacking 74 off just 32 balls with the help of nine sixes and a four. Steve Smith, opening the innings for the first time in his career, also played a crucial knock of 69.
Jofra Archer then provided the finishing touches by hitting four consecutive sixes in the final over off Lungi Ngidi as the Royals collected 30 runs. In reply, Super Kings ended their innings on 200 for 6. The scoreboard might suggest that the game was a close one but the Royals always remained in control.
Speaking at the end of the game, Steve Smith pointed out the likes of Samson and Archer for special praise. He also had some words of praise for the leg-spinners Rahul Tewatia and Shreyas Gopal.
“I think the last surge from Jofra was an incredible bit of hitting. Sanju Samson, looked like everything he hit went for six. MS smacked a few in the end, and Faf got going too, but nice to get a W in front of the RRs. Sanju was incredible, and all I had to do was give him the strike. This should give him a lot of confidence,” he said.
“It was important for the bowlers to avoid straight hits, and it was important to make him hit the back of a length. The leg-spinners were very good with their lengths – good on them. Shreyas Gopal does what he does pretty well. Dubai is a lot bigger, and I haven’t trained there, I just got here. So hopefully the boys are ready for it. Looking forward to it,” added Steve Smith.