T20 2018: How was Sanju Samson's innings? Brilliant, says Virat Kohli
Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli hails opposition batter Samson's unbeaten 92 as Rajasthan win by 19 runs
Rajasthan Sanju Samson during his 45-ball 92 v Royal Challengers Bangalore in Bangalore yesterday. Pic/PTI
It was neither, instead it was a frail lad from Kerala who was the one smashing his away all around the Chinnaswamy Stadium here last evening. Playing in the Rajasthan blue against the Bangalore, who were in green for this game, Sanju Samson was the cynosure, his unbeaten 92 (45b, 2x4, 10x6) taking his side to an imposing 217 for four. Not even a Virat Kohli half-century, as attractive as it was, could make a difference to the final result as Bangalore went down by 19 runs.
No wonder then that Kohli was unrestrained in his praise of young Samson. "Brilliant," was Kohli's first word. "He's a really talented player, we've seen over the years he's always done well in the T20 tourney. He's got a really good simple game," said the Indian captain.
"He's quite strong at the crease, very balanced. You mentioned 34 off 25, but he got off to a good start and then our bowlers bowled well, but then he kept his shape. He kept hanging in there. Eventually in the end, he was watching the ball well and striking really well. Credit to him, he played a really good innings. Samson's teammate Shreyas Gopal, the man who missed having AB de Villiers stumped on the day and yet got both him and Kohli out couldn't agree more. "We played a couple of practice games in Jaipur and he was hitting the ball really, really well," said the leggie from Karnataka before he turned to his own bowling.
Having held his own on a pitch that was good for more than 400 runs on the day, Gopal said the key was bowling into the wicket. "Every time they [the bowlers before him] bowled back of a length area, it was gripping a little bit and coming slow off the wicket. Shane Warne and everyone told me the kind of field I should be bowling to and just execute that plan [bowling into the wicket]. Yes, they were not the best balls that I got ABD and Kohli with but I think the plan was to just bowl those hard lengths and make it as difficult as possible for them." He did as did Samson earlier, who true to his nature, simply said: "I am grateful to play this tournament for two months every year."
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