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IPL 2024: Here's how Jos stayed and dominated the KKR bowlers at Eden Gardens

Updated on: 18 April,2024 07:00 AM IST  |  Kolkata
Arup Chatterjee |

Centurion Buttler reveals RR head coach Kumar Sangakkara’s words, urging him to remain at the crease and not throw it away enhanced his self-belief, leading to last-ball victory over KKR in high-scoring thriller at Eden Gardens

IPL 2024: Here's how Jos stayed and dominated the KKR bowlers at Eden Gardens

Jos Buttler celebrates RR’s win over KKR at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, on Tuesday. Pic/AFP

In the sapping heat and humidity of one of the most scorching summers here, someone from the cooler climes of an English countryside, battling for the entire 20 overs of the innings to take his team home, was surreal.

Joint-highest run chase

Jos Buttler let everyone in on a secret after scripting Rajasthan Royals’s (RR) joint-highest run chase in IPL history against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Tuesday. Buttler, who remained unbeaten on a 60-ball 107 in a sensational last-ball finish, said the advice he received from RR coach Kumar Sangakkara enhanced his self-belief. “The worst thing you can do... is to not fight and give your wicket away. He [Sangakkara] tells me to just stay there, and at some point, the momentum will change, or you’ll find your rhythm, or one shot will get you going,” he said.

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Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Sangakkara

“That’s been a big part of my play over the last few years,” the Englishman added. The match was essentially a tale of two tons with Buttler upstaging Sunil Narine’s maiden T20 century. “As a fellow West Indian it’s always nice to see another doing well in the IPL,” said RR’s Rovman Powell. Ironically, it was the 30-year-old Jamaican, who took down Narine in those final overs. “I told Jos to just relax and I’ll try to take a few sixes off Narine because he [Buttler] was trying to hit, but not connecting,” Powell said of the 16th and Narine’s final over, when he hit two sixes and a four. “If Narine can go for runs, anyone can go for runs” was the message he wanted to convey to his teammates.

Never-say-die spirit

On Saturday, against Punjab Kings too, RR had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. “It’s the communication from Sanju Samson and the coaching staff that fuels confidence within the group. Also, when you win from difficult positions,” he said of RR’s never-say-die spirit. Rinku Singh credited KKR mentor Gautam Gambhir for Narine’s exceptional season with the bat, saying that “it was his [Gambhir] idea” to play him as an opener. “Nothing has changed in Narine’s batting [ethos], it’s only that he’s become more patient; he doesn’t go after every ball as he used to,” the left-handed batsman said. Replaced by the impact substitute, KKR missed Rinku’s fielding. “I have a niggle, but I’ll field in the next match,” he explained.

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