IPL 2024 – RR vs PBKS – Sanju Samson: ‘We’re going through some failures at the moment’

After suffering their fourth consecutive defeat, against Punjab Kings in Guwahati, Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson has admitted his team is “going through failures” that need to be rectified at the earliest.

Royals set the pace early in the tournament by winning eight of their first nine matches, but had lost three on the bounce coming in to Wednesday’s game. While Samson had insisted after the loss against Chennai Super Kings on Sunday that Royals were still playing “decent cricket” and “following the process”, he was more blunt in his assessment after the five-wicket defeat to Kings.

“To be honest, we have to sit back and accept that we’re going through some failures,” Samson said. “When you lose four in a row, you have to find out what’s not working well in the team. When you are getting to the business end of the season, you need someone to raise their finger up and say, ‘I am going to win the game for the team’.

“Yes, this is a team sport, but we have a lot of match-winners in the side, and we need individuals to step up. So it’s about having the right characters who can play with passion, and singlehandedly win the game for us. If all of us try that, and even a couple [of players] manage to step up, it would make a difference. We need those characters who can carry us.”

Royals were playing their first home game at Guwahati this season and chose to bat on a wicket pitch that “wasn’t very high-scoring,” according to Samson. They scored only 144 for 9, which Samson said was at least 20-30 runs fewer than he’d have liked.

“We were expecting a better wicket, if I’m being honest. I don’t think it’s a 140 wicket, but maybe 160 or 170 with the power and batting we have.

“We’re not used to playing in these kind of wickets in this season when teams have been scoring 200 or 220. We had to play smart cricket and focus on the basics and build momentum, trying to get boundaries here and there.”

Royals had also struggled batting first on a slow pitch in Chennai, where they had been restricted to 141 for 5 after winning the toss and choosing to bat.

While Royals qualified for the playoffs after Lucknow Super Giants lost to Delhi Capitals on Tuesday – a development that came as a “relief” to Samson – their defeat against the Kings has left their current No. 2 spot vulnerable to both Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings. Those teams could also draw level with Royals on 16 points and overtake them on net run rate.

Royals’ last league game is against the table toppers Kolkata Knight Riders in Guwahati on Sunday.

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