Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson has said he's 'far from complaining' about the many injuries and exits that have marred his team's IPL 2021 season.
All-rounder Liam Livingstone recently became the latest player after Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer to leave the RR camp. While Stokes and Archer have been ruled out of the tournament due to injuries, Livingstone cited 'bubble fatigue' as the reason.
Writing in his column for the Hindustan Times, Sanju Samson compassionately stated that he understands what players go through in isolated environments. He also wrote that he believes Rajasthan Royals' depleted squad has enough great players to back up for lost resources.
"The bubble fatigue is bad enough for everyone. But it is even worse if you aren’t playing matches. So I completely understand where Liam (Livingstone) came from. The management was very understanding about what he wanted and we proceeded exactly as per his wishes. Sure, the exits and injuries have left us far from full-strength; but we have enough great talent–Indian and international–in our ranks, so I’m far from complaining," wrote Sanju Samson.
Samson pointed to under-fire Shivam Dube's poised 46 against Royal Challengers Bangalore to explain his views.
"Just look at what Shivam Dube did against RCB after we were four down for 70. Shivam didn’t have the best of starts in the IPL, but we knew it was just a matter of one game to turn things around at a personal level," added Sanju Samson.
Rajasthan Royals have roped in David Miller and Mustafizur Rahman in their playing eleven to fill in for Stokes and Archer respectively. Meanwhile, media reports suggest that South Africa's Rassie van der Dussen is in line to replace Livingstone.
Learned plenty from Dravid, Smith and Rahane; now I am learning from Sangakkara: Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson further wrote about the role of man-management in the current scenario. Samson said he has learned a lot from former RR captains including Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane and is now learning a lot from the team's director of cricket, Kumar Sangakkara.
"Man-management during difficult times is key, and I have learned plenty from previous RR leaders, be it Rahul (Dravid) sir, Steve Smith, Ajinkya Rahane or Paddy Upton. But I am learning more everyday from a guy called Sanga (Kumar Sangakkara), who is yet to lose his poise under pressure," wrote Sanju Samson.
Samson also gave an insight into his leadership. The 26-year-old revealed how he has facilitated an open environment where players come and talk to him about their place in the side.
"Having this honest and open line of communication means that the players will always take you up to get clarity on their roles. I have had many of the boys asking me about when they will get a game or how their performances have been so far. This is what Sanga and I really wanted when we got together–to be very honest and straightforward so that the boys know exactly where they stand, which, in turn, keeps the dressing room together and happy," concluded Sanju Samson.
After 3 losses from 4 games, Sanju Samson will lead his side to their 5th IPL 2021 match against the Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday, April 24.