Leading Rajasthan Royals in the now suspended IPL was a great learning experience for skipper Sanju Samson, according to star opener Jos Buttler, who feels the youngster grew into the role as the tournament progressed.
Samson, who had finished as the side’s highest run-getter in the 2020 season, had replaced Australian Steve Smith as skipper of Rajasthan Royals in January.
“It was a great learning experience for him. And I think, as the tournament was going along, at the halfway stage, he was really growing into the role, looking to put together some better, more consistent performances towards the end of the season as a side,” Buttler said in a virtual interactive session arranged by the Royals.
Under Samson, the former champions won three of their seven fixtures before the league was suspended mid-season due to multiple cases of COVID-19 in its bio-bubble last week.
“I’ve really enjoyed playing under Sanju’s captaincy. I don’t think it changed him at all as a person. He’s quite a free spirited, very relaxed kind of guy and he tried to get that across to the team and that’s how he wanted us to play as a side.”
“It is really important as a leader to be authentic, and I think Sanju is very much that,” Buttler added.
Royals’ director of cricket Kumar Sangakkara was effusive in his praise for all-rounder Riyan Parag, who he sees as a future Indian team prospect.
“For, us Riyan Parag is a very, very special player. I think he’s got a huge amount to contribute to not just Royals, but also to Indian cricket in future very special talent that needs care, nurturing and development.”
The Sri Lankan legend said he was also impressed by the trio of pacers Chetan Sakaria, wicketkeeper-batsman Anuj Rawat and opener Yashasvi Jaiswal.
“Chetan Sakaria was a revelation, his attitude, his ability to deal with pressure, and of course, his skill.
“We had Anuj and Yash – the two youngsters who have been with the franchise for a very, very long time. And I was thoroughly impressed by all three of them.
“They actually got a reasonable amount of time in the middle. Unfortunately, the match that Anuj came into he didn’t get a chance to bat but was outstanding with his energy and skill in the field,” he added.