Mumbai: Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson stated that having Sri Lanka fast bowling legend Lasith Malinga as the bowling coach of the side has made life easier for him as a skipper and is adding a lot of value to the franchise.
Malinga, who earned a cult following for his performances as a pacer with Mumbai Indians, joined Rajasthan as a bowling coach ahead of the 2022 edition of the tournament.
“We have watched people like Lasith and Kumar Sangakkara in action while growing up and admired the things they did on field. Lasith especially makes bowling look so easy. Now they are here to help youngsters like us in this team to understand their game better. Whatever chats we had with Lasith, he makes bowling look very simple and easy and that it gives a lot of clarity for every bowler in the side,” said Samson in the pre-season virtual press conference.
2 types of batters
Samson revealed how a point made by Malinga captured his attention and thoughts as a captain. “I have been really inspired by his mantra - ‘There are only 2 types of batters: one is right-handed and other is left-handed and you need to only learn to bowl to two of them’. It is such an exciting and interesting point made by him. He definitely is making a lot of things easier for me as a captain like in understanding bowlers, their strengths and weaknesses and is adding a lot of value to our franchise.”
Rajasthan, the winners of the inaugural edition of the IPL, will open their campaign against 2016 champions Sunrisers Hyderabad. Talking about the opening match at MCA Stadium, Samson felt it could aid pacers due to the wind factor.
“Pune is a bit different with an open ground and wind can play a big factor. Also at the start of the tournament, the pitches will be fresh because they have to last for two months. So we should expect some assistance for fast bowlers as well but it could prove to be a high-scoring wicket.”
Samson felt his team will have to adjust quickly to the new format of the tournament caused by the addition of Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans from the ongoing season. “Every year, we have been given a different kind of feeling and challenge. We all are used to it now. It will be very different this time around (due to two new teams) and we have to get used to it.”
Samson signed off by expressing confidence in the good mix of Indian as well as overseas players in countering a long season. “We have a lot of Indian and international strength in our team. It’s a very long tournament. We need to understand the mindset and the fitness and form of all players. But we have enough options to play around and will be very exciting to see.
“This format (T20) has to be played with a lot of fearless mindset and that sort of characters are there in this team this year. So we would just like to go out there and express ourselves. You can’t have a second thought in this format.”