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Business News/ Sports / Cricket News/  ‘Shimron Hetmyer like knock wasn't required': Rajasthan Royals' bizarre decision draws flak from former cricketers
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‘Shimron Hetmyer like knock wasn't required': Rajasthan Royals' bizarre decision draws flak from former cricketers

Rajasthan Royals beat Punjab Kings despite criticism of skipper Sanju Samson for sending debutant Tanush Kotian to open the batting. Kotian, primarily an off-spinner, made a slow start with 24 runs off 31 balls, but Shimron Hetmyer's quick 27 runs secured the victory for RR.

Rajasthan Royals' Tanush Kotian, left, reacts after he is bold out during the Indian Premier League cricket match between Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals in Mohali, India, Saturday, April 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Surjeet Yadav) (AP)Premium
Rajasthan Royals' Tanush Kotian, left, reacts after he is bold out during the Indian Premier League cricket match between Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals in Mohali, India, Saturday, April 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Surjeet Yadav) (AP)

Rajasthan Royals defeated Punjab Kings by 3 wickets at the Maharaja Yadavindra Singh International Cricket Stadium in Mullanpur on Saturday. Despite the win, RR skipper Sanju Samson has come under fire for some of the decisions he made during the match, including sending debutant Tanush Kotian to open the batting alongside Yashasvi Jaiswal.

Notably, Kotian is primarily an off-spinner in the domestic circuit and had played 23 T20 matches prior to the match against Punjab Kings. The 25-year-old had batted in just 9 T20s prior to his T20 debut, averaging a mediocre 20.66 and a strike rate of just 114.81.

The decision to send Kotian in to open the batting almost backfired for Rajasthan Royals as the opener scored 24 runs off 31 deliveries on Saturday. The young batsman's slow start meant that Rajasthan Royals could not get off to a good start and were on the verge of losing the match when Shimron Hetmyer's 27-run knock (off 10 balls) rescued them and pushed them over the winning line.

Former Indian cricketer Robin Uthappa raised concerns about RR's bizzare strategy, stating that the franchise does something like this every season. He said, “Somehow, they do something like this every season with just befuddled everyone. I was dumbfounded in the commentary box when I saw Tanush Kotiyan walking out to open the batting. What's the logic? Putting a kid who is playing his first match in the IPL in a situation that he has never been in"

Former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan was also puzzled by RR's  decision to send Kotian up the order and went to the extent of saying this is exactly what a team shouldn't do in a run chase. 

Speaking on JioCinema, Zaheer said, "They showed exactly what not to do in a run chase. They sent a No.10 batter to open the innings. He was playing his first game. this surely could have cost them two points. It was not a chase where a Shimron Hetmyer-like knock was required. It should have been more clinical. But in the end, they got the two points. They are sitting at the top. They are a very good team only decisions like these could cost them games and points. You saw the tension in the dugout."

Sanju Samson defends decision to send Kotian up the order: 

Despite the criticism, Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson defended his decision to send Kotian up the order during the post-match presentation. He said, "He came in as an all-rounder. Had a fabulous Ranji Trophy season. He has been impressing everyone in the nets. We had a proper settled batting order, so we did not want to unsettle it. Jos is almost ready for the next game and we wanted to try him (Kotian) up the order," 

 

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Published: 14 Apr 2024, 10:09 AM IST
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