Anand Subramaniam in Kolkata 04 May 2013 - 02:33am IST
Sanju eager to make IPL experience count
Youngster focused on performance in RR for now
But Sanju is not thinking about his future so soon. For starters, he wants to keep things simple. “All I am thinking at the moment is about Rajasthan Royals’ games ahead. I want to make meaningful contributions for the side and help them win,” said the wicket-keeper-batsman, post his team’s eight-wicket loss at the Eden Gardens against the Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday.
Sanju, who top-scored with a 36-ball 40 in the Royals’ innings of 132, said that it was a challenging wicket to bat on. “We all know that the Eden wicket is a bit slow. We were ready for the challenge, but it was a bit difficult to bat on. We applied ourselves according to the nature of the wicket. Unfortunately, we lost wickets early on in our innings.”
Sanju said that, on a personal front, he relished playing mystery spinners Sunil Narine and Sachithra Senanayake who posed a different kind of challenge to him. “It was a great experience to face Narine and Senanayake. I was wary of the challenge, and I will play them better the next time I face them. I am fortunate to face a variety of bowlers in the tournament. I have never faced so many types of bowlers and this IPL experience will only help me do well in the future.”
The 40 from Sanju, a run-a-ball 35 from Shane Watson and some late blows from Owais Shah helped RR post 132 on the board, which according to Sanju was a defendable total. “Looking at our bowling attack, a total of 130 or 140 was a good enough total to defend,” Sanju said. “I guess we lost the plot in the Power Play. We should have scored more in that phase of the game. Had we got more runs then, things might have been different,” he added.
When asked if RR would be ruing the fact that their away record was dismal, Sanju was quick to reply, “We are not worried about our away record or dominance at home. We just want to play the right cricket at the right time. We are not worried about the result. What matters is to give your 100 percent on the field.”
Not surprisingly, the youngster has given his 100 percent whenever he has got a chance to perform. His unbeaten 27 against the Kings XI Punjab showed that he had the temperament to chase down totals, while his 63 against RCB showed that he was not afraid to attack some of the best bowling line-ups in the tournament. Sanju credited his success thus far to his captain Rahul Dravid. “I love to attack. I always try to play according to the needs of my team. Rahul Dravid backs me a lot. He is giving me the right advice at the right time. The team management has also backed my abilities, which is the reason why I am able to play freely.”
Regarding rubbing shoulders with some of the big names in cricket, Sanju said that he wanted to make the most of the opportunities he got with RR. “IPL is a big stage, where players get to express themselves. I try to take in as much knowledge as possible from the senior pros in the team. I always ask them about my game and take valuable inputs so that I can improve my game. It is a great opportunity for me to showcase my skills and I want to make the most of it.”