The English wicketkeeper-batter has accumulated 629 runs at a strike rate of 147, including three hundreds and three fifties, this season but has slowed down in the business end of the tournament with single digit scores — 2, 2, 7 — in his last-three outings.
“I’ve obviously been delighted with my form in the IPL, but a bit disappointed with the last few games,” said the 31-year-old Buttler ahead of RR’s first qualifier against Gujarat Titans at the Edens Gardens on Tuesday.
“The first half (of the tournament) I was playing some of the best cricket I’ve ever played, and I’m still taking lots of confidence from that going into the play-offs.”
RR finished second in the points table behind new entrants Gujarat Titans.
Retiring out is risky but can give competitive advantage: Ashwin
Experienced spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who has impressed both with ball and bat this season, feels certain decisions like retiring out can provide a competitive edge to the teams if done properly.
“It’s important to understand how it (a decision) is going to give us an edge in important moments. I think (retiring out) is part of the future of the game in T20 cricket, and I believe it’s there to stay,” said Ashwin, RR’s most economical bowler this season.
“People are going to perceive it as risky because once you retire a batter out and things don’t go your way you might have to explain that. But if it’s executed well, then it can give you a competitive advantage.”
Ashwin has scored 183 runs and picked up 11 wickets at an economy of 7.14 this season.
Warne has been watching me from above: Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal credited his success to the closely knit group and said playing for RR has also been special because of the late Shane Warne, who had led the team in the inaugural season.
“I know it’s just the first season here (at Royals) for me, but it feels like I’ve been playing here for many years. I’m really relaxed here mentally, and I believe the credit goes to the people here, who take really good care of me … it has really made me connect with the franchise at a different level,” said the Purple Cap holder.
“On the other hand, it’s also special for me because Warne sir played for RR and was the first-ever Royal, and I think his blessings are with me. I feel like he’s been watching me from above.”
I kept learning as a batter and captain: Samson
Leading the franchise for a second full season, skipper Sanju Samson said he has never stopped learning and communication has been one of the key components of his captaincy.
“I think I’ve actually developed and kept on learning as a batter and also as a captain. I’m really enjoying the responsibility of leading this team, especially with so many experienced players on our side.
“I think when you lead a side, it’s very important to have that kind of perspective where you allow people to come and talk to you in pressure situations and allow them to express their ideas,” said Samson.
“I do receive a lot of information, a lot of suggestions… So, I’m really enjoying the unity and the willingness of everyone to contribute to the team, and I think it’s very important to listen to everyone. But I also know that the final call has to be from my side, and I have to take the ownership of each and every decision made by the team.”