Rajasthan Royals (RR) may have shelled out an IPL record Rs 16.25 crore to get Chris Morris this season, but they still don’t trust him with the big hits at crunch moments or so it seems.
On Monday night, with RR needing five runs off two balls, captain Sanju Samson declined a single to Morris off the second last ball of the innings and instead trusted his own instincts to hit a six off the last ball.
Morris had run up to Samson at the striker’s end on the second last ball but the RR skipper sent him back.
There may have been a reason behind it. Samson was batting on 119 off 62 balls and on song while Morris had just walked in and was fresh at the crease — having faced four balls and got two runs.
But Samson’s decision displeased Morris who gave his RR skipper a bemused look and a sarcastic smile on return to the non-striker’s end.
No wonder, debate raged on social media over Samson’s decision after he could not hit the last ball for six and was out caught. His side RR lost the game by four runs.
Former cricketers’ opinions were divided.
While ex-India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar supported Samson’s decision, former South Africa pace bowler Dale Steyn politely criticised it and said his compatriot Morris has big-hitting skills.
“Yes, he took the right call because I am thinking, which is the greatest possibility. Samson hitting the last ball for a six with the kind of form that he was in and Morris had just come in — hitting that ball for a four and, you know, I thought hitting the six was a greater possibility than Morris hitting a four. I thought he (Samson) took the right call and almost managed it but, unfortunately, it turned out to be a great innings in a losing cause,” Manjrekar was quoted as saying by espncricinfo.com.
Former South Africa pace bowler Dale Steyn, whose last stint in the IPL was with Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2020 season, felt Morris is capable of ‘clearing the ropes’.
“When you’re in and you feel like you can hit any ball for a six and that’s the situation that he (Samson) was in, you can’t blame him (for not taking a single),” said Steyn.
“I think, he knew where (Arshdeep) Singh was going to bowl… (but) you know when someone like Chris Morris on the other side can also clear the ropes, it’s probably the wrong decision. Well, it’s such a tight (decision) to make..,” added Steyn.