Rajasthan Royals’ Ben Stokes (R) has been struggling for form in IPL 2018.(AP)
Rajasthan Royals’ Ben Stokes (R) has been struggling for form in IPL 2018.(AP)

Time for Ben Stokes, Jaydev Unadkat to show what they are capable of: Sanju Samson

Rajasthan Royals’ Sanju Samson has defended teammates Ben Stokes, Jaydev Undakat, but added that the time is right for the duo to show their worth
Indore | By Sidharth Gulati
UPDATED ON MAY 05, 2018 08:49 PM IST

Rajasthan Royals’ Sanju Samson is confident that Ben Stokes and Jaydev Unadkat, both of whom have found the going tough in IPL 2018, will come good at the business end of the tournament.

“This is the most important stage of IPL. It’s the right time for them (Stokes, Unadkat) to show what they are capable of. Hopefully, they will win it for us on Sunday,” said Samson ahead of Rajasthan Royals’ clash against Kings XI Punjab at the Holkar Stadium, Indore.

Stokes (Rs. 12.5 crore) and Unadkat (Rs. 11.5 crore), RR’s most expensive buys at this year’s auction, have failed to live up to their reputations and price tags this season. The England all-rounder hasn’t scored a half-century in eight games while Unadkat has taken seven scalps but has been expensive, both in the initial and death overs.

Their poor form is one of the reasons why the Ajinkya Rahane-led side has lost five out of its eight games.

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“To be honest, there’s an added pressure. We know if we lose one more game it could get tough for us. But we are positive and desperate to turn things around.

“We have seen it before that Mumbai Indians, who at one stage were staring at elimination, went on to become champions. So anything can happen,” Samson added.

Jos Buttler, who was promoted to open the innings against Delhi Daredevils, scored a blistering fifty to take RR close but they eventually lost by four runs in a rain-curtailed match at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium earlier this week.

Asked whether Buttler will continue to open, Samson said: “I think it’s up to the team management to decide on that. We will be looking at the best combination.”

Asked about his own form, Samson, RR’s highest run-getter (282) in the tournament, said, “It doesn’t matter. The team has to win at the end of the day. Currently, that’s not the case but I hope to contribute in the remaining six games.”

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