'When he plays, time stops': Reetinder Sodhi picks his favorite knock of IPL 2021
For former India cricketer Reetinder Singh Sodhi, Sanju Samson's blistering ton against Punjab Kings in match 4 of IPL 2021 was the best innings by an Indian batsman in the season.
Chasing 222 in 20 overs, the Rajasthan Royals skipper smashed 119 runs off just 63 deliveries in their season opener. Despite a heroic effort, he failed to get his team over the line as he was dismissed on the last ball of the innings. Eventually, the inaugural champions fell short by four runs.
While speaking during a discussion on India news, when asked about his standout innings by an Indian player, Sodhi picked Samson's impressive century.
"This is a very difficult question because lots of such knocks were played in the IPL, whether you talk about Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan or Devdutt Padikkal. So, the Indian players have done well but if one has to single out, Sanju Samson's century impressed me the most," said Sodhi.
Under-15 World Cup-winning Indian skipper Sodhi also laid emphasis on the difficulties of scoring a century in T20 cricket and lavished rich praise on Samson's pleasing strokeplay.
"It is not easy to score a century in T20 cricket. You have to go with the word go from the first ball. You have to hit boundaries and sixes and take quick singles. Sanju Samson is a player, when he plays, time stops," added Sodhi.
RR needed five runs to win off the last two balls. Samson smashed the ball to long-off and did not run a single despite IPL's most expensive player Chris Morris at the other end. On the last ball, Samson was caught at deep extra cover off Arshdeep Singh while trying to hit the winning six.
In seven matches, Samson scored 277 runs at a strike-rate of 145.78. Rajasthan found themselves fifth in the points table before IPL 2021 was postponed indefinitely due to the Covid-19 crisis in India.