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Samson: Losses make it 'challenging to focus on the controllables'

Samson, the Rajasthan Royals captain, said they were "20-25 runs short" against CSK on what was a tricky pitch to bat on

Rajasthan Royals (RR), the early pace-setters in IPL 2024, have now slumped to their third defeat in a row, but their captain Sanju Samson is focussed on the positives.
After the latest reversal, against Chennai Super Kings (CSK), he said a poor run of results can make it difficult to "control the controllables", but felt the team had been playing good cricket.
"I think, at this stage of the tournament, it's very normal to keep on thinking about the qualification, but I think the chats we are having constantly in our team meetings are to just focus on what is in our control," Samson said on the host broadcast. "I think now we have not had the results in three continuous games. So it becomes a bit more challenging to keep focusing on the controllables.
"But I would like to tell my team-mates in the debrief to just focus on what things are there in your hands. I think we are playing some decent cricket. We can't say that we are playing bad cricket, [since] there are a lot of positives and we would like to continue following the process, keep things coming under control and hoping to get on the better side [of the result] next game."
Despite their dip in fortunes at the business end of the IPL 2024 league stage, RR are still second on the table with 16 points and well-placed to qualify for the final four.
On Sunday afternoon, Samson chose to bat, but the pitch turned out to be difficult to bat on, and they were restricted to 141. The CSK spinners were economical, while Simarjeet Singh removed the RR top order and Tushar Deshpande struck twice in the final over.
"We expected the pitch to be slow and a little bit slow as the game went on, and it did exactly that," RR's director of cricket, Kumar Sangakkara said at the press conference. "Chennai bowled really well, and in terms of our batting we lacked a lot of intent through that middle [phase], given in the first six there were a few balls that could have been put away and then we lost momentum with all those dot balls. We didn't have the intent to hit the gaps, run hard. I know it was quite hot for the players but I thought Chennai bowled really, really well and we were about 25-30 runs short. I think it was a 170-180 kind of wicket but we were too short."
Samson further said the bounce of the pitch was also not what they expected and fell short of the total they wanted.
"I think right after the powerplay, the message was that the wicket is a bit slow and maybe a bit two-paced, and the bounce was also not as we expected. So somewhere after the powerplay and even when I was batting in the middle, the score which we were expecting was somewhere around 170," Samson said, adding that RR were "20-25 runs short" by the end.
"We did try our best and they also knew the conditions pretty well, much better than us. They also bowled very smartly, I think the youngster [Simarjeet] bowled really well today."
Samson said that they expected the pitch to slow down further in the chase, but that didn't happen.