IPL 2021: “Why isn’t Jos Buttler opening?” after the loss to PBKS, Stuart Broad questions RR’s strategy

England pacer Stuart Broad has questioned why the Rajasthan Royals’ (RR) did not open their batting with the ‘best opening wicketkeeper in the world’ Jos Buttler.

On Monday April 12, England pacer Stuart Broad has questioned why the Rajasthan Royals‘ (RR) did not open their batting with the ‘best opening wicketkeeper in the world’ Jos Buttler. Rajasthan Royals fell to a thrilling four-run loss to the Punjab Kings (PBKS) at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

After captain KL Rahul (91) and Deepak Hooda’s (64) heroics had led PBKS to a gigantic score of 221/6, RR’s opening combination of Ben Stokes Manan Vohra failed to provide them with a good start and were back in the hut with just 25 runs on the board.

Jos Buttler’s dismissal left RR’s chase stuttering with the score at 70/3 from 7.3 overs. However, with the required run-rate touching 12 runs an over, a struggling Sanju Samson slowly but surely started finding the middle of the bat.

The 26-year-old Samson was on 29 off 22 balls at the time of Buttler’s untimely dismissal but smashed 90 runs off the next 41 balls he faced to almost pull off the impossible for his team.

Well-supported by Shivam Dubey (23) and Riyan Parag’s (25) quickfire cameos, Sanju Samson never looked ruffled and went about his business in a nonchalant manner, smashing 12 sixes and 7 fours in what was his third IPL century.

In fact, with 13 runs needed off the last over bowled by young Arshdeep Singh, victory seemed to be there for the taking for RR.

But left-arm pacer Arshdeep delivered his wide yorkers well, making it difficult for Samson to get under the ball and conceded only one maximum off the first five balls of the over.

With 5 needed off the last ball, Sanju Samson failed to clear the ropes and could only slice another wide yorker into the hands of Deepak Hooda towards the extra cover boundary for a heart-breaking RR loss.

Replying to a tweet by Sky Sports after the dismissal of Stokes, Broad expressed his surprise at Rajasthan opting to play Jos Buttler (25 off 13 balls) in the middle order instead of opening the batting with him.

Coming in to bat at No.4, Jos Buttler looked in sublime touch as he smashed four consecutive boundaries off the fifth over of the innings, bowled by IPL debutant Rley Medrith.

But just as he was beginning to snatch a bit of momentum back for Rajasthan along with captain Sanju Samson (119* off 63 balls), Jos Buttler was undone by an excellent slower delivery bowled by another IPL debutant, Jhye Richardson.

Rajasthan’s move of not opening with Jos Buttler was also questioned by Harsha Bhogle and former England captain Michael Vaughan on Twitter.

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