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IPL 2022: A change in approach helps Daniel Sams get into the groove


Author : B. Shrikant

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Mumbai, May 13 (IANS) As the Australian media kept an eye on their cricketers playing overseas in the last month or so, the talk has all been about David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Pat Cummins, Marcus Stoinis, Josh Hazlewood, Peter Handscomb, Michael Neser, and Marnus Labuschagne.

Some of them are playing in the Indian Premier League while others were plying their trade in county cricket in England.

Those conversations did not involve Daniel Sams initially as the Aussie allrounder struggled to find his rhythm. He went wicketless in his first two matches, making an inauspicious start with 0/57 in four overs.

However, the 29-year-old Australian from New South Wales has now found his form and come up with some superb efforts -- like defending eight runs in the last over against Gujarat Titans at Brabourne and claiming 4/30 against Chennai Super Kings at the DY Patil Stadium on April 21.

Thursday's haul of 3/16 is his most economical performance, which helped Mumbai Indians bowl out CSK for 97, eventually going on to win by five wickets. Sams' performance earned him the Player-of-the-Match award.

Sams on Thursday admitted that he had a poor start but said a change in his approach -- from focusing on the batters to bowling to his strengths -- did the trick for him.

"The first few games didn't go to plan and I had a little bit of time to reflect on those performances and the performances in the past when I've played really well. I just figured out that I was focusing on the batter too much and not focusing on my strengths. That was something to work on at training and it was more about the reflection of when I come out here, I'm going to do what I do really well," Sams said at the post-match presentation.

The Aussie allrounder picked the wicket of Moeen Ali as more satisfactory as it was a well-planned dismissal.

"We always talk about each batter and have different plans for each batter. Some batters have more specific plans than others. But with Moeen, he's obviously a really nice player. The short ball is something that he can either hit for six or he can get out to. That's one of the things we also spoke about a lot, using the bouncer more to all batters really so that the batter feels a little bit more uncomfortable and they can't just get on the front foot and smack us for sixes as we see in T20 a lot," Sams said.

Sams said that though the whole IPL 2022 has been played on good wickets, he said it was good to see the bowlers dominate on the Wankhede pitch on Thursday as it offered both movement and bounce.

"The whole T20/IPL this year has been beautiful wickets to bowl on. There are some (pitches) that have been flat, but there's been some that have some nice pace, nice bounce and a little bit more grass. So it's been really enjoyable. Obviously, today's pitch was bowler-friendly so it's good to see a T20 game where the bowlers dominate."

Though Sams has not been so successful with the bat, despite being promoted to the No 3. position on Thursday, he will be hoping that his good performance in the IPL will count to something when it comes to selection matters in his native Australia.



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