In the match played against Chennai Super Kings at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Monday, Rajasthan Royals had lost three wickets for 28 runs in front of the target of 126 runs and the team was in trouble, when Jos Buttler captain Steve Smith Kaa reached the crease and reversed the match. Rajasthan Royals won the match by scoring 126 runs losing just three wickets in 17.3 overs and Butler returned the not out after scoring 70 runs. After the match, Captain Smith praised Butler fiercely and compared him to Kieron Pollard and AB de Villiers in a special case.
Smith said after the match, “He (Butler) is no less than anyone. We are lucky to have her with us. There is so much variation in his batting. Butler is a top-order batsman, but Smith sent him to bat at number five against the Superkings. The Australian said it was necessary for the team’s balance. Smith said, ‘Jose is an incredible player in the top order. He has the ability to do the things that de Villiers, Pollard and (Hardik) Pandya can do. These players can win you matches in the last over. He said, “It was difficult (lowering Butler to the batting order) but it gives stability to the middle order.”
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Smith shared an unbroken 98-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Butler and is very happy with the result. He said, ‘The wicket was not ideal. I was trying to pursue partnership. Jose was scoring at a good pace. There was no need to take risks, just partner, play comfortably and win and get two points. ‘ After this result, the battle between Rajasthan Royals (eight points) and Kolkata Knight Riders (10 points) to make it to the IPL playoffs will intensify.
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Smith also defended Sanju Samson, who is now battling with the bat after making a great start in the tournament. Samson made an aggressive half-century in the first two games, but he is still struggling to reach double digits. He could not even open an account against the Superkings. The former Australia captain also praised his spinners Shreyas Gopal and Rahul Teotia for not giving the Chennai Super Kings batsmen a chance to score runs.