Daniel Sams’ path to redemption saves the night for Mumbai

back icon
safarisafari
13 May 2022 | 03:47 AM
authorBastab K Parida

Daniel Sams’ path to redemption saves the night for Mumbai

Sams’ IPL sojourn, which seemed all but over just a month ago, has a new lease of life

There is a reason the Indian Premier League is the best league in the world. 

The insane level of competition parts the men from the boys, the real differentiator in the quality and even playing field further validates its grand-stature. It is not a place for laggards, nor do the slow-burners could make it big. 

If a couple of years ago, anyone would have predicted Daniel Sams would play nine games in a season after conceding over 12 runs per over in a game, that too while playing for a franchise like Mumbai Indians, one would have laughed it off. But such has been the dilution in quality due to the addition of two new teams, the shortage of talent has become a direct byproduct. An expansion that no one could avoid and Mumbai had to pay the price against Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Lucknow Super Giants because of a faltering Sams, who simply couldn’t get his act together.

Sams looked like an ordinary uncapped bowler from Indian domestic cricket, and not someone who had made it to the Australian national team on the back of a steller BBL season. His continuous backing, when Riley Meredith and Tim David were on the bench, made very little sense, and thereby the projection of his impact was distilled on the negative lines. Could a comeback salvage his hope of getting back in the league? It seemed like a far-fetched proposition for many but more importantly, it came off as a half-hearted attempt by the five-time champions to look past the frailties of the season.

Yet, on his ninth game of the season, Sams has proven himself more than just a filling number. Slowly and steadily, the guy, who couldn’t even hold back a Lalit Yadav and Axar Patel, emerged as one of the important cogs in the wheel to steer the side to some sort of respectability. His understanding of his own lacunae and thereby acting on those aspects helped Mumbai Indians register their third win of the competition. And twice in two games, CSK found him as the bogeyman. 

Then what has changed between the Sydneysider conceding 57 runs in four overs against Delhi Capitals to bringing down CSK single-handedly in a four-over spell when he seemed literally unplayable? Definitely not just a mental switch.

The evolution of his bowling in the last five games seemed like a careful reconstruction. It is a triumph of process over ability and a clearer knowledge of what not to do. He might have taken just a wicket each against Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders, but he choked the run-flow at the beginning, to force their batters to take more risk against the likes of Kumar Kartikeya and Ramandeep Singh, landing them in a coup of their own.

On Thursday night, with Wankhede reverberating to its roots in the presence of MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma, there was a sense of optimism that both sides would leave behind the caricature of their past form and put up a show befitting the standard. But all it took was an over for Sams to have an impact directly, by sending Devon Conway and Moeen Ali with two absolute peaches. Well, one might sound skeptical about Conway’s dismissal, which couldn’t have been challenged because of the absence of DRS for a while, but in the larger scheme of things, it hardly mattered. A naggingly close way for Sams to widen the base for his success last night was the wicket of Ruturaj Gaikwad, whose form has blown hot and cold this season. 

In the span of two overs, he did the job for Mumbai and the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Riley Meredith just had to carry the mantle forward. With the wicket behaving a little bit on the faster side, bounce was a legitimate option, and Sams, for a change, found himself right in his alley. He employed the same tactic against Moeen Ali whose struggles against high pace are never a secret.

Despite all that, there’s very little chance that Mumbai would stick with him for the 2023 IPL when they would enter another era of rebuilding the empire. For every single darn thing that has been thrown their way, their players would be more willing to give it back with compound interest the next year, and having Sams there as the part of the puzzle perhaps wouldn’t work that smartly. However, one can rest assured that Sams’ IPL sojourn, which seemed almost over a month ago, has a new lease of life by setting the wheel of reinvention in motion. Can we all be taken for a pleasant ride?

heart
shareGray Share
Tags
Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai IndiansIndian Premier League, 2022Mumbai IndiansChennai Super KingsDaniel Sams

Related Articles

safari
ANALYSIS
Resurgent Chennai hope for a late playoff surge against Mumbai
It is that time of the year – the El Clasico of the IPL – Mumbai Indians vs the Chennai Super Kings
userAakash Sivasubramaniam
11 May 2022
safari
FANTASY
Lucknow Super Giants vs Mumbai Indians, 37th Match, IPL 2022: Fantasy Preview
Here are a few tips that might help you create your fantasy team for Match 37 of IPL 2022 between LSG and MI
usercricket.com staff
23 Apr 2022
safari
ANALYSIS
Lucknow eye a rare double win over struggling Mumbai
Lucknow have a strong opportunity to strengthen their claim at the top of the table
userAakash Sivasubramaniam
23 Apr 2022
safari
OPINION
Suryakumar Yadav's return will give Mumbai a lot of confidence: Smith
Graeme Smith previewed the clash between Rajasthan and Mumbai, stressing on the importance of Suryakumar Yadav
usercricket.com staff
02 Apr 2022
safari
NEWS
Captaincy comes naturally to Shreyas Iyer: Ravi Shastri
A glance at what people who matter have to say
usercricket.com staff
30 Mar 2022
safari
NEWS
New fast bowlers know what needs to be done: Rohit
In the bowling department, Mumbai Indians only have Jasprit Bumrah from the previous edition
usercricket.com staff
24 Mar 2022
safari
OPINION
Mumbai Indians and the art of not giving up
Mumbai will take a lot of heart from this win ahead of Friday’s encounter against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Abu Dhabi
userBastab K Parida
06 Oct 2021
safari
OPINION
IPL 2021: As things stand
With the season set to resume on September 19th, here is a rundown of each side
userSomesh Agarwal
26 Jul 2021
safari
NEWS
Sams joins RCB's bio-bubble after recovering from Covid-19
The Australia all-rounder could be in contention to make his RCB debut against KKR on Sunday (April 18)
usercricket.com staff
17 Apr 2021
safari
NEWS
Daniel Sams tests positive for COVID-19
Meanwhile, Devdutt Paddikal has recovered from the virus and has joined the RCB squad
userCricket.com Staff
07 Apr 2021
logo
Cricket like never before
Follow us on
FacebookTwitterLinkedin
@ 2020 cricket.com | All rights reserved