Back among runs, Samarth hopes for more

Back among runs, Samarth hopes for more

R Samarth

Added in the squad only at the last moment, R Samarth wasn’t a certainty in the playing XI for Karnataka for their Ranji Trophy clash against Mumbai here from Friday.

Following scores of 11, 4 and 0 in his two games this season, Samarth faced the axe for the marquee clash. But BCCI’s decision to rest opener Mayank Agarwal gave Samarth another lifeline. Karnataka decided to go with experience and dropped D Nischal for Samarth.  

It doesn’t get easier for an out-of-form batsman when he has to bail his team out of trouble. With the Mumbai spin duo of Shams Mulani and Shashank Attarde picking wickets at regular intervals, Karnataka looked like folding up for a paltry total while responding to Mumbai’s 194.

Samarth couldn’t have chosen a better match to break his poor run. Focusing hard and batting with great responsibility, the classy right-hander struck an important 86 that played a huge role in Karnataka managing a slender 24-run lead.

“It’s been rough for me from last one year so. I have not done very well with the bat. But I am feeling good in the middle now. I would like to thank all the selectors for trusting my abilities,” Samarth told reporters at the end of day’s play.

With many top-order batsmen fighting for their spots, Samarth was fast running out of time. The 26-year-old confessed that it was more or less like a ‘now or never’ scenario for him. “It was somewhat like that. I believe in playing every game like that. It was about spending good time in the middle. In the last eight months, unfortunately some decisions didn’t go my way and I also got some really good balls. But these things happen in cricket and you can’t really pin everything on them,” he said.  

Samarth hoped this is the beginning of many better things. “I got injured before the Vijay Hazare Trophy. That was tough. For the Mushtaq Ali, I had to make way for a senior player like Rahul (KL) and that’s understandable. But I have got a good score here and I hope I keep getting more runs,” he said. 

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