Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson was in his teens when the legendary Shane Warne and Pakistan’s pace bowler Sohail Tanvir guided the team to victory in the inaugural IPL season in 2008.

Cut to 2022, and 14 years later Samson has recollections of the magical day when the Warne-led Royals won by three wickets against the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings. It was only befitting that Warne was at the crease when the winning runs were scored at the DY Patil Stadium on June 1, 2008.

Samson said he was playing an Under-16 game somewhere in Kerala in 2008 when the RR-CSK final took place. He perhaps wouldn’t have imagined that one day he would be guiding the team into the final of the IPL.

“I was playing an Under-16 final somewhere in Kerala when I saw Shane Warne and Sohail Tanvir win it for Rajasthan Royals in 2008,” said Samson after his team defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by seven wickets with 11 balls to spare.

Samson conceded that the toss has played a crucial role all through the tournament, given the dew factor that comes into play in the night matches at all the venues.

“Yes, definitely, the toss made it much easier for us. The toss plays a huge part. The pitch plays completely different in the second innings. We are very fortunate to have Jos (Buttler). Touch wood, one more match to go (final against Gujarat Titans).”

The 27-year-old Samson conceded that the tournament had been very “tough” for the side with all the ups and downs.

“It was really tough. But we (are) used to bouncing back in the IPL. It is a long tournament where you go up and down. The wicket, bowling first, was a bit sticky and helping the fast bowlers. The bounce was good, which made it easier to hit the spinners (playing second). But our fast bowlers bowled really well. We needed to close very well with DK (Dinesh Karthik) and (Glenn) Maxwell there,” added Samson.

(Inputs from IANS)