Jos Buttler, this IPL season's highest run-getter, asked the Rajasthan Royals players to use the "hurt" of losing the final to Gujarat Titans at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday night to "achieve more in future" as the side grudgingly tried to come to terms with the defeat. Buttler has played one of the biggest roles in the Sanju Samson-led Rajasthan Royals making the IPL 2022 final, scoring a mind-boggling 863 runs in 17 games the second-highest ever behind Virat Kohli, who breached the 900-run mark in 2016 and yet his side ended up on the losing side. In the process of reaching his 39 off 35 balls on Sunday, Buttler pushed Australia's David Warne to third spot (848 runs) in the all-time scorer's list in a single season.
The Titans chased down a below-par 130, defeating the Royals by seven wickets with Shubman Gill scoring an unbeaten 45 and skipper Hardik Pandya taking three wickets for 17 runs in his four overs. On a personal front, Buttler, who was adjudged Player of the Tournament, said he had exceeded all expectations during the season, though the disappointment of not winning the title will rankle. "Exceeded all my expectation for the season apart from the final. A big congratulations to Hardik (Pandya) and his team, they are the deserving champions. My goal is to play for my team and try reacting to the situation. "I had huge trust in everyone in the team even though it came up short (in the final)," added the England batter, who is now in contention for a Test slot for his country in the upcoming three-match series against New Zealand beginning at Lord's on June 2.
He urged his teammates to take the loss in their stride and emerge stronger. "It's talking to myself as well. I have lost plenty of finals in my career. It has been an absolute privilege to play in front of a big crowd. (I would ask my teammates to) use this hurt to achieve more in future," added the 32-year-old. RR skipper Samson said, "This season is a really special for us. We have been able to play good cricket and give fans some happy moments. All the youngsters, seniors played well as a team, I am proud of my team. We believe quality bowlers win you the tournament. So we invested in them. "With Jos (Buttler) playing throughout 20 overs, my role was a bit different. It was a decent season for me, nice 30s and 40s and 20s. But there is a lot to be learnt," said Samson.