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CSK coach praises Knight Riders after their IPL title win
By Hoshedar N. Gundevia
Chennai 28 May 2012
Chasing a hat-trick of IPL titles, the Chennai Super Kings faltered at the final hurdle of their unprecedented journey. A champion team, no doubt, but the Super Kings have had their problems this season. Despite all their ups and downs, CSK remain a battle-ready side willing to fight till the very end. Their peerless fighting spirit might have been dented by KKR in the final, but CSK coach Stephen Fleming feels that Gautam Gambhir’s side are worthy successors of the IPL crown. The Kiwi tactician admitted to have been taken by surprise by Manvinder Bisla’s onslaught, and he doffed his hat to KKR’s undying spirit.
Excerpts from a chat with CSK coach Stephen Fleming after his team’s five-wicket loss against KKR in the final of IPL 2012:
You gave it your best today, but couldn’t quite get past the line?
No, [it’s] disappointing. We played pretty well. I thought the batting was excellent. The bowling, under pressure, we weren’t as good as we could have been, and the fielding – five or six runs here or there we could have saved, might have been the difference. But a great final. Kolkata were excellent throughout the year. We stopped and started. But we came into the final and played well. After posting 190, we are very disappointed. After posting 190, do you think the bowlers could have done better?
It’s a mixture of both. They played very well; [Manvinder] Bisla played well. We started very well with the ball, but his innings got a lot of momentum for their side and we weren’t able to pull it back. [Jacques] Kallis played the second fiddle very well and we were never able to shake them. But even with seven balls to go, we had a chance; there was a turning point there. That’s just the nature of T20 – we’ve been on the right side of it at times, [but] tonight we were on the wrong side. After getting Gautam Gambhir out, you would have felt you were halfway there.
Yes, it was a big wicket; the one we wanted. We thought he’d probably have to get a lot of runs for them to win, but Bisla stepped up and really played a magnificent innings. And that’s what finals are about – where heroes are born. He’ll be toasted in Kolkata tonight, I’m sure. You missed out on a title hat-trick. Do you think KKR are worthy winners?
Of course, fine winners. They’ve played well over here. They’ve played an excellent final. We said at half-time, if they get 190 and win it, then fair play to them. No complaints there, and certainly they’ve been a good side. Last couple of years, they’ve bought well, they’ve played well on their pitch – very similar to the style of cricket we play – and they were one team that we identified as going to be tough throughout the year at the start of the season. That’s come true, and hopefully, it starts a pretty good rivalry as we try and get it [the title] back next year.
KKR co-owner lauds skipper Gambhir’s ability to get the best out of his players
By Hoshedar N. Gundevia
Chennai 28 May 2012
After four years of disappointments, Kolkata Knight Riders’ co-owner Shah Rukh Khan finally tasted the sweet taste of victory. His team clinched the title against the Chennai Super Kings under thrilling circumstances and ensured that the franchise’s trophy cabinet got a noteworthy centrepiece. The Bollywood icon was at his motivating best in the stands; and once Manoj Tiwaryhit the winning runs, there was delirium in the KKR camp. The joy of winning the IPL is unparalleled and King Khan experienced the feeling that he’d been craving for a while.
During a brief chat after the match, SRK revealed to iplt20.com that he considers Gautam Gambhir the best captain in the world.
How does it feel to be the owner of the IPL champions?
I don’t feel like the owner. We were the promoters who started this team and I always wanted our city, Kolkata, to feel that they are the owners and we are the employees of the city. I am really sorry to say that Juhi [Chawla], Jay [Mehta], Gauri [Khan] and I end up being the owners of KKR. From tonight, KKR is owned by Kolkata. So, please look after it and give it a lot of love because we have nurtured it with a lot of care and happiness. What were you going through in the end stages?
I prayed to Allah and all the farishteys of Allah. I said, “Please make this happen as it’s been a long time.” I understand that it’s a sport, but I need to do this for my children and all the people who love me and for all of them who believed in KKR. We have had some good times, some bad times and controversies; we have been able to rise above all that. We had to prove it to the world and to us actually and to our children mainly, my son Aryan, my daughter Suhana, Jhanvi and Arjun. If you are resilient and if you believe and if you have a dream, it will come true. Your faith in youngsters has finally borne fruit through Manvinder Bisla
The team is completely run by Gautam and Trevor [Bayliss]. These guys know cricket, and we guys come and pray and give them a lot of love. I don’t know much about cricket, so we just go by the decisions they make. We have never participated in the cricket part of it, be it in a positive or a negative way. Gautam runs the cricket and we just hope that the youngsters do well. Is Gautam Gabmhir the perfect captain for KKR?
I am not questioning any of the captains in the IPL, I love [MS] Dhoni, Harbhajan [Singh] and Sachin [Tendulkar], and they all are friends and they love me. But as I have seen Gautam so up close and I have been in a profession which requires quick decisions and toughness, I really do believe that Gautam is the finest captain I have seen in recent times.