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He cheered every wicket when the Chennai Super Kings were batting. WhenMumbai Indians’ win was a ball away, he was the first one to jump off his seat in the dugout and jump onto the field to celebrate with his victorious team-mates.
Even while talking to IPLT20.com after the match, he kept looking at the trophy. Finally, pointing towards it, he said, “I can’t wait to get my hands on that trophy”!
After spending 23 years playing cricket at the highest level, accumulating almost every individual batting record in the sport, being part of world’s No.1 Test team and winning the ODI World Cup, Sachin Tendulkar remains a wide-eyed cricket lover.
The enthusiasm of the 40-year-old is so genuine, it can make some of his awestruck teenage fans look jaded.
Excerpts from our chat with him:
What does this moment mean to you?
I have waited for this for six years and six years is a long time. But it’s never too late. This has been an outstanding season for us; we have thoroughly enjoyed every moment with each other. It’s been really solid. The goal for this season was to win the trophy and I am glad that we have been able to do that.
You were the captain when MI last reached the IPL final in 2010. Was this like déjà vu for you?
It was good to reach the final but this year we made it till the end. Whoever is the captain, it doesn’t matter as long as we lift the trophy. That is what you play for and Sunday was that moment. It’s a different feeling to get your hands on that trophy and I can’t wait to celebrate with the team. We’ve really worked hard for it. After two and a half months of sheer hard work we have been able to win this trophy ours. It’s a wonderful feeling.
With the likes of John Wright, Anil Kumble and Ricky Ponting coming in, did it take a bit of pressure off you as far as mentoring was concerned?
Yes, it helps having such great former players working with the team and guiding them. Even earlier we had some good leaders and this year has been fantastic. As far as my pressure goes, it is always there (smiles). I’m always under pressure to go out and deliver, irrespective of whether I am a captain or just another player. You have your expectations and you want to do your best. You want to deliver at every occasion.
What do two greatest batsmen of their era talk to each other when they play for the same team?
(Laughs). Unfortunately, we didn’t spend much time together batting in the middle and I would have loved to do that. I knew Ricky a bit before the IPL, sitting in the opposition tent. Here we sat in the same tent. We have spent some quality time with each other in the evenings, having casual dinners and during the pre and post-match discussions. It’s really worked well and he is a fantastic guy.
Has he brought that Australian-ness with him in the team?
He has. We have got guys from West Indies, New Zealand and all over the world. Even from India we have guys from all parts of the country. We have been lucky to have developed a strong bonding between different cultures and that brings the best in us.
1: Mumbai Indians won the IPL title for the first time. They had lost to Chennai Super Kings by 22 runs in the 2010 final.
1: Chennai Super Kings suffered their first loss in a chase with MS Dhoni at the crease!
3: Number of players to accomplish the all-round double of 1000 runs and 50 wickets in IPL. Kieron Pollard emulated Jacques Kallis and Irfan Pathan.
4: For 42 – Dwayne Bravo’s figures in the match – best by any bowler in an IPL final on Indian soil. R Ashwin had taken 3 for 16 in 2011 edition (incidentally Anil Kumble’s 4 for 16 for Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Deccan Chargers at Johannesburg in 2009 are the best figures by a bowler in any IPL final). 6: Number of ducks recorded in the match – second most in an IPL match. Seven batsmen were dismissed for duck in Deccan Chargers vs Kochi Tuskers Kerala match at Kochi in 2011.
18: Number of sixes conceded by Dwayne Bravo in IPL 2013 – most by any bowler.
22: Number of consecutive innings in which Dwayne Bravo has taken a wicket in IPL – the longest sequence for a bowler in IPL.
26: Number of times Lasith Malinga has dismissed batsmen on ducks in IPL – most by a bowler.
32: Number of wickets taken by Dwayne Bravo in IPL 2013 – most by any bowler in a single IPL tournament. He went ahead of Lasith Malinga and James Faulkner who took 28 wickets in 2011 and 2013 editions respectively.
90: Number of sixes conceded by Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2013. Only Deccan Chargers (96 in 2012) and Kings XI Punjab (93 in 2008) conceded more sixes in a single edition of IPL.
273: The match aggregate is the lowest in an IPL final. The 2009 final between Deccan Chargers and Royal Challengers Bangalore had produced 280 runs.
510: Runs scored by Dinesh Karthik in IPL2013 – most by a wicketkeeper in a single edition of IPL. The previous record was of 495 runs held by Adam Gilchrist for Deccan Chargers in 2009.