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Not often does Sunil Narine have a bad day at the office, but it didn’t really matter on Sunday as his team romped home to a second IPL title. It was a double whammy for the spinner who already knew how it felt to be crowned champions, having tasted victory in IPL 2012. Under the fireworks that lit up M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, even the man who seldom shows his emotions was beaming and basking in his IPL moment. Even as his team was going gung-ho beside him, Narine shared a minute for a chat with IPLT20.com.
Excerpts from that chat:
Champions in 2012 and now champions again! Which one was better?
Without a doubt 2014! This year was even better since we scripted a win chasing 200, which is no easy task. The guys have worked hard for this win and we totally deserve this moment. We did not have the best of starts this year, but we ended up with nine straight wins, which is phenomenal.
How does it feel to be a two-time IPL champion?
Winning it once is good, but to win it twice is a massive achievement and a tremendous feeling. Let us hope we can continue doing it ever after year. (Smiles) It is a great feeling to be a part of KKR and more importantly perform for the team. This year, it was a total team effort and credit to the whole team to show such character till the end of the tournament.
A word on Manish Pandey’s innings. He set up the chase perfectly, didn’t he?
Manish Pandey was brilliant. Chasing down a total of 200 requires a very strong mind and Manish showed that today. He generated momentum throughout the innings and built on it till the end.
It did get close in the end; were you nervous watching Piyush Chawal bat at the other end?
To be honest with you, I was never nervous and I was confident the way Piyush Chawla was batting. He was batting well at the other end and I knew he would finish it for us if he got the strike.
The people of Kolkata would sure be ecstatic at the moment.
This is for all the fans in Kolkata who have supported us, come what may. It has been a pleasure to play at Eden Gardens this year as well, and hopefully, we can come back next year and retain the title.
Half the side was back in the dugout and the Kolkata Knight Riders needed 32 runs off 21 balls when Suryakumar Yadav came in to bat. He was yet to open his account when the well-set Manish Pandey was also sent back by Karanveer Singh and Piyush Chawla joined him in the middle. After a relatively quiet over by Akshar Patel, and with 15 required off the last two overs, Surya, who had struck the all-important six to take his team into the Finals, looked to take on Mitchell Johnson in the penultimate over. However, this time he holed out to deep midwicket and returned for five. But Chawla then took the team across the line.
While speaking to IPLT20.com later, Surya spoke about the nervous final moments and the faith in he had in Chawla to take the team to the target.
Excerpts from his brief interview:
What was going through your mind while batting?
When I went in to bat, it was a simple, the message was simple – try and play till the end. We knew that two fast bowlers are going to bowl the last two overs. So, we rotated the strike when Akshar Patel was bowling because it was really difficult to score runs off him. And when Mitchell Johnson came on to bowl, because I have played him last year with Mumbai Indians as well, I thought that it is better if I go after him and put pressure on him and try to finish it (or bring it close) in the 19th over, so that there is no pressure in the last over. But I wasn’t successful. But now it’s okay. You can see the result. We have been talking that 200 is a chaseable target on this ground. It wasn’t chased easily today, but it was a cracker of a game and I am really happy. What was the pitch was like?
It was holding a bit. The spinners, especially Akshar Patel, really bowled well. It was holding a bit, but at the end of the day, the result was in our favour.
How nervous were you when you came out to bat in a crunch situation?
I was very nervous. This was the first big final that I was playing. I played 14 games in a row and then came into the final. When I got up in the morning, I was really nervous and my heart was racing. I can’t express how much. But after winning now, I am slowly feeling better. We backed each other and we have won and we are happy for that.
What was it like in the dugout when you got out, and Piyush Chawla and Sunil Narine were in the middle with 13 runs needed off 10 balls?
We were quite positive because they have been batting well in the nets as well. And Piyush Chawla is also a recognised batsman for us and he has proved himself in the last game against KXIP in Kolkata (Qualifier 1) as well. We knew that he has the capability to do it and he did it.
In you first season with KKR you are part of the winning side. How is the feeling?
I can’t express. It will take some time for me to get back and think about this moment. It was a good game and I am very happy for my team. It was a superb team effort from everyone.
What was talk at the innings break?
We were positive in the dressing room. We just kept our nerves. The message to everyone was to just stay calm. We have three Karnataka boys in our team who have been playing here for long. And they provided a lot of positives for us. We didn’t look back and just kept batting. We didn’t think too much about the run-rate, who is going to bowl and such things.