IPL 2022 – RR vs GT – ‘I wanted to show what I’ve worked hard for, and today was the day’

David Miller (481 runs at 68.71): “It was a phenomenal journey. Finishing at the back was quite special and being there in the moment [of victory]† It was a collective effort, everyone raised their hands at key moments. One of the best rides I’ve ever had. It was a relaxing environment led by [head coach] Ashish Nehra and [captain] hardik [Pandya]† Hardik has gotten better and better as the season has progressed. He has been very good tactically, leading with both bat and ball.”

Gary Kirsten, batting coach and mentor: †[Hardik has been] fantastic. He is a famous man in India, but he has been incredibly humble. Wants to learn as a leader. He especially wants to help young people in IPL and India. He came in with real responsibility, very different from seeing him in other IPLs. Great for Ashish and [team director] Vikram [Solanki] also. Brand new franchise, to put together a team and get guys to perform – great.”

Hardik Pandya (487 at 44.27 and eight wickets at 27.75): “I wanted to show what I worked hard for, and today was the day from my bowling standpoint, I saved the best for the best [stage]† I think [that] the second ball of my spell that I cast after I Sanju . had received [Samson] out, I saw that if you hit the wicket hard and if you come in on the seam, something is going to happen. So for me it was about keeping the right lengths and asking the batters to get a good shot rather than trying something and giving a limit.

“Every day I would take the trophy than hit at 160 or 170 [strike rate]Team is the most important, no matter what team I play for. I’ve always been that kind of person. Outside noise doesn’t bother me, and if I have to sacrifice and have a worse season and my team wins anyway, I’ll take that.

“Me and Ashu father [Ashish Nehra] are similar in terms of wanting to play five real bowlers, who can win you matches all day long… Usually in T20 I’ve seen cricket, it’s a batters game, but bowlers win your games.”

Hardik Pandya

†[On batting at No. 4:] I’ve always considered myself a batter. Spanking comes first for me, it will always be close to my heart, so it was clear that once we did the auction, it was clear that I had to knock the order to accompany… I have previously in been in this kind of situation so for my team I thought this was the best position [No. 4] for me to bat so all the other batsmen can come and express themselves.

†[On team combination:] Me and Ashu father [Nehra] are similar in terms of wanting to play five real bowlers, who can win you matches all day long. Batsmen can, of course, jump in and make sure that whatever or whenever we need batsmen, they can raise their hands and say ‘we’re here’. But mostly in T20 I’ve seen cricket it’s a batters game but bowlers win your games.

†[Titans behind the scenes:] We often won the game, but we always talked about what we missed and how we can do better. Much of the credit goes to all the support staff from Ashish to [spin-bowling coach and scout] Ashish Kapoor, Gary, the physios to the masseurs, the logistics team; everyone did their best, they were there to make sure all the players were comfortable, felt at home.

†[On how this win is different from his previous title wins with Mumbai Indians:] Of course I consider myself lucky. I have been in five finals and won five times. It’s been exciting. This is going to be a special one because we talked about creating legacy and taking care of it – this is for the next generation, everyone will remember this was the team that started this journey and… the first year [for us in the IPL] to win the championship is very special.”

“People said we were short of batters, too little experience. The franchise showed confidence in David, me and Hardik. Now we’ve won, so nothing more to say.”

Rahul Tewatia

Rashid Khan (19 wickets at 22:15): “It’s the biggest achievement of your career as a player, being part of a winning IPL team. It’s one of the biggest achievements for me in my cricket career.

†[On the final:] We adapted very quickly with the wicket. We knew it was the kind of wicket [where] if they scored over 150 it would be difficult but we have to bowl in the right area and that’s what happened. Everyone took responsibility, the medium overs were very important and we bowled really well.”

Rahul Tewatia (217 runs at 31.00): “We were relaxed in qualifying 1 and we depended on staying relaxed and taking the game deep and finishing it.

†[On his feelings in the moment:] I don’t know about the party but when the season started someone asked me ‘what are your goals for IPL 2022’ and I said my only goal was to win a trophy with my new team. I don’t know about partying, but I certainly won’t sleep tonight.

†[On the team:] People said we were short of batters, little experience. The franchise showed faith in David, me and Hardik. Now we have won, so there is nothing more to say.”

“I think winning an IPL is as big as winning a World Cup and this is my fifth year and I’m lucky enough to win it this time.”

Shubman Gill

Wriddhiman Saha (317 runs at 31.70): “This season some people said we weren’t a good team so we proved everyone wrong. It feels good to win. Mohammed Shami got a wicket of the first ball of the season for us. We got momentum from there. So he has been excellent all season. Everyone has performed.”

Shubman Gill (483 runs at 34.50): “It means a lot, you know, after winning the Under-19 World Cup [in 2018]† I think winning an IPL is as big as winning a World Cup and this is my fifth year and I’m lucky enough to win it this time. I wanted to be there [batting] until the end this time and that was the talk with coaches and we crossed the line.”

Matthew Wade (157 runs at 15.70): “We’ve had a relaxed environment. We didn’t rely too much on one person, although Davey [Miller], Rashid and Hardik have had great seasons. It was a real family atmosphere, which Ashish has created. Everyone gets enough training time, he makes sure of that. Everyone feels welcome and you can see the performances.”

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