Chennai Super Kings was dethroned but definitely not disgraced in what was a fitting finale to an exciting IPL-V. And coach Stephen Fleming was gracious in defeat.
“We doff our hats to the Knight Riders. They did incredibly well to chase down that big total. Bisla was simply outstanding and played some good shots. Though we got Gambhir early, Bisla and Kallis took the game away from us,” said Fleming.
About the fantastic performances against Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils, after sneaking into the play-offs, he said: “Once the shackles were off and we got into the play-offs, we played with more freedom. We certainly thought that we would go the distance. We were quite disappointed that we couldn't cross the finish line.”
Reflecting upon the season, the Kiwi felt that this was his toughest but most rewarding campaign. "We faced quite a few challenges this year and I am proud of the way we stuck to our task. The guys showed a lot of character and we proved that we were one of the best sides in the fray.”
Like Fleming, Gautam Gambhir was also all praise for the boys. “We had the belief we could do it. Even after Super Kings got 190, we were confident about winning. I always believe that it's not about how you start but how you finish. Shakib and Tiwary deserve as much credit as Bisla and Kallis.”
Its we and not me!
The Knight Riders skipper kept reiterating that cricket was a team game and it was not about one or two individuals. “When we started, we wanted to prove to everyone in this country that cricket is a team sport and credit needs to go the team. We have achieved our goal.”
Gambhir also took the opportunity to salute his owner, Shah Rukh Khan. “He has been a great owner. He has never interfered in cricketing
matters. He's seen a lot of controversies and quite a few lows from this side. It's great that he now has something to cheer about.”
As much as Shah Rukh, the joy of the fans too would have known no bounds once the Men in Purple outshone the Men in Yellow to lay their hands on the glittering IPL trophy for the first time. There's simply no doubt that Gambhir and his boys turned Kolkata into what it is popularly known as — City of Joy.