Ahmedabad: Coaches, mentors, and other team staff take lots of credit after the triumph of their team. Former Indian speedster Ashish Nehra scripted history as a coach on Sunday, May 29. His team, Gujarat Titans, emerged champions in the IPL 2022 tournament, beating Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets in the final at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Ashish Nehra became the first Indian player in a head coach position whose team lifted the Indian Premier League trophy. It is a co-incidence that, as a player, Nehra won his maiden IPL trophy on May 29, six years ago. He was a member of the SunRisers Hyderabad squad that won the IPL tournament under Australian opener David Warner.
With the victory of GT, Nehra joins a select band of players, like two former Aussie greats, Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne, to have grabbed the IPL in both capacities as a player and head coach.
Anil Kumle worked as a mentor for the Mumbai Indians’ IPL-winning teams in 2013 and 2015. Success has eluded the celebrated leg-spinner as head coach of Punjab Kings.
The Nehra-Kirsten duo has done some astonishing work in the IPL. Earlier, Kirsten and Nehra served as the head coach and mentor of RCB, respectively. Both were sacked after the 2019 edition. The combination reunited again and worked together for the debutant Gujarat Titans in the 2022 season as head coach and mentor, respectively.
Speaking after Gujarat Titans’ IPL triumph, mentor Kirsten said he enjoyed working with Nehra, rating him as one of the finest tacticians going around.
Sangakkara accepts defeat gracefully
Like all the great players, Sangakkara didn’t make any excuses after the loss, but rather accepted it graciously. After losing the final against Gujarat Titans in a one-sided match by seven wickets, Kumar Sangakkara, the Director of Cricket of Rajasthan Royals, made it clear that the team needs improvement in all departments of the game.
“I think we have got a lot of improvement to do in all areas really,” Sangakkara said at the post-match press conference.
When asked why Rajasthan did not bat first after winning the toss, Sangakkara replied, “We were debating whether to put them in first as well.”
Despite failing to cross the final hurdle, the top two awards went into the kitty of RR players. Jos Buttler’s 863 runs bagged him the Orange cap for the highest runs in the tournament, while Yuzvendra Chahal took 27 wickets and won the Purple cap for taking the maximum wickets in this IPL season.
Credit should be given to Hardik Pandya of the Gujarat Titans for his captaincy and all-round performance in the final. GT deserved to win this edition of the IPL. GT restricted RR to 130/9. Pandya’s positive frame of mind in the final encouraged his team to create history on their home ground. He led the side with example and took three wickets at the crucial juncture and scored 34 runs to seal the match in favour of GT with ease.
The curtains of the marathon IPL 2022 came to an end. The extravagant tournament entertained cricket fans all over the world. Wait for another year for the next edition of this money-rich, lucrative tournament.