Gujarat Titans head coach Ashish Nehra has said that while it’s not easy for any team to finish on the podium in the first year of its inception, the boys “under the leadership of Hardik Pandya” had “gelled really well” to lift the IPL trophy in their opening season.
IPL newcomers Gujarat Titans defeated Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets at the Narendra Modi Stadium here on Sunday to lift the prestigious IPL 2022 trophy on the back of finishing on top in the league table as well.
“Yes, we’ve hit a six in the first year itself,” said Titans skipper Hardik Pandya, adding that, “It doesn’t get bigger than this. Critics said we didn’t have the strength in batting, that we lacked quality bowlers. But, now, that we have the trophy, it’s alright.”
Nehra, who became the first Indian coach of an IPL-winning side, said, “It’s a nice feeling, but winning the trophy notwithstanding, the more important thing is the way we played, the way we qualified. It was so very heartening to see. The first year is not easy, and all the boys did really well and gelled very well under Hardik’s leadership.”
Titans’ middle-order batter David Miller, who contributed an unbeaten 32 off 19 balls in the title triumph, and who formed the backbone of the team’s middle-order during the season, said that the feeling of lifting the trophy gets enhanced if one is the underdog.
“It’s been one of my most memorable IPL seasons. Being the underdogs throughout the competition, it’s really nice to lift the trophy and be champions,” said Miller.
“Batting in the middle order can be difficult but I just tried to stay calm no matter the situation and give myself the best chance. But what I’ve enjoyed the most this IPL season is playing spin. I’ve been working really hard the last 3-4-5 years just getting better at spin. I never thought it was an issue but I’ve really enjoyed playing spin and changed one or two things and it’s definitely helped my game. Very chuffed about that,” added Miller.