Chance for MS Dhoni to renew connect with Eden Gardens | india | Hindustan Times
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Chance for MS Dhoni to renew connect with Eden Gardens

It is strange how differently one connects with different places in the world. Before last year's final, I didn't have a great personal connect with Chennai. Gautam Gambhir writes.

india Updated: May 26, 2013 03:39 IST

It is strange how differently one connects with different places in the world. Before last year's final, I didn't have a great personal connect with Chennai. The warm idlis, plain dosas and at times a mix-veg uthappam were always looked forward to but the batsman in me never took off at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

I have just one fifty across all formats at this historic venue. So, last year when we landed in Chennai to play the final, I was thinking about all this. We checked into Taj Coromandel and some dhal, chicken tikkas and lemonade later I was heading to Park Sheraton for a joint press conference with MS Dhoni.

I can't tell you how proud I felt. You'd have heard a lot of sportsmen say they don't think about the past. I too tried doing the same but couldn't help but recall the KKR journey which started with a loss to Delhi Daredevils.

I was ushered into a hall on the mezzanine or first floor of the hotel while we waited for the media to assemble. Dhoni was there too. We were both proud captains and very relaxed before the big event.

Talent, opportunity
We sat on either side of the trophy. I'd seen the trophy before but never from such close quarters. The first two questions were addressed to MSD and I didn't pay attention. I was busy reading what was inscribed on the trophy - "Yatra Prathiba Avsara Papnotihi". Only later did I understand it translates to "where talent meets opportunity". "So Gautam, how do you feel playing the big final against Dhoni's team who is also your India captain?" thundered one well known journo. I think I said one goes on the field to win and not make friends.

The monotony of the match day was broken in the evening when in our team meeting a special video was played. It came as a surprise when we saw the family members of the players urging the team on to win the final. I loved what Laxmi Ratan Shukla's father said in that video. Sorry, I can't divulge anything more as it was a team-meeting thing. More than anything, it relaxed us.

Sheer teamwork
I got out early as we chased a big total. I was devastated but then thought I've rarely done well at the venue but my team has won on most occasions. What Bisla and Kallis did you all know as KKR marched to victory. I had renewed my bond with Chennai.

It is a coincidence that this year's final will be at our home ground and MSD will be leading his team. I think his relationship with the Eden is far better than mine with Chidambaram. Let's see if he renews it or we'll have a new champion.

Kaizen Media Solutions

The writer is KKR captain