Adam Gilchrist has the bad habit of writing down something about the match he is going to play on a piece of paper and keep it in his pocket. Before the semi-final, he had written his team would win by six wickets and that happened. Before the final he wrote Pragyan Ojha would be player of the match and the spinner missed it narrowly.
“I couldn’t sleep and woke up at 2.30 in the morning. At 3.16 I wrote that Ojha would get the Man of the Match award. He was there in the running, wasn’t he? But I’m glad that this proves I am human and can’t predict everything.” His failure with the bat in the final also proved he’s human. Here is what he had to say after the triumph.
On winning the World Cup finals and this one…
Look, I’m not going to sit here and say which one is better than the other one. It’s a phenomenal effort by the whole team and the franchise to turn it around after finishing at the bottom last year. Nobody thought we would come this far before the start and here we are.
What did the trick this year?
We didn’t adapt to the needs of T20 despite having several good players. There were leadership issues not involving just the captain but from a collective level. In terms of changes in personnel we felt we needed more strike power in bowling to support RP (Singh). Fidel Edwards and then Ryan Harris did that job for us.
Was that all or was there something else?
Well, it was a pretty hollow feeling last year. so we had to create a culture of learning from our mistakes. And I keep saying this, but I actually told my players to take the next ball as the most important moment of their lives. There is nothing else that you are doing at that moment.
About Indian players ahead of the T20 WC?
India is the only team who had all their T20 players in this competition. Being in the T20 mode will definitely help but it will help only as long as they get some time to freshen up. They will go home now and I don’t how they will use this time or get the time to recover before they move on to the big one.
How was it to have VVS Laxman around?
It was an emotional moment for him. The fantastic thing about him is that he kept contributing. It’s amazing that he still wants to get better as a T20 cricketer.