One done, fifteen more to go, said Virender Sehwag to his mates once Delhi got over the line in Kolkata. His relief, and joy, was understandable considering the Daredevils' dreadful run last season. Nothing worked that time, said Viru, so this is great.
In IPL, teams need to get off the blocks in a flash because of the nonstop, relentless nature of the tournament. Momentum is key and with no time to recover, teams are on a treadmill programmed for high speed. They have to keep running; to take time off to recover would mean others go past.
To create this critical momentum, the Daredevils did all the hard yards, added muscle to the team and prepared carefully.
In the team meeting before the KKR game, ace mountaineer Arjun Vajpai (youngest to climb Mt Everest, that too without oxygen) shared his experience with the players, bringing a different perspective to sport and competition.
Everyone has his own mountain to climb, he said, but the hardship and intense sacrifice also brings major rewards.
The sense of high on reaching the summit is unmatched and addictive - and the mountain calls you back again and again.
Initially, at the refurbished Eden Gardens, it looked rain would play spoilsport.
As mechanised super-sopper dried the outfield, and a full house waited patiently, the only silver lining was the appearance of SRK, the KKR team owner. Drenched fans erupted with joy and soon cricket added to their enjoyment.
The writer is a Delhi Daredevils official