Didn’t have sponsors, had limited clothes, kits: How Adam Gilchrist made Deccan Chargers IPL 2009 champions, Pragyan Ojha reveals
Deccan Chargers had the likes of Rohit Sharma, Herschelle Gibbs, Andrew Symonds but Ojha believed it was the youngsters who excelled under the leadership of Gilchrist in IPL 2009.Updated: Apr 13, 2020, 08:18 IST
Uncertainties are the only certain factors – IPL proved that in its second season itself. Royal Challengers Bangalore and Deccan Chargers (now renamed as Sunrisers Hyderabad) – the two bottom-ranked teams of the inaugural edition in 2008, faced off in the final of IPL 2009 with Deccan Chargers – the team finishing last in 2008 – emerging as champions. But it wasn’t that simple for the Hyderabad-based franchise. Apart from turning it around in the field, they had to deal with a lot of off-field issues too. And the man who helped his team sail through all this was the captain Adam Gilchrist.
Former India left-arm spinner, Pragyan Ojha, who recently announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, was the highest wicket-taker of that season, or in other words, the Purple Cap holder. Ojha on Sunday revealed that Deccan Chargers were struggling for basic equipment ahead of IPL 2009 which was played in South Africa because of general elections in India that year. After their disastrous outing in the first edition of the tournament, they did not have sponsors which meant limited kits and practice uniforms.
“After finishing last in 2008, we didn’t have sponsors. Because of late sponsors, you know, when we reached South Africa, we had a limited amount of clothes...training kits. That’s when Gilly (Adam Gilchrist) came and told us that all these things don’t matter, what matters is once you win the championship, see how things will change. And I’m telling you, once we won, it was totally a different thing,” Ojha told Cricbuzz.
The Deccan Chargers scored 143 for 6 in the final played out at Johannesburg. In reply, Ojha (3/38) and Harmeet Singh (2/23) restricted RCB to 137 for 9 and helped DC win their IPL final by 6 runs.
“Deccan Chargers were suddenly a different brand. Everybody started looking at us in a different way. You’re playing in alien conditions, nobody had a home advantage... nobody expected us to win after how we performed in the first [season]. We were a different team in the second edition,” added Ojha.
Deccan Chargers had the likes of Gilchrist, Rohit Sharma, Herschelle Gibbs, Andrew Symonds but Ojha believed it was the youngsters who excelled under the leadership of Gilchrist.
“Gilly was so balanced. He knew exactly how to absorb pressure from the owners, or external pressure. He soaked in all of it and kept that away from the team and the support staff. Whatever pressure that the team used to face, maybe we didn’t do well in some games or whatever, there was pressure from the owners, outsiders, like people not from the 15, support staff, he handled that very well. It was one of our biggest strengths,” Ojha added.