Limited clothes, kits and without sponsors: How Adam Gilchrist inspired Deccan Charges to IPL title

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Sunday, April 12, 2020, 08:53 PM IST
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Adam Gilchrist | File Image

The world is well known for the fighting Australian spirit when it comes to the gentleman's game.

When Adam Gilchrist toured as a skipper of Deccan Chargers in the second IPL played in South Africa, the team had been dealing with umpteen off-field problems.

As off-spinner Pragyan Ojha recalls: "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."

The 2008 IPL season was moved to South Africa owing to the general elections in India that year.

Played on a neutral ground, the competition was wide open. Yet, none had expected dramatic comeback of Gilchrist-led Deccan Chargers, now Sunrisers Hyderabad.

"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, who was the highest wicket-taker of that season, told Cricbuzz.

“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,” Ojha added.

Gilchrist inspired Deccan Charges to a six-run victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final of second edition.

“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 said.

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