Tuesday, March 5

Pragyan Ojha shared how Adam Gilchrist motivated ‘sponsorless’ Deccan Chargers to win the tournament in 2009

Adam Gilchrist Deccan Chargers. (Photo by Kunal Patil/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Deccan Chargers were one of the bottom-ranked teams in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2008. However, in the very next season, they won the tournament, beating the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the final. The event was held in South Africa and Pragyan Ojha, who was a member of the winning team, went down the memory lane to describe the moments.

The left-arm spinner, who picked up 18 wickets from 15 games, narrated how Adam Gilchrist charged up the team, who didn’t have sponsors. Since they were the cellar-dwellers in 2008, the sponsors took time in coming due to which they didn’t have enough clothes and training kits.

“After finishing last in 2008, we didn’t have sponsors. Because of late sponsors, you know, when we reached South Africa, we had limited amount of clothes…training kits,” Ojha was quoted as saying in Cricbuzz.

Deccan Chargers were suddenly a different brand: Pragyan Ojha

Ojha said it was Gilchrist, who made the team realise of their purpose in the IPL. “That’s when Gilly 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.

“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,” the southpaw added.

The Chargers had a topsy-turvy run in the league stage, winning only seven out of their 14 matches. They pipped the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) to the top four on the basis of a superior net run rate. In the semis they thumped Delhi Daredevils, now Capitals, by six wickets after which it was RCB’s turn.

Gilchrist was able to lead from the front with the bat as well. He was their leading run-scorer, having notched 495 runs in 15 matches at an average of 30.93. He also had five half-centuries to show for his efforts along with a top score of 85.

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