Gautam Gambhir has stated that Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings were good because they work to a plan and notwithstanding the result, they stuck to it. Gambhir has also praised Mumbai Indians for handling Hardik Pandya in a proper way and the all-rounder never looked bereft of confidence.
There is nothing much to separate MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma when it comes to the debate that who knows his resources better. CSK scrapped through, often ensuring the game was won on the edge, but Mumbai are a well-oiled unit, and their player knew their role fairly clear. Although Mumbai eventually became the champion, the margin was only one run and Gambhir praised both the teams' perseverance and ability to handle the pressure.
"All teams that qualified for the playoffs deserved to win the title. For sheer perseverance and ability to handle pressure Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians deserved it more than others. You may say that Sunrisers Hyderabad were fractured by the absence of their foreign recruits and Delhi lost due to some inexperience. I don't buy these excuses. Mumbai and Chennai are good because they work to a plan, a strategy. Win or lose they don't deviate.
“Look at how Chennai has continued to play Ambati Rayudu despite a not so consistent performance this season. Another example is Shane Watson, who too was having an off-season before he came into his own. Even in the final on Sunday he almost took his team home. Same goes for how Mumbai never lost hope in Ishan Kishan. When I was leading KKR I always maintained that we never drop a player, we only select a playing eleven," Gambhir wrote in his column for the Times of India.
When India were in Australia for the ODI series, a controversy broke out as Hardik Pandya, who made an appearance in a talk show alongside KL Rahul, made misogynistic comments on the show. That triggered a huge controversy and even Virat Kohli denied to support him in the press conference. That must’ve dented his confidence, but the junior Pandya didn’t let it affect his game in the IPL. Gambhir lauded the Baroda all-rounder for remaining strong and playing tough cricket.
"Other bit that stands out for me is how Mumbai identifies their talent pool. The Pandyas are an example. They were picked out of nowhere and developed into a real force. Honestly, I was worried how the Mumbai team management would react to Hardik's talk show fiasco. Team owners can be very sensitive to such things but all credit to them for how the whole thing was handled. Hardik never seemed out of depth or out of confidence.
“I am not advocating what he said on the talk show, I am merely stating that Hardik and important stakeholders in his life handled the whole thing really well. Delhi Capitals should be proud to have made to the playoffs. They need some solid talent scouting to have a bigger pool which will stop their dependence on the likes of Rabada or others," Gambhir concluded.
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