IPL 2017 heartbreak hard to digest, states Rahul Tripathi

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Rahul Tripathi has labelled the IPL 2017 loss 'indigestible'

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IPL 2017 heartbreak hard to digest, states Rahul Tripathi

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SportsCafe Desk

05/03/2020

Rahul Tripathi, who enjoyed a breakthrough season in IPL 2017 with Rising Pune Supergiant, has revealed that the heartbreaking loss in the final of the tournament against Mumbai Indians was hard for him to digest. Tripathi further gave an account of the ‘fanboy’ moments he shared with MS Dhoni.

After finishing 7th in the 2016 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the expectations lying on the shoulders of the RPS players heading into IPL 2017 were all but nothing and the team was expected to once again finish outside the top four. However, inspired performances from the likes of Dhoni, Smith and Stokes meant that the side remarkably reached the final, where they faced Mumbai Indians. But a heartbreak ensued in the final, as after needing 7 runs to win off 5 balls at one stage, the side succumbed to a gut-wrenching one-run defeat.

Recollecting the shattering moments, Rahul Tripathi, who scored 391 runs in the season and was an integral part of RPS’ success, revealed that the defeat was hard to digest and stated that Mumbai had destiny on their side.

“We were so close to it. It was really hard to digest. I think we needed 11 off the last over and Manoj (Tiwary) bhaiyyahit the first ball for a boundary so we needed 7 off 5 and that was the moment we really thought it's in our hand, we have definitely won this,” Tripathi told Cricbuzz.

“You could see it from the dugout, you could see that it (Smith's shot) was timed unbelievably well. It was flying like a bullet. I think it would have gone for a six but Rayudu took a superb catch. We lost two wickets and then we needed four off one ball just lost by a run. It was difficult. Destiny was on their side.”

Like every young cricketer in the country, Tripathi, too, idolised MS Dhoni whilst growing up and the Maharashtrain’s dream came true in the 2017 season when he got the opportunity to share the dressing room with the former Indian skipper. The 29-year-old revealed how he was always consumed by the magnificence of Dhoni’s presence, almost always fanboying over him, and recalled how the latter’s words of advice helped him when he took the field to play for his team.

“When Mahi Bhai joined the camp, right from the time he was entering the bus to whatever he used to do, I used to secretly keep watching him. I remember on the first day I was paired with him in the nets to bat. He said, "Both of us will bat two rounds each". It was a jittery moment for me. He could see that I was a bit nervous so while passing by he just said, ‘bindaas khelo (play fearlessly).’

“One day we finished practice and we were heading to the bus and suddenly he just looked at me and said 'idhar aao' (come here) and I just went running up to him. He said: "See if you get an opportunity to play, it's just another game. Don't get too excited. Just control yourself and play, like you do in the nets. The way you've always played."

Tripathi, after his stint with RPS, played for Rajasthan Royals and last year, was snapped up in the auction by Kolkata Knight Riders.

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