Sunrisers Hyderabad’s (SRH) bowling coach Muttiah Muralitharan told his bowlers to keep calm when they were being hammered all over the park during the onslaught from Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli in the Indian Premier League (IPL) final on Sunday.
SRH won their maiden IPL title after they beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 8 runs.
In an interview with iplt20.com, the legendary Sri Lankan bowler told what strategy the team had adopted and what advice he gave to the team while they were defending the 209-run target.
When asked what advice he gave to his troops while Gayle was looking at his blistering best, Murali said, “Just calm down. They are hitting hard; we needed to get two people out and then the (required) run rate will increase. That is what happened. It was our day and we had to win the match."
“A score in excess of 200 runs is always a very good total. But we knew that they have three dangerous batsmen; we had to get them. We have the bowlers and Mustafizur (Rahman) and Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) were fantastic, as well as the other bowlers. If Chris Gayle and Virat get going, it is always very hard. But our batsman had put up a good total to defend," he added.
SRH made it to the playoffs, finishing third in the points table with 16 points and then won the next three matches - Eliminator, Qualifier 2 and Final to lift the title.
When asked what was the key to win three consecutive knock-out matches, Murali said it was all about playing the game up to the potential.
“It is all about giving confidence to the boys and asking them to play to the best of their abilities. The message was that the result can be anything, but you do your job. They have to be calm and very sensible; so they played the game the way they wanted to play, and the end result was a win," he said.
The former Sri Lankan bowler was also delighted with the win as it was his first trophy as a coach.
“It feels fantastic because as a player I have won many trophies, but as a coach it’s first time. It’s a wonderful feeling because winning the IPL is a great thing. It’s a good experience for the young boys. Also, it’s good for our franchise because it is the first time we have won," he concluded.