Deccan Chargers challenged the odds of winning the IPL title in 2009: Pragyan Ojha
HYDERABAD: former Indian left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha Has revealed Indian Premier League ( IPL ) side Deccan chargers (now renamed as Hyderabad Sunrises ) had to face the odds off the field to lift the 2009 title.
Deccan chargers turned their fortunes miraculously in the 2009 season which was held in South Africa because of general elections in India. After finishing bottom of the table in the inaugural first season in 2008, the Chargers bagged the title in the second edition.
Ojha, who recently announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, was his biggest wicket winner that season.
After finishing the last one in 2008, we had no sponsors. Due to late sponsors, when we arrived in South Africa, we had a limited amount of clothing ... training kits. It was then that Gilly (Adam Gilchrist) came and told us that all these things don't matter, what matters is that once you win the championship, you will see how things will change. And I tell him that once we won, it was something completely different, Ojha told Cricbuzz.
The Deccan chargers managed 143/6 in the final at Johannesburg. In reply, Ojha (3/28) and Harmeet Singh (2/23) restricted Royal Challengers Bangalore to 137/9 and won the tie by six runs.
" 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," said Ojha who has played 24 Tests, 18 ODIs and 6 T20Is for India in which he scalped 113, 21 and 10 wickets respectively.
Deccan chargers had the likes of Gilchrist, a young Rohit Sharma, Herschelle Gibbs, Andrew Symonds in their ranks but Ojha feels it was the youngsters who excelled under the leadership of Gilchrist.
Gilly was very balanced. He knew exactly how to absorb pressure from owners, or external pressure. He absorbed all of that and kept him away from the team and support staff. Any pressure that the team used to face, maybe we did not do well in some games or whatever, there was pressure from the owners, from outsiders, such as people who did not belong to the 15, from the support staff, they handled it very all right. It was one of our greatest strengths, added Ojha.