Before their first match of the IPL 2013, Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor Kris Srikkanth spoke about ‘belief’ and ‘faith’ being a crucial aspect to their journey in the tournament. He spoke about creating a vibe of positive energy in the dressing room that would bring the team success. (Also Read: SRH vs KKR - M72 Report & Stats: IPL 2013)
Now, 46 days, 16 matches, a super over and a hattrick later, Kris Srikkanth is proud of a team that not many gave a chance of making to the playoffs. The Sunrisers hardly have any superstars nor does it boast of big names from the domestic circuit; yet in their very first year, they have made it to the top four of the tournament. With a renewed team, new backstage staff, refurbished hope and a drive to succeed, the Sunrisers now look forward to putting up a similar spirited performance in the playoffs.
Still over the moon after achieving one of their primary targets in the tournament, Kris Srikkanth spoke to IPLT20.com with a joy that knew no bounds. He compared the win to one of India’s most iconic moments in cricketing history; the 1983 World Cup victory which he was a part of.
“My memories went down to the 1983 World Cup. Nobody gave us a chance in the World Cup that year, but we qualified and won at the end of the day. The feeling today is quite similar as no one gave the Sunrisers a chance in the tournament, and today we have qualified for the playoffs,” said an overjoyed Srikkanth.
With a win against the Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday, the Sunrisers have not only booked a playoffs spot but have also knocked out favourites Royal Challengers Bangalore out of the tournament. From being labelled as the underdogs, to making it to the final four, the Sunrisers Hyderabad have indeed come a long way.
“If you look at the team, we had the faith and belief that we would make it. Everybody said we were the underdogs, but we were not worried about it. This team is built on teamwork and not individual performance. The core of the team has been the supportive nature of its members. Everybody backed each other through the ups and downs in the tournament which has helped in the team’s success,” said Srikkanth.
A new setup, a new support staff and a renewed team has indeed caught a lot of people by surprise. From game number one to game number sixteen, Srikkanth describes the Sunrisers’ journey in one word – Fantastic.
“The journey for us has been fantastic. Before the start of the tournament, the only thing we told the boys was to play with a lot of passion. They have done exactly that and it is this passion in their hearts that has got the team thus far.”
Srikkanth, who has always believed in the power of the people and positive energy, also credits the people of Hyderabad for the team’s success. “I have always believed in the power of the people. The energy of the people of Hyderabad has been brilliant. They have supported us throughout and this helped create a positive energy that was reflected on the field. Our fans turned up in great numbers for our games and have given us unconditional support.”
When asked what he would tell the team when they meet the Rajasthan Royals in the playoffs, Srikkanth replied with a smile. “Keep playing your natural game. Do not worry or get overburdened by the occasion. Take it one game at a time and the results will follow.”