Ahmedabad: It’s pretty heart-breaking when the Purple Cap and the Orange Cap winners are in the same IPL side, but the team still ends up on the losing side. However, Rajasthan Royals head coach, Kumar Sangakkara didn’t want to delve into the seven-wicket loss to Gujarat Titans in title clash at the Narendra Modi Stadium and preferred to look at the positives.
Royals’ spin bowler Yuzvendra Chahal received the Purple Cap for his 27 wickets in 17 games, while Jos Buttler, with 863 runs, took the Orange Cap. But there was little consolation for the Sanju Samsom-led side at it failed to win the title in their second IPL final ever.
Summing up the loss, Sri Lankan great Sangakkara said, “I think we went through a few ups and downs but we have a lot of skill. We had huge contribution from Jos (Buttler), (Ravichandran) Ashwin and Yuzi (Chahal). We had Prasidh (Krishna), Boulty (Trent Boult), Obed McCoy coming in.
“I think it has been a great journey and great to be part of this franchise. It’s never about recreating what happened before but about looking forward. The change is inevitable. Who you are makes a lot of difference, so I will ask players to work on their whole self,” added Sangakkara.
It was a season of several positives for the Royals, who looked the best team till they were subdued by the Titans.
With 863 runs, four explosive centuries, most fours and most sixes and the Orange Cap to his name, Buttler capped off his most successful run in the IPL. But more than his run-scoring, it was his ability to switch gears and step out of his comfort zone that showcased the other side of his batting personality.
As an explosive batter and as a guiding force, Buttler’s presence in the Royals camp has added a different dimension to their batting , one that bodes well for seasons to come.
Chahal’s first IPL season in Royals coloursturned out to be a rewarding one, with the leg-spinner finishing off with 27 wickets, an economy of 7.75 and the Purple Cap to his name. His variations were one of the biggest threats to the opponents, often being the cause of crucial breakthroughs just when the team needed them. Chahal bagged the only hat-trick of the season, his first of the IPL, and also registered his maiden five-wicket haul in the tournament.
Royals fans were surprised when Ravichandran Ashwin was brought on board and then pushed up in the batting order. The team soon found that the off-spinner was a handy batter, capable of striking the ball irrespective of his batting position. The move to promote him may not have always worked in the team’s favour, but it did boost Ashwin’s confidence, making him the all-rounder to slot in the Royals’ middle order. He finished with 191 runs — the most he’s scored in any season and the only fifty of his IPL career.
With so many positives, it’s a matter of time before the Royals bag their second IPL title after 2008. And, Buttler summed it up well when he tweeted after the final that he was looking forward to the “next one”.
“Disappointed with last night but we will be working hard and sticking together as always. Looking forward to the next one,” tweeted the England cricketer.