Muttiah Muralitharan's told his bowlers to stay calm while Chris Gayle was batting © Getty Images
Muttiah Muralitharan’s told his bowlers to stay calm while Chris Gayle was batting © Getty Images

Legendary Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan who was also the bowling coach for the IPL-winning Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) team this year is known for his knowledge of the game and his immense experience. Murali’s message to his bowlers while Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) were hammering them in the run-chase was simple. In an interview with iplt20.com, he discussed what strategy the team had adopted and what advice did he give to the team while they defended the 209-run target in the final. In a gist, Murali’s message while Chris Gayle was at the crease was clear. All wanted he wanted his bowlers to do was to stay calm. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Royal Challengers Bangalore  vs  Sunrisers Hyderabad , Final match, IPL 2016

On what instructions he gave to his bowlers before they came out to defend 209 against a strong RCB batting line-up.

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 (Kohli) get going it is always very hard. But our batsman had put up a good total (for the bowlers) to defend. (David) Warner batted really well, (and so did) Yuvraj (Singh) and Shikhar Dhawan and especially Ben Cutting – these four guys put up a total of more than 200 runs which was the most important thing. ALSO READ: SRH win IPL 2016 Final against RCB by 8 runs; David Warner, Ben Cutting play starring roles

On how he prepared a superb pace attack.

We didn’t have very great spinners, we depended on fast bowlers. Our last four overs were very good in the tournament. So we stuck to our plans and what are our strengths are, and according to that we prepared the team to bowl.

What was the key to win three consecutive knock-out matches?

It is all about giving confidence to the boys and (asking them to) play (to the best of their abilities). The (message was) 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.

What was the advice while Gayle was batting? 

Just calm down (Just stay calm). They are hitting hard; we needed to get two people out and then the run rate will increase. That is what happened. It was our day and we had to win the match.

How does it feel to win the IPL ?

It feels fantastic because as a player I have won many trophies, but as a coach (this is the) 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 are winning as a new franchise. It is great for everybody.