Gilchrist Said “He Was Lucky”: RP Singh Recalls Bizarre Selection Criteria
The 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) kicks off later today with a blockbuster clash between holders Gujarat Titans and four-time champions Chennai Super Kings. Hardik Pandya‘s Gujarat Titans completed a league double over the MS Dhoni-led CSK last season, and will look to further improve their record against their opponents. Ahead of the start of the new season, former India pacer RP Singh, who was part of Deccan Chargers’ title-winning side in 2009, has made an interesting revelation from the season which was played in South Africa.
Deccan Chargers, who finished last during the inaugural season in 2008, went on to lift the title the following season, under the captaincy of Adam Gilchrist.
RP Singh revealed that Gilchrist had chosen right-arm pacer Harmeet Singh Bansal in the final squad as he believed that he is the team’s lucky.
“We thought that Harmeet had variations, he bowled good. He had limited skills but gave his 100 percent on the ground, and that was important. We were winning so everyone thought it unwise to tinker with the winning combination. But even then, a few of us believed that we could try something different,” RP Singh recalled on Jio Cinema.
During the 2009 season, Harmeet missed the majority of the season due to an injury, but featured in the latter stages of the tournament.
He was picked in the playing XI for the final against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, despite picking just one wicket prior to the summit clash.
However, Gilchrist bagged his lucky charm and Harmeet bagged the important wickets of Mark Boucher and Rahul Dravid.
“When we talked to the captain and coach about it, they straightaway refused saying, ‘he’s important for the XI’. And why was he important? ‘because he was lucky for us’… Gilchrist told me that! And I was like, ‘this is also a criteria for selection!’,” Singh added.
Representing the ‘City of Nizams’, Deccan Chargers was one of the original eight franchises of the tournament, but were later replaced by the Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2013.
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