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Mitch’s arrival significantly boosted the confidence of the young players.

Mitch’s arrival significantly boosted the confidence of the young players.

Kolkata Knight Riders became IPL 2024 champions, lifting their third title – and first in a decade – as they dismantled the dominant SRH batting lineup, bundling them out for just 113 for a comprehensive 8-wicket win. Here’s what the various KKR players and support staff had to say:

Bharat Arun | KKR’s bowling coach: “It has been pretty tough the last two years; we didn’t qualify and there has been introspection. We worked on areas that needed attention. [On Harshit Rana] He has been outstanding. It’s about the bowler understanding his strengths, and when he does, it comes out beautifully on the ground. Mitch [Mitchell Starc] coming into the team boosted the confidence of the other youngsters. He has been one of the best bowlers in world cricket and has been in such situations before. It’s about understanding Indian conditions and once he did that, it was magic all over. [On spinners] They have been outstanding. Spinners mature with age, and both bowling in tandem has worked exceptionally for us. [On Narine opening] He has brought a totally different dimension to our batting this year and it was Gautam [Gambhir] who insisted that Sunny open. What Sunny did was outstanding.”

Nitish Rana: “When GG [Gautam Gambhir] bhai was appointed as the mentor, I had messaged him and congratulated him, saying I am very happy he’s coming back to KKR. But he said that he would be happy if we were on that podium lifting the trophy. I’ll never forget that message ever.”

Varun Chakaravarthy: “This has been a great season for me. All I can think of now is the person who has built the Indian core – Abhishek Nayar.”

Abhishek Nayar: “It means everything. It has taken a very long time. I have been with the IPL for 16 years, and it has taken me so many years to be a champion. I’m the big man here, this means a lot for him (on Russell).”

Angkrish Raghuvanshi: “The feeling hasn’t sunk in and might do when we party tonight.”

Ramandeep Singh: “It has been hard and we will celebrate now. The environment has been amazing and we gelled well together.”

Venkatesh Iyer: “Really happy, credit goes to Abhishek Nayar, all the credit in the world, the way he’s worked for the franchise. He was the one who built this Indian core. We waited for 10 years, credit to the management and the coaching staff.”

Rahmanullah Gurbaz: “[On how his mom is doing] I think she would have been watching; she is OK now. Before the match, I spoke to my mom – I asked what she wanted, she said, nothing just win [the trophy]. [Phil] Salty played really well and my expectation was – with the World Cup coming – I wanted to prepare. Also, I had to be ready if Salty got injured or something. I got it and I was well prepared. Twice I’m an IPL champion now, I’m lucky. When you work hard for two months and the result comes like this, it is special.”

Rinku Singh: “Outstanding feeling right now. Dream has come true – I have been here for 7 years and we are so happy. Credit to GG sir. I will finally lift the IPL trophy.”

Vaibhav Arora: “My role is to take wickets with the new ball. We have very good spinners, so if we chipped in with 2-3 wickets, the spinners will do the rest.”

Harshit Rana: “Can’t express [in words] how happy we are.”

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