The inaugural season of the Indian Premier League in 2008 saw the underdogs team Rajasthan Royals emerge as the winners. RR was not pipped to be the favourites to win the title with the side not having too many heavy hitters in the team at the time. But with Shane Warne in charge of the team, RR went on to defeat Chennai Super Kings in the final to win the trophy. In an Instagram Live interaction, Mohammad Kaif and Yusuf Pathan, who both were part of the team at the time, recalled the title win and credited Warne's captaincy for seeing them through the tournament.
"Shane Warne was ahead of his time. He started the concept of 'horses for courses' during IPL 2008. Warne got the best out of everyone. He had the quality of being flexible," Kaif said.
"We had a lot of changes on our side. There was no batting position fixed for any player. Warne told me to talk to the Indian guys, who were a little weak in English. I did not take IPL 2008 very seriously as not many of us had played the format, but when we started winning, I thought that this product would go a long way as the families started enjoying the tournament," he further added.
Pathan, who had scored 435 runs in the 2008 season and also picked 8 wickets, further praised Warne's captaincy and said that every skipper in the world can learn from him.
"I remember Warne took our team meeting. He was very positive. He told it does not matter that we lost in the first match, but he emphasised the need for showing team-spirit and giving our best. He motivated all of us by giving a rousing speech and then he went on to say that we will go on to win the tournament. Every skipper in the world should look to learn from him," said Pathan during the interaction.
"Warne told us that the management will back every player. We went on to win our matches from thereon. Every player got the backing and appreciation after every match. We then made it to the finals. Whenever I go to Rajasthan, I feel like I have gone back to the time in 2008," he further added.
(With inputs from ANI)
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