'It was Kohli's chance to win IPL as captain. Bowling that one bad over shattered me': Ex-Australia star on 2016 final

  • In IPL 2016, Virat Kohli had burned up the charts with 973 runs, which is still a record for the most runs in a single season by an individual, but RCB stumbled on the final hurdle as they fell short of SRH's total of 208 by just 8 runs.
Virat Kohli scored 973 runs in IPL 2016 but RCB lost in the final. (Twitter)
Virat Kohli scored 973 runs in IPL 2016 but RCB lost in the final. (Twitter)
Updated on May 17, 2022 10:06 AM IST
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Virat Kohli will surely go down as an IPL great, but one that never won the trophy as captain. Kohli, who captained RCB for 8 years before stepping down after the 2021 season, came close to lifting the IPL crown in 2016, when RCB reached the final but lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad in the summit clash. Kohli had burned up the charts with 973 runs, which is still a record for the most runs in a single season by an individual, but RCB stumbled in the final hurdle as they fell short of SRH’s total of 208 by just 8 runs. (Also Read - 'Won't be surprised if he gets picked for India': Ganguly names 2 uncapped pacers who impressed him most in IPL 2022)

Cricket is a game where results are determined by the barest of margins, and for RCB, it was one such game. SRH scored 24 runs off the last over of their innings, bowled by Shane Watson, who had a rather off day. The former Australia all-rounder went wicketless giving away 61 off four overs. Almost six years after that night at the Chinnaswamy, Watson recalled the IPL 2016 final and admitted that bowling the last over left him 'shattered'.

"The 2016 final which I played with RCB was something I was just shattered about. Because I know how much it meant to RCB to win that final. It was at home at Chinnaswamy. RCB had played so well all year, at the backend of that tournament in particular. Virat in particular was on fire. It was his chance, one of the greatest players, to win that elusive IPL title as captain. And bowling that one over just shattered me. It just got it wrong and I felt like the end of time," Watson said on the Delhi Capitals podcast. 

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But while Watson's 2016 season ended on a dampener, two years later Watson had his redemption. Playing for a new franchise, the Chennai Super Kings in 2018, Watson pummelled the bowling attacks, amassing 555 runs, scoring two centuries, one of which came in the final against a familiar opponent, the Sunrisers. This time, Watson would bludgeon the SRH attack, and even though he got off to a really slow start – his score reading 0 off 11 balls – Watson made up with a brisk century and scored an unbeaten 117 as CSK chased down 180 with a breeze.

"I was thinking 'What are you doing? What's going on?' You're ruining it for the team. So those voices were getting quite louder. I got off to a very slow start which means I put pressure of Faf as well. He took a risk he didn't need to," Watson said about his slow start. "But that was one of the days you just dream of. Deep down inside me, that 2018 final was something whose demons I had to exercise and that's why I was so determined to just direct all my energy into every single ball. A few little things fell my way. I was nearly 37. To be able to have a season like that and have a game like that in the final is something you always dream of."

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