Gujarat Titans (GT) head coach Ashish Nehra was instrumental in guiding them to the title in their debut Indian Premier League (IPL) season last year. The former Indian pacer has struck a successful association with captain Hardik Pandya and took GT to the final in IPL 2023 as well.
Unlike many coaches Nehra is fully involved in the proceedings out in the middle. However, his overenthusiasm may have probably cost GT the final against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
The M S Dhoni-led CSK edged GT by five wickets via Duckworth-Lewis method in the summit clash, which finished on early Tuesday morning.
CSK, chasing a revised target of 171 in 15 overs after a rain break, needed 13 off the final over bowled by Mohit Sharma. The veteran Haryana medium-pacer, who made a fairytale comeback this season after being picked as a net bowler by GT last year, had sent back Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu and Dhoni in his first two overs.
Mohit, who has been GT's specialist death bowler, started off with a dot ball in the final over. The right-arm bowler conceded only singles off the next three balls against Shivam Dube and Ravindra Jadeja. Mohit had nailed the yorkers and all the pressure was on Jadeja with 10 needed off the last two balls.
At this vital juncture Nehra decided to send out a player to the middle with a message for Mohit. The player along with Pandya had a chat with Mohit and the rather unnecessary discussion only made Mohit lose his focus. The next ball turned out to be an overpitched delivery, which Jadeja smashed for a straight six.
Mohit failed in his attempt to bowl a yorker on the leg stump off the final ball. He only succeeded in bowling a full toss on the legs, which Jadeja clipped to the deep square leg boundary to seal a thrilling triumph.