“We spent 95% of our budget playing eleven during the auction” – Kumar Sangakkara

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The Rajasthan Royals played their best cricket reaching the IPL final since their inaugural run in 2008. The team owes credit to their new cricket manager Kumar Sangakkara who executed a complete overhaul, dropping the non- performers. Sometimes by deleting them. He also brought on board his companion Lasith Malinga. Prasidh Krishna firing at all cylinders has something to do with the ex-Sri Lankan.

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Jos Buttler’s resurgence as a T20 cricketer, who slammed four centuries this season, has Sangakkara written all over the place. It gave him confidence and allowed him to be a leader on the field where he was seen going to bowlers for occasional on-field advice. After helping them reach the final so many years later, Sangakkara gave a glimpse of what has changed this season.

“All the planning, all the hard work. Really tough with the tight loss to Gujarat Titans but the guys picked themselves up and came back strong. The whole bowling unit was exceptional. Special mention to Prasidh. We had 16 to defend last game, and three sixes from Miller. This can cause a huge breach in trust. But he was honest, he was brilliant in goal. Then Trent Boult. And Obed McCoy, his mother, was quite sick at home, but he managed to put that aside. She is recovering well,” Sangakkara said.

“Jos Buttler supports his strengths and maneuvers the bowling to play more and more to his strengths. The great thing is that he can speed up at any time. Overall, he’s a great guy who thinks deeply about his game and himself,” Sangakkara said.

He said the team had calculated the numbers and played with the data to come up with the best possible strategy so far in the season.

“At the auction table, we spent 90-95% of our purse building our first XI. We worked hard on the data to work out the players we wanted. We are emphasizing experience right now. We have a splash of youngsters who will become stars later on, but our first XI has a strong share of seasoned internationals. Full credit to Giles Lindsay, our analyst, Zubin Barucha and the rest of the staff. Victories do not happen by chance. It takes a lot of planning, hard work and execution on the ground.

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