'I think we were 20 runs shot and it was disappointing. We could have made at least 160. We lost our way in the middle, played a few bad shots and a couple of run outs,' he said after the match.
But at no point did they give up their defence. 'Both Polly (Shaun Pollock) and Robin Singh told the boys to go out and give their heart out. It's a matter of sustaining your intensity for one and a half hours. So don't put your head down and fight till the end. Till the last ball is bowled you should believe that you can win. And that’s practically what we did. Throughout the tournament we have surprised people with our character. We were underdogs to start with many of our key players injured,' he said.
Getting the formidable RCB top order, all of them in fine knick, was the key. 'It was a matter of getting wickets, and Lasith responded brilliantly as he had been throughout the tournament. He has batted and bowled well, with the new ball, in the middle overs to break partnerships and at the death. If your opposition needs eight to 10 runs in the last overs, you can always trust him to defend those runs. He has been our top performer right from the day he joined us,' Harbhajan said heaping praise on Malinga.
His own spell (4-0-20-3) was crucial in orchestrating the win. Chris Gayle's wicket was as prized. 'The first ball to him spun, and that probably got him out. For, he didn't know which way the ball was spinning and finally got out off the last ball. That was an important one because he has been their man in form,' he pointed out.
The younger players raising their performance level was another positive for Mumbai Indians. 'We can't ask for more. I always wanted to give them chances and not make them feel left out. Even in the IPL, we had tried a lot of youngsters and this tournament they really raised their performances. That augurs well for us in IPL 5, and hopefully many of them will go onto represent their domestic sides and other higher forms of cricket,' he said.
He has also enjoyed his captaincy, forced by Tendulkar's injury. 'Whatever Mumbai Indians have wanted me to do, I have given my best. Captaincy is all about management and getting the best out of players, to let every player feel as important as any other. Players make you good captain and bad captain. The boys have been very supportive,' he said.
Meanwhile, he felt the wickets got better as the tournament progressed. 'If you look at, in the first two matches balls were keeping low and the wicket was generally slow. Then after a few matches, you see David Warner scoring a hundred and Chennai chasing well. So it has got better. Even yesterday, I felt we were 10 runs shot. But it's still not as good as it used to be for spinners. The pitch is relaid and the red soil will take its time to settle in,' he said.
He lauded Tendulkar's backroom support. 'He was very involved in everything, and is a great role model to have in the dressing room. His support and ideas were there and he talked to a lot of guys like (Ambati) Rayudu and (Tirumalasetti) Suman in the dressing room. A lot of our success owes to him,' he signed off.