The fifth season of the IPL (played in 2012) was debatably the most memorable for the team. After going through an overhaul ahead of the 2011 season, they made progress with a playoff finish. A year later, after finishing in the top two, the Purple Brigade beat the Delhi Daredevils (now Capitals) to reach the final. As Chennai Super Kings had won the title in 2010 and 2011, they got to play in the home final, after beating Mumbai Indians (Eliminator) and Daredevils (Qualifier Two).
During the final, former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum had to be benched for the game. Manvindar Bisla, his replacement, scored a match-winning 89 to help the team clinch their maiden title. Meanwhile, during an interaction, Gambhir revealed that he apologized to the former New Zealand ahead of the final.
"Before leaving for that final at Chepauk, I actually said sorry to Brendon McCullum in front of the entire team. I said 'I am really really sorry I had to drop you. The reason is not your performance, the reason is our combination.' No one wanted to do that. But I had the courage to apologize to him in front of the whole team. Nothing wrong in apologizing."
I would have had that guilt for not apologizing: Gautam Gambhir
The two-time World Cup winner added that had he not apologized, he would have been consumed by guilt.
"Had I not apologized in front of the entire team, somewhere deep inside my heart, I would have had that guilt that I have not communicated well enough. Leadership is not only about taking appreciation or shutting yourself off or taking credit. It's about doing this stuff as well. Sometimes it's awkward but that's how you grow as a leader."