Following his side's five-wicket win over Gujarat Titans (GT) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) final, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) MS Dhoni said that though it is a perfect time for him to retire from the game, he would play one more season for the fans after all the love and affection they have shown to him all over India, even though it is "hard thing to do is to work hard for nine months and prepare for next season".
A fifty partnership by Devon Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad and cameos from Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja helped Chennai Super Kings (CSK) defeat Gujarat Titans (GT) in a final ball thriller by five wickets at Ahmedabad on Monday to clinch their fifth Indian Premier League (IPL) title.
"If you circumstantially if you see it's the best time to announce the retirement. The easy thing for me to say is thank you and retire. But the hard thing to do is to work hard for nine months and try to play one more IPL season. The body has to hold up. But with the amount of love I have received from CSK fans, it would be a gift for them to play one more season. The way they have shown their love and emotion, it is something I need to do for them," said Dhoni in a post-match presentation.
"It is the last part of my career. It started over here and the full house was chanting my name. It was my same thing in Chennai, but it will be good to come back and play whatever I can. The kind of cricket I play, they feel they can play that cricket. There is nothing orthodox about it and I like to keep it simple."
"I think every trophy or bilateral series you win, it has its own challenges. When it comes to the crunch, you need to have your individuals ready. The amount of pressure every individual can deal with is different. We tried to do that. Ajinkya [Rahane] is experienced, but if they [youngsters] are confused we chat with them. The special thing about Rayudu if he's on the field he always gives his 100 per cent. We played for India A together - he played spin and fast bowlers equally well. I felt always he will do something special. He's also like me who doesn't use a phone a lot," concluded Dhoni.
MS Dhoni has scored 104 runs in 12 innings this IPL 2023. He scored these runs at an average of 26, with a strike rate of above 182. His best score this season was 32*.
Coming to the match, a 67-run stand between Shubman Gill (39 in 20 balls) and Wriddhiman Saha provided GT with a solid start. Then came a 64-run stand between Saha and Sai Sudarshan. Saha was dismissed for 54 off 39 balls, which had five fours and a six.
Sudarshan smashed 96 in just 47 balls, with eight fours and six sixes. He stitched an 81-run stand for the third wicket with skipper Hardik Pandya, who scored 21 off 12 balls.
Matheesha Pathirana took 2/44 in four overs. Deepak Chahar and Ravindra Jadeja took a wicket each.
The match was delayed due to rain. After the resumption, CSK was set a revised target of 171 runs in 15 overs. Openers Devon Conway (47 in 25 balls) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (26 in 16 balls), provided a platform with a 74-run stand for the first wicket. Despite Ajinkya Rahane's quickfire 27 in 13 balls and Ambati Rayadu's 19 in eight balls, Mohit Sharma scripted a comeback for GT with his tight bowling. He also got Dhoni out for a golden duck.
CSK needed 13 runs in the final over. But Mohit could not defend it as Jadeja denied GT a win with a match-winning four on the final ball.
Mohit was the pick of the bowlers for GT, taking 3/36 in his four overs. Noor Ahmed (2/17) was also impressive with the ball.
Brief Scores: GT: 214/4 (Sai Sudharsan 96, Wriddhiman Saha 54, Matheesha Pathirana 2/44) lost to CSK: 171/5 in 15 overs (Devon Conway 47, Shivam Dube 32, Mohit Sharma 3/36). (ANI)