Clarity, humbleness, team unity and brilliant management are some of the factors Chennai Super Kings cricketers pointed out after the MS Dhoni-led side defeated Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL 2021 final in Dubai to lift their fourth title.
Playing in their ninth Indian Premier League final, CSK, after being sent into bat, posted a stunning 192/3 in 20 overs, following a Faf du Plessis 59-ball 86 special on a track that aided batters. In reply, KKR made a blistering start to their chase putting on 91 runs for the opening wicket, thanks to fifties from Venkatesh Iyer and Shubman Gill.
However, as usual, like throughout the tournament, the KKR middle-order fell apart with Eoin Morgan and Co. making a time-bound appearance just like in a fashion show. As many as six batters went home in single digits. KKR finally finished at 165/9 in 20 overs.
“It is top of the moon feeling to win the orange cap (635 runs) and win the IPL,” said CSK opener Ruturaj Gaikwad. “When you are performing well, you are confident on your lesser risk shots. You need to make sure you are there till the end.”
Englishman Moeen Ali credited CSK’s calm and grounded nature. “Can’t describe how I’m feeling. To do it with this franchise is great. So calm and so clear in what they (CSK) want to do. It’s such a grounded and humble team,” added the left-hander, who scored 357 runs in 15 games.
Robin Uthappa, who was instrumental in CSK in the last two games, also heaped praise on the franchise.
“Extremely grateful, feels amazing to be part of this side, especially how last year went for us. They create a very secure environment within the group and there’s lot of clarity and communication within the support staff and the players and that really helps in building a secure group.
“I believe it’s your players who are not playing in the eleven that really create the atmosphere within the group and they make sure that they look after the players who are not playing in the eleven and I think that's one of the biggest takeaways of our success in IPL,” added the 2007 T20 World Cup-winning Indian star.
All-rounder, Dwayne Bravo also echoed similar sentiments. “There was a belief in the squad from management and owners. The last season was really disappointed, owed it to the franchise, the fans to come up with a better performance,” said the West Indian.