In a one-sided final at the Dubai International Stadium on Friday, Mahendra Singh Dhoni once again demonstrated his credentials in the white-ball format by playing a flawless role in leading Chennai Super Kings to their fourth Indian Premier League title, defeating Kolkata Knight Riders by 27 runs. Chennai made a dramatic return to win the trophy and prove their worth in the world’s most popular T20 league after failing to make the playoffs in the previous edition.
Despite a promising opening stand of 91 between Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer, the most loved and revered Indian captain of all time led a team of veterans with heaps of experience as they first decided to post a formidable target of 192 for 3 and then squeezed Knights for only 165 for 9. Dhoni’s shrewd captaincy ensured that 91 for no loss turned into 125 for 8, and just like that, there appeared to be only one team playing on the pitch.
MS Dhoni stated during the post-match presentation, “ Before I start talking about CSK, it’s important I talk about KKR. For the position they were in after the first phase, to perform this well, it’s very difficult. If any team deserved to win the IPL this year, it is KKR for the way they have played. I think the break helped them. Yes we are most consistent team looking at the stats but we have also lost finals. Not letting the opposition in is something we conciously wanted to improve. I hope CSK in the coming years will be known for that.”
The fact that the captain of the winning team went so far as to sincerely thank his opponents for their perseverance, and to make it clear that winning one trophy does not mean that his team is invincible, is why CSK are at the pinnacle of IPL teams. Dhoni and his team managed to turn disgrace into acclaim through sheer hard work, and that is truly commendable.
The Man of the Match award went to Faf du Plessis. He crushed an 86-run knock for CSK and was just brilliant in the finals.
Aside from the IPL 2021 winners, there were several more players who received accolades for moments of particular brilliance, whether in a match or during the season, or for their steady performance throughout the season. They were as follows:
Ruturaj Gaikwad took home the Orange Cap after scoring 635 runs in 16 games. He was nearly surpassed by Faf du Plessis, who finished the season with 633 runs from 16 games.
The Purple Cap was awarded to RCB’s Harshal Patel, who took 32 wickets in 15 games.
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As a result, another season of the Indian Premier League came to an end. Because the League is set to undergo major changes beginning with the next edition, this conclusion is bittersweet, but as they say, onwards and upwards. Let’s hope for a rapid return of this tournament that we’ve all fallen in love with!