Chennai Super Kings’ captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has yet to rule out playing in the IPL next year, but said his body will have to hold up for that to happen. Led by 41-year-old MS Dhoni, CSK won a record fifth IPL title with a five-wicket victory over Gujarat Titans here on Monday.
“Under the circumstances, this is the best time to announce my retirement. But the amount of love I got, it would be easy to walk away, but it would be harder to work hard for nine months and try to play another IPL,” Dhoni said after the final.
Dhoni has been the cynosure of all eyes since the start of the Indian Premier League this year and in a fitting end to the final, the skipper finished with a record-equalling fifth trophy.
This IPL, his fans from across the country flocked to venues in large numbers to cheer for him and chant his name wherever CSK played.
“It would be a gift from me, it won’t be easy on the body. You are emotional, the first match in CSK everyone was chanting my name. My eyes were full of water, I needed to rest.” I realized I had to enjoy it. I think they love me for who I am, I don’t try to portray something I’m not. Just keep it simple,” said Dhoni.
Talking about the match, Dhoni said, “Every trophy is special, but what’s special about the IPL is every crunch game you have to be prepared for. There were breakdowns today, the bowling department didn’t work but it was the batting department today relieved the pressure.
“I’m frustrated, it’s human, but I try to put myself in their shoes, everyone handles pressure differently. Ajinkya (Rahane) and a few others are experienced, so don’t worry. If anyone is confused, they can always ask.”
Gujarat Titans captain Hardik Pandya, who considers Dhoni as his mentor, said he did not mind losing to India’s two-time World Cup-winning captain. “I think we check a lot of boxes and play with heart. We’ve always been a team that sticks together and nobody gives up. We win together and we lose together. Maybe one of those games today,” he said.
“I mean, I’m not one of those guys who makes excuses,” Hardik said.
When asked about Dhoni, he said, “I am very happy for him. Fate has written it for him. If I was to lose, I don’t mind losing to him. Good things happen to good people.”
B Sai Sudharsan smashed 96 in 47 balls as Gujarat Titans posted 214 for four after being asked to bat first.
Set a revised target of 171 in 15 overs, CSK completed the task in the last ball after rain interrupted play at the start of the second innings of the final, which was pushed to a reserve day due to heavy downpour.