India’s talismanic former captain led CSK to a record-tying fifth IPL title on Monday, beating Gujarat Titans on the rain-limited reserve day of the final after bad weather did not allowed to play on Sunday.
Ravindra Jadeja kept his composure to score 15 from 6 balls and bring CSK to the revised target (DLS) of 171 from 15 overs on the last ball for a five-wicket win. GT had scored 214/4 in their stipulated 20 overs, courtesy of Sai Sudharsan’s searing 96 from 47 balls.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, Dhoni, 41, shared his thoughts on the question on everyone’s mind: is this his last IPL?
“Actually, it’s the best time to announce my retirement. But the amount of love I’ve received everywhere, the easiest thing would be to leave here, but the hardest thing would be to work hard for nine months and try to play another IPL,” Dhoni said.
Dhoni has been the center of attention since the start of the Indian Premier League this year and, at the end of the final, the captain finished with a record fifth trophy.
This IPL, his fans across the country flocked to the venues to cheer him on, chanting his name wherever CSK played.
“It would be a gift from me, it won’t be easy on the body. You get emotional. The first game at CSK, everyone was chanting my name. My eyes were full of water, I needed to take a little time for the canoe.
“I realized I had to take advantage of it. I think they like me for who I am, I’m not trying to portray something that I’m not. Keep it simple,” Dhoni said.
Speaking about the match, Dhoni said: “Every trophy is special but what is special about IPL is every critical match you need to be ready for. There were gaps today, the bowling department didn’t work, but it was the batting department that took the pressure off them today.
“I’m frustrated, it’s human but I’m trying to put myself in their shoes, each individual handles pressure differently. Ajinkya (Rahane) and a few others are experienced so don’t worry. If anyone is confused, so can he still ask,” he concluded.
(With contributions from the agency)