The talismanic former India captain led CSK to a record-equalling fifth IPL title on Monday, beating Gujarat Titans on the rain-curtailed reserve day of the final after bad weather didn’t allow any play on Sunday.
Ravindra Jadeja held his nerve to score 15 not out off 6 balls and take CSK to the revised (DLS) target of 171 in 15 overs off the last ball for a five-wicket win. GT had scored 214/4 in their stipulated 20 overs, thanks to Sai Sudharsan’s blistering 96 off 47 balls.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, the 41-year-old Dhoni shared his thoughts on the question on everyone’s mind: Is this his last IPL?
“Circumstantially, this is the best time to announce my retirement. But the amount of love I have received all over, the easy thing would be to walk away from here, but the harder thing would be to work hard for nine months and try to play another IPL,” Dhoni said.
Dhoni has been the cynosure of all eyes ever since the Indian Premier League began this year and in a fitting end to the finale, the captain finished with a record-levelling fifth trophy.
This IPL his fans from across the country went to the venues in large numbers to cheer for him, chanting his name wherever CSK have played.
“It would be a gift from me, won’t be easy on the body. You do get emotional. The first game at CSK, everyone was chanting my name. My eyes were full of water, I needed to take some time off in the dugout.
“I realised I need to enjoy this. I think they love me for what I am, I don’t try to portray something I’m not. Just keep it simple,” Dhoni said.
Speaking about the match, Dhoni said, “Every trophy is special, but what is special about IPL is every crunch game you need to be ready. There were lapses today, the bowling department didn’t work, but it was the batting department that took the pressure off them today.
“I do get frustrated, it is human but I try to step into their shoes, every individual deals with pressure differently. Ajinkya (Rahane) and a few others are experienced, so you don’t worry. If anyone is confused, then can always ask,” he concluded.
(With agency inputs)