Ahmedabad, May 30
A fter witnessing 73 competitive games, the IPL 2023 has culminated on a stellar note with a last-over thriller between Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans in the highly-anticipated final at Narendra Modi Stadium.
fter witnessing 73 competitive games, the IPL 2023 has culminated on a stellar note with a last-over thriller between Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans in the highly-anticipated final at Narendra Modi Stadium.
The IPL mania reached its crescendo in a mouthwatering final as two of the best teams of the season locked horns in a summit clash in front of a capacity crowd at the world's largest cricket stadium.
The fans had to wait for more than two days to see the new IPL champions and it was MS Dhoni-led CSK that emerged victorious in a humdinger which went down the wire.
With four required off the final ball of a rain-hit IPL Final, star CSK all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja hit a boundary off Mohit Sharma to fashion a famous win for the Yellow Brigade - who lifted their record-equalling fifth IPL trophy. MS Dhoni-led CSK thus equalled Rohit Sharma's Mumbai Indians to have an equal number of IPL trophies in their cabinet.
While the IPL Final couldn't have asked for a better setting, the fans eagerly waited for CSK captain MS Dhoni to speak about his IPL future. The legendary skipper announced that he will return next year in IPL, receiving a rapturous cheer from the jovial crowd, which got another reason to rejoice.
Reacting over MS Dhoni's decision to not hang up his gloves after a successful campaign in IPL 2023, former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh claimed the Ranchi cricketer will come back stronger next year.
Speaking on Star Sports' Cricket Live, Harbhajan said, "This is the biggest news for fans. MS Dhoni will come back next year and he will return with even better fitness. Fans will get to witness their beloved Thala don that yellow jersey again. The expectations are going to be high from CSK next year and this team knows pretty well how to handle that pressure of expectations."
The IPL Final in 2023 was the landmark 250th match for MS Dhoni. Former India cricketer Ravi Shastri reckons the legacy of MSD is unparalleled.
Speaking on Star Sports' Cricket Live, Shastri said, "250 IPL matches is a tribute to MS Dhoni's fitness. No one can match the kind of legacy Dhoni is going to leave behind in this tournament. He is called Thala by the whole of Chennai and Tamil Nadu. The love and adulation a guy from Jharkhand receives down south from fans of CSK is testimony to the greatness of this cricketer."
India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja held on to his nerves under pressure and helped CSK cross the winning line by hitting a six and a four on the last two deliveries of the game. Former India cricketer Irfan Pathan lauded the Saurashtra all-rounder for delivering in style.
Speaking on Star Sports' Cricket Live, Irfan said, "Hat's off to Sir Jadeja. He delivered for CSK in a crunch situation and took his team to a record-equalling fifth IPL title. He held on to his nerves even as the game seemed to have slipped away from CSK's grip. Personally, he went through a lot last season, but the India star all-rounder has put all the disappointments behind him. The son of Gujarat wins it for a team from Chennai in front of a capacity ground in Ahmedabad. It couldn't have been better."
Former India cricketer Mohammed Kaif lauded the valuable contribution of senior CSK batter Ambati Rayudu - who announced his retirement from the tournament ahead of the final. In his swansong, Rayudu's cameo of 19 off 8 balls proved vital at the end for CSK. Rayudu equalled Rohit Sharma's record of being a part of six IPL-winning teams.
Speaking on Star Sports' Cricket Live, Kaif said, "That impactful knock from Ambati Rayudu was the game-changing moment. His innings was very crucial in the context of the game. The six he hit going on the back foot was the shot of the tournament for me. It was identical to that iconic six which Virat Kohli hit in the T20 World Cup against Pakistan in Melbourne last year. Rayudu looked emotional but full credit to him for ending his IPL career on such a high."
Former India cricketer Irfan Pathan also commended the performance of Gujarat Titans' pacer Mohit Sharma for leaving an indelible impression in IPL 2023. The right-arm pacer may have failed to defend 12 runs in the high-stakes IPL final, but his journey in this edition of the competition was inspiring and he should be proud of that.
Speaking on Star Sports' Cricket Live, Irfan said, "The emotion Mohit Sharma must be going through is unimaginable. But what an impact he has made in this tournament? It was once in a lifetime performance from Mohit Sharma, and this season, he should be proud of what he has achieved. Hope he continues the good show in the coming seasons as well."
Hats off to Sir Ravindra Jadeja for delivering in crunch situation: Irfan Pathan
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