Chennai Super Kings scripted the perfect fairytale comeback in Indian Premier League, 2018 by lifting their third IPL title at Wankhede on Sunday. Playing in their seventh IPL final, CSK defeated SRH by eight wickets courtesy of a fantastic hundred by Shane Watson. Chasing a challenging total of 179 to win the finals, it was Watson who stole the show with a dazzling 117 off just 57 balls which included 11 fours and eight sixes.
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However, CSK’s success has been driven by equal contributions throughout the campaign. The team which was labelled as Dad’s army featured nine players above the age of 30. However, experience finally bore fruit as MS Dhoni and his men created history in their seventh IPL final.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, MS Dhoni addressed the issue surrounding the age and said, “We talked a lot about age but what matters is the fitness. Rayudu, for example, is 33, he’s someone who is fit, covers a lot of ground. Even if he plays a few games where he spends a lot of time in the ground and in the field, he never complains. So it is the fitness that really matters more than the age aspect. What captains want is players who move well in the field. It doesn’t matter which year a player is born in, whether you are 19 or 20 – you have to be agile. You have to accept your shortcomings. For example, if I push Watson to stop a single, there is a very good chance that he’ll burst his hamstring and won’t be available for the next game. So what you tell yourselves is that they have to commit and try, but there’s no point getting injured for a single.”
Commenting on the numbers game he said, “Very difficult to recall what the earlier championship wins were. A lot of people talk about stats, so tonight is 27th, my jersey number is seven and this is the seventh final for us. Enough reasons to win it. But none of these reasons matter, what matters is that we’ve won it in the end.”
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“No plans to celebrate as of now. We are going to Chennai tomorrow, meet a few people, the fans and some people who are close to the franchise. But we’ll have a get-together in the hotel and celebrate,” he signed off by saying.