IPL 2018, Final - We Talked a Lot about Age, but Fitness is Important - MS Dhoni

Published - 28 May 2018, 02:41 AM

Sourav Ganguly
Image Courtesy: BCCI

The most competitive season of the IPL came to an end with MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings sealing a victory in the finals against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

It turned out to be a one-person show, as Shane Watson muscled his way to an unbeaten ton. The veteran scored 117 runs off 57 balls and helped CSK win the daddy clash by eight wickets.

Credits: BCCI

The opener received support from Suresh Raina, who made 32 off 24 balls. A daunting target of 179 in the finals always sounds challenging, but the yellow brigade went past the total with nine deliveries to spare.

The win also meant Kane Williamson’s side failed to beat Chennai in four games this season.

Watson didn’t fire from the start. He had ten dot balls before going big. Watson became the only other batsman to score a hundred in the IPL after consuming straight six dots. Skipper Dhoni was clearly a happy man, as he collected the cheques and trophies.

On taking on the Hyderabad bowlers, who were tagged as the best in the business, Dhoni said it is all about taking things one at a time. He also reflected on the combinations, as the Chennai side avoided too much chopping and changing their line-up.

“The finals, by the time you reach, everyone knows their role. “When you’re fielding, you have to adjust your plans, but other than that, our batsmen know their style. And if someone is finding it difficult, you know the incoming batsman won’t have it easy as well. You have to keep in mind that Bhuvi is as deceptive as Rashid, so it’s not only one bowler in their side that could’ve put pressure on us. So, I feel it’s a really good batting effort. But we always had the belief that we had the firepower in the middle overs.” he said.

Ambati Rayudu has been in fine form in the season. Photo by: Faheem Hussain /SPORTZPICS for BCCI

The possibility of a shuffle?

On the possibility of sending the Windies all-rounder ahead of the in-form batters, the skipper said there was no need for that.

He also added it is all about winning it on the field, and it takes efforts, and therefore superstition can’t help.

“There was no plan to send Bravo up ahead. Rayudu has been our main batters, so we had protection in the middle. Every win is special, so difficult to pick anyone win. Lot of people talk about numbers, statistics, so tonight’s 27th, my jersey number is 7, and this was our seventh final.” he added.

Imran Tahir was among the few players who were above 30 years old in the CSK line-up in IPL 2018. Image Courtesy: BCCI

Dhoni on the age factor

Age has always been a factor with this CSK side, and Dhoni said they knew who they were going for.

The Chennai franchise opted for experienced campaigners who also happened to be over the 30s mostly.

“We talked a lot about age, but what’s more important is the fitness. Rayudu, at 33, it doesn’t really matter. That’s what more matters than age. If you ask most captains, they want players who move well on the field. Doesn’t matter if you’re 19-20 years old. We knew our shortcomings, and we were aware of it.” he said.