by Deepanshu Srivastava
The day of mega cricket carnival, IPL came to an end on October 15 after interesting 56 matches between eight teams and the team CSK convincingly lifted the coveted IPL trophy, 20 crore INR, and its dashing player Ruturaj Gaikwad getting crowned with orange cap for scoring highest runs (635) in the tournament.
This IPL will be remembered for its two firsts. For the first time in its thirteen years of history, IPL had been played in two parts – part – 1 in India (April 09 to May 02, 2021) and part – 2 in UAE (September 19 to October 15, 2021). Secondly, the IPL final was played between the weakest opponent so far (Kolkata Knight Riders, KKR) and the mighty CSK. Sadly for the cricket lovers across pan India who liked to see a tough bat-ball fight for the craved IPL cup. The result of the IPL final became anybody’s guess in favour of team CSK. There was a complete mismatch in the IPL final.
During the 2020 IPL, CSK’s performance was a complete heart-break for its fans. The team had failed to qualify even for the playoffs and had finished seventh in the points tally. Such was a gloom over the CSK performance in 2020 IPL that no one had expected a better performance from them in 2021. But with their determination, the team silenced their critics and became the first team to qualify for the IPL 2021 playoffs. Its captain MS Dhoni (lovingly called Mahi) led the team from the front and he kept his words made in the last IPL. In his own words which he had said after getting knocked out from the playoffs race in a horrifying last year’s IPL season – ” we will come back stronger, that is what we are known for “.
CSK won 09 from 14 matches they had played before playoffs and thrashed Delhi Capitals (DC) in the Qualifier Match No. 1 to enter directly in the final of the tournament for a record eighth time. This match had its thrilling end as Dhoni, playing a captain’s knock, scored 18 runs in his six-ball innings by hitting 3 fours and 1 six and snatched the victory from the jaws of defeat of his team against DC – the number 1 team amongst the four teams of playoffs. Before Dhoni’s arrival, all the viewers were waiting for DC to enter the final but Dhoni’s short innings of 18 runs turned the table in favour of CSK. On the other hand, the comparatively weaker team and team number 4 in the playoffs could manage to reach the final for the third time. They defeated the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Eliminator round, led by national captain Virat Kohli. The team DC was later knocked out of the tournament after losing Qualifier match number 1 to team CSK and Qualifier match number 2 to team KKR. The players who contributed superbly in the victory saga were, apart from Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf Du Plessis (South Africa), Robin Uthappa, and Moeen Ali (England).
Dhoni is now in for a national cause when BCCI appointed him ‘ mentor ‘ for the Indian national cricket team in the T 20 World Cup, commencing from October 17, 2021, in the UAE. Indeed a wise decision was taken by the BCCI, seeing the cricketing excellence of ‘ Captain Cool ‘ Dhoni. It is truly said that – ” Dhoni jaisa koi nahin “.
About the Author:
An interpretative journalist by profession, Deepanshu Srivastava is a sports and story writer from Pune. He may be reached at – email@example.com.