The entire world’s eyes were focused on the middle as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) needed 10 runs to win off the final two balls of the innings in the IPL 2023 final against the Gujarat Titans (GT) at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Only one man had his eyes closed in the dug-out – CSK captain MS Dhoni.
The former India captain is the only cricketer to play in 11 IPL finals but that didn’t stop him from being overcome by emotions towards the climactic stages of the match. As Ravindra Jadeja hit the winning boundary, the entire CSK team rushed out of the dug-out onto the field except MS Dhoni.
CSK and IPL shared a video of ‘happy tears’ of MS Dhoni as he rushed to lift match-winner Jadeja over his shoulders. For the first time, Dhoni had tears in his eyes after an IPL final.
Jadeja smashed 15 off 6 balls, including 10 off the last two deliveries to lift CSK to their fifth IPL title in 14 season. The CSK all-rounder and skipper Dhoni have had a rocky relationship since IPL 2022 season when Jadeja had to give up the captaincy of the franchise mid-way through the season due to poor results.
However, after the IPL 2023 final, Jadeja dedicated the win to the ‘special member of the CSK side’ – MS Dhoni. “I’m from Gujarat, and it’s a special feeling. This crowd has been amazing. They were waiting for rain to stop till late night, I’d like to say a big congratulations to the CSK fans who came to support us,” Jadeja said after the match.
“I’d like to dedicate this win to a special member of the CSK side, MS Dhoni. I was just thinking I need to swing hard, as much as I can. Where the ball will go, I was not thinking about that, just looking to swing hard. I was backing myself and looking to hit straight, because I know Mohit can bowl those slower balls,” he added.
CSK batting coach and former Australia batter Michael Hussey termed MS Dhoni as an ‘amazing human being’. “Dhoni is an amazing human being. A good example is, in the qualifier, he was telling Senapati to remain calm, and he got us a crucial run-out,” Hussey said about Dhoni.