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Hats off to Sir Ravindra Jadeja for pulling CSK out of crisis: Irfan Pathan

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New Delhi : After 73 competitive matches, the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 came to an end with a last-over thriller between Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans in the much-anticipated final at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

With CSK needing 4 off the last ball of the rain-affected IPL final, star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja hit Mohit Sharma for a boundary to lift CSK to its fifth IPL trophy. With this, MS Dhoni-led CSK equaled Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai Indians, who have also won the IPL trophy five times.

After the IPL final, fans were eagerly waiting for CSK captain MS Dhoni’s IPL future. However, the veteran captain announced that he will be returning to the Tata IPL next year, giving fans another reason to cheer.

Reacting to Dhoni’s decision not to retire after a successful IPL 2023 campaign, former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh said he will come back stronger next year.

In the Star Sports show Cricket Live, Harbhajan said, “This is the biggest news for the fans. MS Dhoni will come back next year and he will come back with even better fitness. The fans will get to see the yellow jersey of their beloved Thala Don again. There will be a lot of expectations from CSK next year and this team knows very well how to handle the pressure of expectations.

The Tata IPL final in 2023 was a historic 250th match for MS Dhoni. Former India cricketer Ravi Shastri considers Dhoni’s legacy as unique.

Shastri said, “250 IPL matches is a great example of MS Dhoni’s fitness. No one can match the kind of legacy Dhoni is going to leave behind in this tournament. They are called Thala by entire Chennai and Tamil Nadu. The love and appreciation that a boy from Jharkhand gets from CSK fans down south is a testimony to the greatness of this cricketer.”

India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja held his nerves under pressure and hit a six and a four off the last two balls of the game to hand CSK their fifth IPL trophy. Former India cricketer Irfan Pathan heaped praise on the Saurashtra all-rounder for guiding CSK to a resounding victory.

Irfan said, “Salute to Sir Jadeja. He worked for CSK in crisis situations and led his team to a record- fifth IPL title. He kept his nerves in check even as the game slipped out of CSK’s grip. Individually, he suffered a lot last season but India’s star all-rounder has put all the disappointment behind him. Gujarat’s son leading the Chennai team to victory in front of a huge crowd in Ahmedabad, it couldn’t have been better.”

Former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif hailed the valuable contribution of senior CSK batsman Ambati Rayudu – who announced his retirement from the tournament ahead of the final. In his last innings, Rayudu played a quickfire 8-ball 19 which proved crucial in the end for CSK. Rayudu equaled Rohit Sharma’s record of being a part of six IPL winning teams.

Kaif said, “That impressive knock by Ambati Rayudu was a game-changing moment. His innings was very important in the context of the game. The six he hit on the back foot was the best shot of the tournament for me. It was similar to the iconic six that Virat Kohli hit in the T20 World Cup against Pakistan in Melbourne last year. Rayudu looked emotional but full credit goes to him for ending his IPL career on such a high.”