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The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) emerged triumphant in the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 as star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja struck 10 runs off the last two deliveries to steer CSK to their fifth IPL title.
With 13 needed off the last over, the Gujarat Titans (GT) pacer had bowled an exceptional first four deliveries to concede only three runs. However, Jadeja held his nerve and rose to the occasion to round off an incredible chase that culminated with CSK skipper MS Dhoni lifting him in his arms in a rare display of emotions after the game.
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A look at 3 reasons why CSK won a thrilling IPL 2023 final
Here are the three reasons why CricBlog believes CSK won this match.
1. Taking down Rashid Khan
With 171 needed off 15 overs, CSK could not afford to be cautious against GT vice-captain Rashid Khan. He came in to bowl the fourth over, i.e. the final one of the powerplay and Ruturaj Gaikwad slammed boundaries of the last two balls of that over to welcome Rashid into the attack in style.
The legspinner bowled his last in the 12th over with the game heavily in Titans’ favour. CSK needed 50 off 20 deliveries at that time but Shivam Dube unleashed two big hits to ensure Rashid completed his spell with 44 runs and no wickets to his name.
Chennai’s proactive strategy against Rashid certainly worked wonders, especially at a time when his Afghan counterpart Noor Ahmad troubled them.
2. Impactful cameos from every batsman
Every CSK batsman barring MS Dhoni chipped in with impactful cameos that propelled them to their fifth IPL trophy win. CSK players have collectively hailed the clarity they have received in this setup, with every player knowing exactly what is demanded of them.
That reflected very well in the summit clash when batsmen got going right from the offset without wasting any time.
Ajinkya Rahane was quick to secure sixes off Joshua Little and Ambati Rayudu didn’t spare much time before bringing out his big shots against Mohit in the 13th over. Even Dhoni was dismissed whilst attempting to up the ante of scoring. In fact, CSK didn’t use Moeen Ali at all in the finale and that showed the wonders that a long batting line-up can play in closing out the most challenging of chases at the toughest of times.
3. Ravindra Jadeja’s nerves of steel
Commeth the hour, commeth the man! Ravindra Jadeja has been disturbed lately with the spectators chanting MS Dhoni’s name whenever he comes out to bat. However, he demonstrated nerves of steel to seal this victory even when the odds were heavily stacked against him in the dying embers of the game.
Jadeja mentioned that he was looking to swing his bat as hard as possible and possibly hit down the ground to capitalise on any slower delivery that Mohit bowled. He was able to pounce upon the penultimate ball and dispatch it over long on for a maximum before guiding the final ball accurately down the leg side for another boundary.
Earlier, Jadeja picked the crucial wicket of Shubman Gill with the help of MS Dhoni’s incredibly fast hands. One wonders if he was able to successfully demonstrate that he actually is the Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the CSK camp even today.
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