Following his fifth IPL triumph as the captain of Chennai Super Kings, Mahendra Singh Dhoni provided his fans with a major relief, by hinting at continuing playing for another season. The 41-year-old, who now has won five IPL titles, stated another season as a player will be a return gift for love and affection showered by his loyal fans.
“This is the best time to announce my retirement. But considering the amount of love I have received all over, the easy thing would be to walk away from here, and the harder thing would be working hard for nine months and try to play another IPL. It will not be easy on the body, but it will be my gift (to the fans),” Dhoni said, whilst speaking to Harsha Bhogle after the match.
Opening up on getting emotional seeing the fans’ adoration, he added “The first game, everyone was chanting my name. My eyes were full of water, I needed to take some time off in the dugout. I realised I need to enjoy this”
On being asked about a possible explanation for his massive fandom, Dhoni stated “I think they love me for what I am, they love that I am grounded, I don't try to portray something I'm not. Just keep it simple.”
To Get Frustrated Is Human: MS Dhoni
As for the match, odds were stacked against Chennai for the majority of the game, as Gujarat Titans posted a mammoth total of 214/4 after batting first. Following a delay caused by rain, Chennai faced a steep total of 171 runs from 15 overs.
Requiring 10 runs off the last couple of deliveries, it seemed that the match was already out of Chennai’s grasp, when Ravindra Jadeja smashed a six and a boundary to secure an improbable win, and subsequently, his team’s fifth title.
Talking about dealing with moments of frustration, Dhoni stated “I do get frustrated, it is human. But I try to step into their shoes and think what they are going through. Every individual deals with pressure differently. Ajinkya and a few others are experienced, so you don't worry about them. If anyone is confused, then can always ask. “
Dhoni on Ambati Rayudu’s Retirement
Barring Jadeja, Ambati Rayudu also played a game-defining knock of 19 runs from eight deliveries, in what happens to be his last match of the season.
Speaking about the batter, Dhoni concluded “The special thing about Rayudu is he will always give his 100% when he is on his field. But with him in the team, I will never win the Fairplay award, but he reacts to everything very quickly. I've been playing with him for a long time, since the India A tours. He's a player who can play spin and pace equally well. It is something really special. I felt he would do something really special today, he's also like me, not someone who uses the phone often. I hope he enjoys the next phase of his life.”