There were some moments in the IPL 2023 final that gave signals about Mahendra Singh Dhoni's future. This whole season, there was a debate in every game CSK played, about the Chennai Super Kings skipper. No one can tell what will happen next because it looks like he doesn't want everyone to know right now. Maybe for the title as the fans are so happy, he doesn't want to make them cry. When MS Dhoni announced his retirement from International Cricket, He only shared some wholesome moments on social media to let everyone know instead of going out and announcing it in public. Chennai Super Kings' fans treat him like a god, at least not lesser than a god, and not only Dhoni but the players too get always a nice welcome in their home ground, Chepauk. Not sure but maybe Dhoni wants everyone to enjoy the moment right now.
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Rain was the biggest enemy for Chennai. If the match couldn't be played, then Gujarat could have won the title for finishing at the top of the table. The match was shifted to the reserve day for the weather in Ahmedabad. Even after changing the date, it affected the clash. Gujarat batted first after MSD won the toss. After the end of the first inning, the match was stopped again for the same reason. Earlier, B Sai Sudharsan slammed 96 in 47 balls as Gujarat Titans posted 214 for four after 20 overs. GT posted a mammoth target but CSK had to chase 171 in 15 overs after rain's interruption.
Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway gave CSK a blazing start. They reached 74 in 6.2 overs before Gaikwad's dismissal by Noor Ahmed. He picked another in the same over as he sent Conway home for 47 runs. Shivam Dube walked in next and struggled to find his timing right initially. The power shots were going nowhere. But the runs kept coming. Ajinkya Rahane (27 off 13) played a mini classic while Ambati Rayudu, in his last IPL match, slammed 19 off 8 balls.
The emotional moment was MS Dhoni's departure. CSK needed 22 off 14 balls as he made his way to the middle. But even before the noise could die down, Dhoni was walking back. David Miller took an easy catch at the extra cover. Mohit Sharma, the former CSK player dismissed him once again. It seemed to be going downhill for CSK after that until the equation finally became 10 runs needed off 2 balls.
CSK completed the task in the last ball at a packed Narendra Modi Stadium in what could turn out to be the legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni's final outing in the T20 league. Ravindra Jadeja struck a six and a four off Mohit Sharma in the final two balls to win it for CSK.
At the end of the rollercoaster ride, many thought Dhoni might throw one more twist into the mix. But the CSK skipper, who became the oldest player (at 41 years and 327 days) to win the IPL title, simply took a deep breath and answered calmly in the post-match chat.
"If you circumstantially see, it's the best time to announce the retirement," said Dhoni. "The easy thing for me to say is thank you and retire. But the hard thing to do is to work hard for nine months and try to play one more IPL season. The body has to hold up."
Dhoni added: "But the amount of love I have received from CSK fans, it would be a gift for them to play one more season. The way they've shown their love and emotion, it's something I need to do for them. It's the last part of my career. It started over here and the full house was chanting my name. It was my same thing in Chennai, but it will be good to come back and play whatever I can."
So, for the moment, there are hopes for a return. No one knows for how long but perhaps it's best to not question that for too long and the Cricket fans should enjoy the moment till the end.