Chennai Super Kings were considered one of the older teams in the competition as the average age of the team was over 30. But they showed that experience is a must when it comes to a grueling competition like the Indian Premier League. And they completed a fairytale comeback to the cash-rich league after two years by clinching their third title at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.
Australian all-rounder Shane Watson led the show with a stellar century on the night of the final as Sunrisers Hyderabad were completely outplayed on a wicket where the score of 178 looked more than par. Ambati Rayudu won CSK the game by hitting the winning runs and signed off what has been a brilliant season for the batsman.
Some of the CSK players spoke to the host broadcasters after the game and spoke of what has been a professional show from the Yellow Army.
Rayudu: “I was really fortunate to have such a season for Chennai. I worked really hard for it and am glad that I could hit the winning runs. Initially the wicket looked a little slow, it was damp, got much quicker and I am glad we could chase it down.”
Karn Sharma: “I was prepared and was waiting for my chances to grab the opportunities I got.”
Harbhajan Singh: “Brilliant the way we came out and chased it down. To see what Watson, what he brings to the table, you know how many runs you might get, it is always chaseable. Fourth IPL title for me and I am glad. I mean considering that Kane was in good form and they had a lot of middle-order batsmen who were right-handers, Dhoni was right that he needed someone who would take the ball away from the batsman. We have seen wrist spinners bowling more and more overs in the IPL compared to finger spinners. But I hope it would change next year. Well done to Karn and glad to be on the winning side.”
Deepak Chahar: “I enjoyed bowling with the new ball. I have been waiting for my chance and this year I got my chance. Thanks to Mahi bhai for believing in me; batting, bowling and fielding. It is everyone's dream to play in the IPL and win it, one of my dreams have come true.”
Shardul Thakur: “It is great. Last year I was part of final, but couldn't win it. But this year we won it and it is incredible. I am feeling at top of the world. I think I had the last game in my mind, had to bowl well in the death. More often than not you get hit in this format. Today I was on top of my game and executed the plans.”
Lungi Ngidi: “Very amazing. It's been a roller coaster of emotions. Good to come away with a win and lucky to be part of an IPL winning side. Not many people get to experience such a moment. It's lovely to have the death bowling responsibility on your shoulders and take it in your stride, one ball at a time in a pressure situation and it is great to help the team win.”
Ravindra Jadeja: “It is good to be part of a champion team. We did a great job on and off the field because we have played as a team despite winning or losing. We've participated after two years and am very glad to finish as champions.”
Dwayne Bravo: “It has been good. This is a special moment. The team did not play together for the last two years. We had to move from Chennai after one game. For most of the guys, this is their first time. We were able to keep focus and do it. Nothing is better than winning finals. We always said experience will help in crunch times. Watson batted on one leg and despite the hamstring, his experience helped him. Watson is a world class player.”