IPL 2023: 'They are trying to give me a farewell', MS Dhoni thanks Kolkata crowd for support

CSK skipper's remark comes amid speculations that this IPL could be the last time fans get to see him in action


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Photo: Chennai Super Kings/Twitter
Photo: Chennai Super Kings/Twitter

Published: Mon 24 Apr 2023, 10:51 AM

As the stands at the Eden Gardens turned into a sea of yellow during the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) clash against the home team Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Indian Premier League (IPL) in which the visitors emerged victorious, Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Sunday thanked the massive crowd for supporting his team stating that they are trying to give him a farewell.

Dhoni said that most of the spectators who donned the CSK jersey to support his side, which now stands at the top of the table, will come in the KKR jersey in the next game and they only attempted to give him a "farewell".

The CSK skipper's remarks came amid the speculations by fans that this IPL could be the last time they get to see him in action. CSK defeated KKR with 49 runs in a high-scoring game at Kolkata's Eden Gardens.

Ajinkya Rahane and Devon Conway's scintillating knocks in the first innings and Maheesh Theekshana's allowed Chennai Super Kings to register a dominant victory against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 on Sunday.

"I will just say thanks for the support, they came in big numbers. Most of these guys will come in a KKR jersey next time. They are trying to give me a farewell, so thanks a lot to the crowd," said Dhoni in a post-match presentation.

On his side's bowling performances and managing injuries, Dhoni lauded their contribution and said that they are doing their job.

"Fast bowlers are doing their job, so are spinners in the middle. The wicket was short on one side so we needed to get early wickets and keep the pressure. They have plenty of power hitters, so we had to give respect to the opposition. I have a clear funda, if someone is injured he cannot do anything. You just move on and motivate the youngsters to perform. We have been fortunate that all the guys coming in are performing."

Talking about Ajinkya Rahane's performance who played power-packed innings of 71* in 29 balls, the skipper said, "We realise the potential of someone when we allow him to bat the way he bats. We give him freedom, give him the best position. In a team environment, someone has to sacrifice his slot to allow the others to get more comfortable, and allow the team to succeed."

Rahane is undergoing a revival of sorts during this IPL after being omitted from the national Test side since last year. In five matches, he has scored 209 runs at an average of 52.25 and an astonishing strike rate of 199.04. He has scored two half-centuries so far, with the best score of 71*.

Put to bat first by KKR, CSK posted a massive 235/4 in their 20 overs. CSK started well with an opening stand of 73 runs between Ruturaj Gaikwad (35 in 20 balls with two fours and three sixes) and Devon Conway (56 off 40 balls with four boundaries and three sixes). Conway brought up his fourth successive IPL fifty.

After the dismissal of the openers, came an explosive 85-run stand for the third wicket in just 34 balls between Ajinkya Rahane and Shivam Dube. Rahane continued his competitive cricket revival with an explosive knock of 71* in 29 balls with six fours and five sixes. Dube also smashed 50 in 21 balls, consisting of two fours and five sixes. Ravindra Jadeja (18 in eight balls) played a cameo at the end.

Kulwant Khejroliya (2/44 in three overs) was the pick of the bowlers for KKR. Varun Chakravarthy and Suyash Sharma took a wicket each.

In the chase of 236, KKR seemed doomed from the start. They were reeling at 70/4 in 8.2 overs. But a 65-run stand between Jason Roy (61 in 26 balls with five fours and five sixes) and Rinku Singh offered temporary hope to KKR.

Despite Rinku's knock of 53 in 33 balls with three fours and four sixes, KKR fell short of 49 runs of a win, finishing at 186/8 in 20 overs.

Maheesh Theekshana ended as the leading bowler for CSK with 2/32 in four overs. Tushar Deshpande also took 2/43 in his four overs. Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja, Akash Singh and Mathisha Pathirana got a wicket each.

Rahane was given the 'Player of the Match' award for his match-winning knock.

With this win, CSK is at the top of the points table with five wins and two losses. They have a total of 10 points. KKR is in the eighth spot, having lost five of their seven games and winning only two. They have a total of four points.


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