What a turnaround Chennai Super Kings (CSK) has scripted in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. Having been down and out in 2020 edition, the Lions roared back and claimed their fourth IPL title. CSK has been magnificent throughout the season and they were top class in the final as well. The coin fell in Morgan’s way but post that it was all MS Dhoni’s CSK.
Put into bat, KKR would have expected some early inroads. However, CSK openers carried on their good run and got the team off to a blazing start. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis looked in no difficulty as they took KKR attack to the cleaners. Narine gave KKR their first breakthrough when he dismissed Ruturaj Gaikwad for 32. However, the wicket didn’t help KKR and Robin Uthappa stroked at a strike rate of over 200. On the other end, Faf continued piling on the agony on KKR bowlers. Faf was unstoppable as he stroked a magnificent 86, which also took him to second on the charts of most runs this season, only three runs short of the Orange Cap, which is held by Ruturaj Gaikwad. Meanwhile, Moeen Ali also contributed to KKR’s misery and smashed 37 runs in 20 balls. CSK’s innings eventually came to an end at 192-3 in 20 overs.
In the chase of 193, KKR got off to a blazing start with Venkatesh Iyer and Shubman Gill adding 91 runs for the first wicket. At that point, there were many concerned faces in the Chennai Camp. However, as has been the case throughout the season, the team bounced back to blow away the Knight Riders. The wicket of Iyer opened the floodgates and KKR were restricted to 165-9, losing the match by 27 runs.
While CSK won the trophy, KKR should be very proud of the way they turned things around in their favour. They didn’t have a great start to the season and won just two matches in the India leg. However, the change in mindset was clearly visible in UAE. The team was on a juggernaut and swept aside everything that come their way. They defeated RCB in the Eliminator and then DC in Qualifier 2 to book a berth in the final. However, CSK was just too good on the day. Still, the players can hold their heads high given the way they played in the tournament.