Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders played the final of the Indian Premier League 2021. The season was one of the toughest for BCCI in terms of organizing the event. The BCCI had to postpone the first half of the league midway in India. They successfully organized the second half in UAE. MS Dhoni’s men won the season and became the four-time champions.
During the post-match presentation, Harsha Bhogle asked Dhoni to narrate the story of CSK. However, the words that came out of Dhoni’s mouth won the hearts of many. He went on to praise the KKR franchise, players, and support staff. He even said that KKR deserved to fin the final.
Both CSK and KKR did perform undoubtedly well in the tournament and indeed were two of the top teams. CSK finished with 18 points in the second position in the points table. The team played the first qualifier against Delhi Capitals and won the match quite easily.
KKR had 14 points across its name in the points table and finished in the fourth position. The team won the eliminator game against Royal Challengers Bangalore and defeated Delhi Capitals in the second qualifier.
A Dream Run for MS Dhoni’s CSK
The IPL 2020 was one of the worst for the CSK. The team won six of the 14 games and finished with 12 points in the points table. The team finished in the second-last position and couldn’t qualify for the play-offs.
It was the first occasion when CSK failed to make it to the playoffs. CSK received heavy criticism after the disastrous season. People made a lot of comments regarding the age of the players and the playing 11. MS Dhoni didn’t give enough opportunities to youngsters in the season.
However, the 2021 season was entirely different for the franchise. The team won five of the seven games during the first half of the tournament. During the UAE leg, CSK won four of the seven matches.
MS Dhoni managed to change the team’s fortune with mostly the same set of players and in the same condition. Two of the key players for the franchise this season were Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad. They provided some fiery starts to the team and made the maximum number of runs.
Gaikwad made 635 runs in 16 games at an average of 45.36 and a strike rate of 136.27. He won the orange cap for being the leading run-scorer in the tournament. Faf du Plessis made 633 runs in 16 matches at an average of 45.21 and a strike rate of 138.21.
Kolkata Knight Riders Outperformed Every Other Team
Kolkata Knight Riders had a dream run this season. The team couldn’t find a rhythm during the first half and lost five of the seven games. After winning the first match against Sunrisers Hyderabad, the team lost four matches on the trot.
Before the start of the UAE leg, KKR was in the seventh position in the points table. In UAE, several decisions worked in favor of the team. The team won five of the seven games and finished in the fourth position.
Venkatesh Iyer was the standout performer for the team. He made 370 runs in ten matches at an average of 41.11 and a strike rate of 128.47. He hit a half-century in each venue of the tournament. His performance helped KKR to finish as the runner-up and earn the praises of MS Dhoni.