Hardik Pandya, the losing captain of the Gujarat Titans summed it up rather aptly by saying that If he had to lose then better at the hands of MS Dhoni than anyone else.
His team almost had the title within their grasp, especially so when Mohit Sharma removed both Ambati Rayudu and Dhoni—the latter for a golden duck. But he had not reckoned with Ravindra Jadeja whose heroics with the bat off the last 2 deliveries sealed the title -- a 6 and a 4 was what the swashbuckling left-hander allrounder smashed to clinch the fifth title for his team.
After the match,Pandya was all praise for MS Dhoni under whom he has played a lot and considers a mentor.
“I’m very happy for him, destiny had this written. If I had to lose, I’d rather lose to him (Dhoni). Good things happen to good people, and he’s been one of the best people I know. God has been kind, God has been kind to me as well, but today was his night,” Pandya said after the match.
Hardik did make a high mention of all the players in his team who clicked really well as a team, ticking off nearly all the boxes on various fronts.
“We have a motto — we win together, we lose together. I’m not going to make excuses, CSK played better cricket. We batted really well. Want to specially mention of Sai (Sudarshan). It’s not easy to play that well at this level. We have been backing the boys and trying to make sure we get the best out of them. But their success is their success. The way they have put their hand up and delivered — everyone from Mohit Sharma, Rashid Khan, Mohammed Shami, everyone. I think we tick a lot of boxes as a team. We play with a lot of heart, really proud of the way we kept fighting,” said Pandya.
It was a match worthy of the finals from everyone’s point of view and there was nothing much to differentiate between the two teams. The match was ultimately decided on the Duckworth Lewis System (DLS) as unseasonal rains had already washed off the Sunday encounter and the heavens opened up again when the CSK opening pair came to the crease to get past GT's daunting total of 214 for 4.
Get the latest in the world of Sports, Teams, and Players! Free Delivery to your Inbox.