Aakash Chopra believes fans' emotional connection with MS Dhoni played a massive role in the Chennai Super Kings' (CSK) triumph in the recently concluded edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2023).
CSK defeated the Gujarat Titans (GT) by five wickets via the DLS method in Ahmedabad on Monday (May 29) to bag a record-equaling fifth IPL title. Dhoni and his side were showered with immense love and affection even in away games throughout the tournament.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra reflected on some of the reasons behind the Chennai Super Kings' title win. Regarding the MS Dhoni factor, he said:
"Everyone felt this is MS Dhoni's last dance, it is a factor that you cannot undervalue. So they had all home games. In the eight games they played at home and the eight games they played away, there was a sea of yellow everywhere - so much love, respect and honor."
The former Indian opener cited an example to illustrate why the CSK skipper enjoys such massive fandom, observing:
"People in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai or Bangalore don't have love for Chennai, the love was only for one person, that's MS Dhoni. He gets so much credit because he was standing alone at the side when the entire team was lifting the trophy. When he gives credit to everyone, the entire world together gives credit to this player."
Chopra pointed out that people felt they were giving a farewell although no one knew whether it was the case. Dhoni mentioned at the final's post-match presentation that he was overwhelmed by the crowd support and will try his best to be back on the field next year as a gift for his fans.
"Doing your role is more important than anything else" - Aakash Chopra on another factor behind CSK's triumph
Aakash Chopra picked clearly defined roles for every player as another factor behind CSK's triumph, explaining:
"Clear roles because roles are extremely important in T20 cricket. Doing your role is more important than anything else. If someone has been asked to hit, then go and hit. If you play defensively there, you play against your team even if you score runs. Every batter and bowler in Chennai has that clarity."
The cricketer-turned-commentator gave Devon Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad's partnership as an example to substantiate his point, stating:
"No one asks Devon Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad to score 70 runs in six overs. Their role is that they shouldn't lose four wickets in the first 10 overs and then they show their might in the last 10."
Chopra highlighted that Ajinkya Rahane and Shivam Dube too had defined roles with the bat. He added that the likes of Deepak Chahar, Matheesha Pathirana and Maheesh Theekshana also had clear role definitions in the bowling department.
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