Aakash Chopra has picked Devon Conway's attacking game at the top of the order as one of the reasons behind the Chennai Super Kings' (CSK) Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 triumph.
CSK defeated Gujarat Titans by five wickets via the DLS method in the final at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Monday, May 29. Conway, who amassed 672 runs at an impressive strike rate of 139.70 in his 15 innings in the tournament, was chosen as the Player of the Match for his enterprising 25-ball 47.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra reflected on some of the factors behind CSK's title win. Regarding Conway's role, he said:
"Devon Conway - he was born in South Africa, went to play in New Zealand, and then to come to India and score runs on a slow pitch like Chennai - the way he dominated spin. He took the attack to the opposition."
The former Indian batter pointed out that the Chennai Super Kings opener was at his attacking best in crunch matches, elaborating:
"You remember the Delhi game, it was a must-win game on a slowish surface and he just went after the bowlers. You remember the 40-run cameo in the final because that performance took Chennai to a situation where they were never behind the asking run rate as Devon Conway was hitting fours after fours."
Chopra added that Conway scored runs consistently and didn't throw away his wicket whenever he wasn't at his fluent best. He also praised Ruturaj Gaikwad for being a perfect foil to his opening partner.
"This story tells about the belief" - Aakash Chopra on Ajinkya Rahane's role in CSK's triumph
Aakash Chopra picked Ajinkya Rahane's resurgence and the belief shown by CSK in him as one of the primary reasons behind their triumph, stating:
"Resurgent Rahane - this story tells about the belief. It tells that we (CSK) don't feel what others think about you - that kind of empowerment. No. 3 is an important number, you don't give that number easily to anyone."
While pointing out that MS Dhoni and Co. had taken a slight risk by batting Rahane at No. 3, the cricketer-turned-commentator praised the stylish batter for repaying the trust shown in him, observing:
"Rahane at No. 3 was a slightly risky case because if it doesn't work out, you see musical chairs. He started in an away game and he batted like a dream, whether it was the Wankhede ground or Eden Gardens. He was absolutely sublime."
Rahane smashed 326 runs in 11 innings at an outstanding strike rate of 172.48 in IPL 2023. He scored a crucial 13-ball 27 in the final, a knock that helped his team maintain the momentum provided by their openers.
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