IPL 2023: Fate wrote it for him, says Hardik after Dhoni wins fifth IPL title

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Ahmedabad. Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik Pandya has praised his mentor and rival skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, saying ‘fate had it written for him’ that he might play for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in his last Indian Premier League season. A record-equalling fifth title.

Chasing a revised target of 171 runs in 15 overs, Ravindra Jadeja hit sixes and fours off the last two balls to defeat Gujarat Titans by five wickets in the rain-affected final here on Monday. “I am very happy for him (Dhoni),” said Kitab, who won the title for the Titans. This is what fate had written for him.

“If I have to lose, I have no problem losing to him,” he said. Good things happen to good people and he is one of the nicest people I know. God has been kind, God has been kind to me but tonight was his.

Jadeja, who was unbeaten by scoring 15 runs off six balls, dedicated the title victory to his captain Dhoni. Jadeja said, ‘I want to dedicate this victory to Mahendra Singh Dhoni, a special member of the CSK team.’ A fifth title in front of your home crowd. I am from Gujarat and this is a special feeling. The audience on the field gave a great performance. They waited till late night for the rain to stop, I would like to congratulate the CSK fans who came here to support us.

On hitting a six and a four off the last two balls, Jadeja said, “I was just thinking that I needed to hit as hard as I could. I wasn’t thinking about where the ball would go, just hitting hard. “I was trusting myself and trying to hit straight because I know Mohit is slow. A lot from his players.

He said, “We executed a lot of plans and played with our hearts. We have always been a team that sticks together and no one gives up. We win together and we lose together. Perhaps today is one of those matches. I am not one of those people who make excuses. Super Kings played better cricket.” Hardik said, “Special mention to Sai too. He is going to do great things in his life. I am very happy for those people. Mohit, Shami, Rashid, all took responsibility. Also a special mention to the coaching staff. I can’t ask for anything more from him.

CSK’s middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu announced his retirement from the IPL just before the final. He said he can smile for the rest of his life after the ‘fairytale end’ of his cricket career. I can’t ask for anything more. I am fortunate to have been a part of amazing teams. I can smile for the rest of my life. For all the hard work I’ve put in over the past 30 years, I’m glad I ended up this way.

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