“My role has been clear. Bowl upfront mostly, and then come on in at the death if required.”
“It’s a big game but the important thing is to take it as another game, and this thought-process comes with experience,” he says. “So many players in our group have experience of playing international cricket and winning trophies. All this helps keep the mind calm. Everyone’s looking at it as just another game. It’s hard to say if we are at an advantage or disadvantage because of the four-day break. Sometimes it’s good because the body gets a break, sometimes playing continuously keeps you in rhythm. Our team meetings are often two minutes long, whether we win or lose. Our routines remain the same.”
“I just try and spend a lot of guys in a social setting, pick them off one by one so that they continue to respect the process, stay nice and relaxed, that’s when these guys play their best game. Being in a bubble has allowed us that contact time, it’s been beneficial. The buzzword for today: enjoyment. When we came into the second half, we knew we could be dangerous, but we had to let go a little bit, trust each other and enjoy our game. Proud of the way they’ve responded.”
“The boys got to know each other better, it’s a matter of blending together for a common goal and we’ve been able to do that away from the cricket field,” he says when asked about how they’ve bonded. “We’ve spent a lot of time socially, a couple of key personnel changes have helped too. Each of our guys in our starting line-up has been superb lately, a couple of guys have had a chance to play for India.
“Not a great deal said [coming into the second half],” he says. “Message has been consistent right throughout. ‘Go out, play aggressively with the bat, bowl, and field hard, chase the ball.’ Where we sat on the table midway through allowed us the freedom to go and enjoy the game and play the way we want to play. Funny enough when you do that, you are able to enjoy the game better and here we are in the final. Consciously try and strip out the noise that surrounds this tournament, get the guys back into the simple fact of playing the game for one another, we spent a lot of team time together and the guys have responded.
Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings Highlights today, Friday 10-15-2021 – Final (N), Indian Premier League season 14th from Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Morgan won the toss and decided to bowl first.
Morgan says: the wicket looks good but dry, with the dew expected to play a role as well. Knight Riders play the same team, so no Russell.
Dhoni can’t even hear what the presenter has to say, before letting us know that he would have bowled first as well. This is his 300th T20 as captain, and he feels good after having led both his country as well his franchise for this long.
IPL 2021 Points Table
Kolkata Knight Riders team: 1 Venkatesh Iyer, 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Nitish Rana, 4 Rahul Tripathi, 5 Eoin Morgan (capt), 6 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 7 Shakib Al Hasan, 8 Sunil Narine, 9 Shivam Mavi, 10 Varun Chakravarthy, 11 Lockie Ferguson.
Chennai Super Kings team: 1 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 2 Faf du Plessis, 3 Moeen Ali, 4 Robin Uthappa, 5 Ambati Rayudu, 6 Ravindra Jadeja, 7 MS Dhoni (capt, wk), 8 Dwayne Bravo, 9 Shardul Thakur, 10 Deepak Chahar, 11 Josh Hazlewood.
Match Timings: 14:00 GMT | 18:00 Local
Umpires – Nitin Menon, Richard Illingworth
TV Umpires – ?
Match Referee – Javagal Srinath
Reserve Umpire – Virender Sharma
Match number – Indian Premier League 2021 Final
Ruturaj Gaikwad After CSK Innings:
“I think Shakib was about to bowl two overs, so I thought I’m maybe a better player of spin and I should take him on,” he says when asked if it was a conscious decision to be the aggressor. “It’s stopping, holding up, we did brilliantly well to get to 190, it’s going to be challenging for them. I think it’s enough but we need to execute well. I wanted Faf to hit a six off that last ball to add six more to our total (asked if he knew Faf was two short of the orange cap).”
“It’s fantastic. Full credit to the guys, who have been on top. It’s exciting. We’ve got such a senior team, and having DJ [Bravo] has been really helpful. “A bit of downtime, and I’m straight for the World Cup. Perfect preparation really, and I am looking forward to it.”
“Extremely grateful, feels amazing to be a part of the side. After a lean season last year, it was important for us to come back. I’ve just wanted to come in and contribute to the team’s success. We had a good start today, needed to kick on. Faf was batting well, so I just wanted to go after the bowling. I’ve voiced over and over again that in this team, there’s a secure atmosphere, lot of communication between players and support staff. I believe it’s the players who aren’t playing in the XI that make the atmosphere within the group.”
“Kieron Pollard, and I am catching up to him. The belief in the squad by the management – they believe in the core of the team – and after the last season, we were really disappointed. In four years, we won three titles. “Didn’t get nervous. We have confidence in the entire group. A lot of players have shown good performances in different phases. Gaikwad and du Plessis were outstanding. Coming here today and getting an extra day’s rest was important.”
“Feeling amazing, we’ve been working hard for this title. I thought the Venky Iyer catch went so high, I looked at Moeen and he was looking at me, so I knew I had go for it. That catch changed it for us. Mr. DJ Bravo is going to entertain us all night. It’s time for him to change his name from ‘Champion’ to ‘Sir Champion’.”
Moeen Ali After a convincing win in the final:
“[The first Englishman to win IPL] Feeling amazing, can’t describe it. My first year, and been amazing. Gaikwad is an amazing player, and he’s got no weaknesses. [About Fleming and MS] Not many changes. I could have been dropped a couple of games ago. I feel like it’s such a grounded and humble team, and great to be a part of.”
“Eventful tournament, this was my fourth final, glad we won. There was dew, but in a big game, we had the experience. We needed just that one wicket and we capitalised. No point talking about the previous season, but everyone had the belief to turn it around.”
“Feel on top of the moon to get the orange cap and have the winner’s trophy. Hard to describe in words, but amazing to win here after the season we had last year. I was part of the previous season where we didn’t qualify, coming here, everyone had the belief, thankfully it happened here and I’m really happy. I didn’t try to change [my game], when you’re performing well and confident of your shots with lesser risks, you get the rewards. Yes, sometimes you have to make sure you’re there till the end.”
Post match presentation
Faf du Plessis is the Player of the Match:
“That was a great day. I am really grateful for today. It was also my 100th game in the IPL. I have loved my time here. I have done almost ten years here – two seasons were a bit of a break. No. 4 in the trophy cabinet is really good. Gaikwad is a special talent. Indian cricket is blessed with talent. He is getting better. He’s got a super, bright future ahead of him. I have a word with him, but I don’t think he needs me.”
Ruturaj Gaikwad is the Emerging Player of the season for his 635 runs.
Ruturaj Gaikwad takes the Orange Cap for 635 runs, including four fifties and a century.
Rajasthan Royals win the fair play award.
Ravi Bishnoi wins the award for the best catch of the season, with Deepak Chahar collecting it on his behalf: “I am really happy about winning this award. I will always remember that catch. Thank you,” says Bishnoi from a recording.
Harshal Patel wins the award of the Gamechanger of the Season: “Thank you, everyone, for nominating me. It was a great season for me, and we played some great cricket.”
Harshal Patel also wins the Purple Cap with 32 wickets this season. “Thank you very much. It has been an extremely gratifying season for me. It means a lot to me personally. I am pretty happy, and the way I bowled throughout the season was very gratifying.”
Harshal Patel is also the Most Valuable Player of the season.
Brendon McCullum, Knight Riders head coach:
“We are super proud of what all the guys did. Congratulations to Super Kings, and their leaders. Just an amazing journey, and some things we can remember for a long time. When you fall at the final hurdle, there is always a sense of what if. The way the guys stepped up and performed – particularly the young Indian guys. Big shout out to the owners, they give us immense support.”
Eoin Morgan after a pleasing campaign:
“We are extremely proud of the fight we have shown. The character and fight is a trademark. Our owners – Shahrukh, Venky have been absolutely outstanding. The Guys fought incredibly hard and performed. Iyer and Gill have been outstanding. Ventakesh is new to this platform. They have been the cornerstone of our batting. Tripathi left everything out there today. Unfortunately, he picked up an injury.”
Stephen Fleming, the title-winning CSK coach:
“We’ve had a number of finals, but getting across the line is a challenge you want to conquer. There was criticism about the age of our squad but it’s rewarding to finish the four-year cycle with the trophy. Experience is important, guys who’ve been there and done it before add so much. We don’t get too deep into analytics and numbers, we go with gut feel and developing relationships with players, it’s old-school but it works for us. The years tick by, we’ve done work over the years gone by, we’ve got some great memories. Very proud to have been with one franchise and have success.”
“Before I start talking about CSK, need to talk about KKR. Difficult to come back and do what they have, if any team deserved to win the IPL, it’s KKR. Huge credit to the coaches, team, and support staff. The break really helped them. Coming to CSK, we shuffled players. We had match winners coming game after game and doing really well. Every final is special, if you look at stats, we may say we’re the most consistent team to lose the final too.
I feel it’s important to come back strong, especially in the knockouts. Frankly no chats, we don’t talk a lot [meetings]. It’s more one-on-one, our practice sessions are meeting sessions. The moment you get into a team room, it brings about different pressure. Our practice sessions have been good. I would love to thank the fans, wherever we’ve played, even when we were in South Africa, we’ve always had a good number of CSK fans. That is what you crave for.
Thanks to all of them, it feels like we’re playing in Chennai. Hopefully, we’ll be back in Chennai for the fans. Again I’ve said it before, it depends on BCCI. With two new teams coming in……we have to decide what is good for CSK. It’s not about me being there in top-three or four. It’s about making a strong core to ensure the franchise doesn’t suffer. The core group, we have to have a hard look to see who can contribute for the next 10 years.”