If any team deserved to win the IPL this year, it’s KKR: MS Dhoni
The Knights had an incredible run in the UAE leg of IPL 2021 before succumbing in the final.
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Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni reckoned that Kolkata Knight Riders would have been deserving winners of Indian Premier League 2021 if they managed to lift the trophy. But on a fateful night for KKR in Dubai, it was CSK, who won the championship for the fourth time. The Yellow Army won the final by 27 runs after setting the Knights a massive target of 193 to track down.
After Venkatesh Iyer and Shubman Gill scored half-centuries in the run-chase, KKR crumbled like a house of cards. The 40-year-old Dhoni felt that the Knights did an exceptional job in the UAE leg of IPL 2021. The Jharkhand-born veteran said that the four-month break helped the Men in Gold Purple regroup and make a strong comeback in the T20 tournament.
I think the break helped them, says MS Dhoni
“Before I start talking about CSK, it’s important I talk about KKR. For the position they were in after the first phase, it is very difficult to come back and do what they have done. If any team deserved to win the IPL this year, I feel it was KKR. I think the break helped them,” Dhoni was quoted as saying in the post-match presentation ceremony.
KKR were almost down and out when the COVID-19 pandemic halted the IPL back in the month of May. Eoin Morgan and Co. languished at seventh in the points table after winning only two out of seven matches. But once the IPL restarted, KKR came out firing on all cylinders. The introduction of Venkatesh Iyer, who scored four fifties, also bolstered their batting lineup.
Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine also bowled their hearts out, picking up wickets and putting a lid on the run-scoring. Lockie Ferguson, who replaced Pat Cummins in KKR’s playing eleven, also bowled with a lot of venom, although he couldn’t make an impact in the final.
In the league stage, they finished fourth on the points table and edged out Mumbai Indians on net run rate. In the Eliminator, they beat the Royal Challengers Bangalore after which they got past Delhi Capitals, the table-toppers in the round-robin phase, in the Qualifier 2.