IPL 2018: Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni says title win proves fitness matters more than age

Chennai Super Kings' fairytale comeback is a proof that fitness matter more than age, said skipper MS Dhoni after guiding his team to a third IPL title.

PTI, May 28, 2018

Mumbai: Chennai Super Kings' fairytale comeback is a proof that fitness matter more than age, said skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni after guiding his team to a third IPL title.

At the auction, CSK were criticised for picking up nine players in their 30s including Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu, who eventually were instrumental in the team's triumph.

Chennai Superkings players celebrates after winning the Final of the Vivo Indian Premier League 2018 (IPL 2018) between the Chennai Super Kings and the Sunrisers Hyderabad held at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on the 27th May 2018. Photo by: Vipin Pawar /SPORTZPICS for BCCI

Chennai Super Kings banked on experienced players to lead the team to their third IPL title. Sportzpics

"We talked a lot about age but what matters is the fitness. Rayudu, for example, is 32, he's someone who is fit, covers a lot of ground. Even if he plays a few games where he spends a lot of time on the ground and in the field, he never complains. So it is the fitness that really matters more than the age aspect," said the 36-year-old Dhoni after the crushing win over SRH.

"What captains want is players who move well in the field. It doesn't matter which year a player is born in, whether you are 19 or 20 - you have to be agile. You have to accept your shortcomings.

"For example, if I push Watson to stop a single, there is a very good chance that he'll burst his hamstring and won't be available for the next game. So what you tell yourselves is that they have to commit and try, but there's no point getting injured for a single," said Dhoni before adding the CSK squad will be heading to Chennai on Monday for further celebrations.

Watson's sensational knock ensured CSK chased down a challenging 179 with ease. It was a memorable tournament for the 36-year-old Australian, who ended with 555 runs including two centuries and as many half centuries.

"It's been a special season to be honest. To get a special season especially after the last season with RCB. It means a lot to be with a franchise like CSK. After those first ten balls I was only hoping to catch up to at least a run-a-ball," said Watson.

Watson battled pain and injury to take the team home.

"The good thing is that I wouldn't be playing for the next three-four months; feels great. It gives me plenty of time to recover. Throughout the back end of the tournament I was hanging on for dear life, Stephen Fleming and MS Dhoni have been looking after me really well and I am really glad to contribute like I did tonight," he added.

SRH captain Kane Williamson also had a rich run with the bat, amassing 735 runs to end as the season's highest run-getter.

Willamson had replaced the suspended David Warner as captain just ahead of the IPL.

The New Zealander was disappointed that the team could not win the all-important final after posting 178 for six.

"We thought it'll be a competitive total, but the pitch did hold a bit. We saw that in our first five-six overs, and for the large part of the game we were doing okay. But hats off to Shane Watson. You do have to congratulate CSK," he said.

"It's (loss) frustrating because we played some really good cricket for the large part. Wasn't to be, and they certainly showed their experience. The boys are hurting at the moment, but we've fought hard. A shame not to come across the line, but a lot of positives," he added.

Updated Date: May 28, 2018





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3634 125
2 South Africa 3589 112
3 Australia 3499 106
4 New Zealand 2354 102
5 England 3772 97
6 Sri Lanka 2914 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5599 124
2 India 5492 122
3 South Africa 3842 113
4 New Zealand 4602 112
5 Pakistan 3279 102
6 Australia 3474 102
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 3270 131
2 Australia 1894 126
3 India 3932 123
4 New Zealand 2542 116
5 England 1951 115
6 South Africa 2058 114