In a nail-biting encounter at the Narendra Modi Stadium on May 30, 2023, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) secured their fifth Indian Premier League (IPL) title by defeating the Gujarat Titans (GT) by five wickets. Under the captaincy of M.S. Dhoni, CSK equaled the record set by the Mumbai Indians, while Hardik Pandya’s team, the defending champions, narrowly missed out on retaining the trophy.

After rain disrupted play, CSK was tasked with chasing a revised target of 171 runs in 15 overs. The match came down to the wire, with CSK needing 10 runs off the final two deliveries. In a dramatic finish, Ravindra Jadeja struck a six down the ground off Mohit Sharma’s penultimate ball and followed it up with a glanced four to the fine-leg boundary, sealing the victory for CSK.

Here are the top three reasons behind Chennai Super Kings’ triumph in IPL 2023:

  • Ajinkya Rahane’s Resurgence: 

CSK raised eyebrows when they acquired Ajinkya Rahane at the auction. Despite Rahane’s recent struggles in the IPL, CSK saw untapped potential in him. They granted him the freedom to play aggressively, a move that paid off handsomely. Rahane played impactful innings throughout the tournament, notably an unbeaten 71 off 29 balls against his former team, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). In the IPL 2023 final, Rahane’s cameo of 27 off 13 balls was crucial in maintaining CSK’s net run rate. Overall, Rahane contributed 326 runs in 11 innings, impressing with a strike rate of 172.48.

  • Deepak Chahar’s Timely Form: 

Deepak Chahar, known as a pace bowling all-rounder, faced fitness issues in recent seasons. Concerns arose when Chahar missed several matches in the early part of IPL 2023 and struggled upon his return, conceding 0/41 against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG). However, Chahar made a remarkable comeback in the latter stages of the tournament, taking 13 wickets in CSK’s last six games. His ability to claim key wickets during the powerplay was instrumental for CSK. Chahar finished the season with 13 wickets in 10 matches, boasting an average of 22.85 and an economy rate of 8.74. Despite some challenges in the final, Chahar’s performance proved crucial for CSK.

  • Dhoni’s Destiny: 

IPL 2023 appeared to revolve around paying tribute to the legendary M.S. Dhoni. The crowds’ unwavering support for Dhoni, both at home and away matches, set this season apart. The love and affection for MSD in IPL 2023 surpassed previous seasons, with fans rallying behind him. It seemed as though destiny had a role in Dhoni’s journey throughout the tournament, culminating in CSK lifting the trophy. In the final, Ravindra Jadeja’s heroic six and four off Mohit Sharma’s last two deliveries sealed the victory, as if scripted by destiny. Losing captain Hardik Pandya graciously acknowledged Dhoni’s triumph, saying, “Destiny had this written for him…God gave him a little more today.” Pandya’s words encapsulated why IPL 2023 will forever be remembered as the MS Dhoni story.

Overall, CSK’s fifth IPL title win was a result of Ajinkya Rahane’s resurgence, Deepak Chahar’s timely form, and the destiny that seemed to guide M.S. Dhoni and his team to victory. This memorable season celebrated the legend of Dhoni, making it an unforgettable chapter in IPL history.