‘He made Jaddu what he is today’: Rayudu dismisses Dhoni-Jadeja rift speculations
Rayudu, who announced his retirement from all formats following Chennai Super Kings’ title win in the IPL earlier this year, credited Dhoni for moulding Jadeja into the star all-rounder that he is today.
FirstCricket Staff Last Updated:July 25, 2023 15:51:20 IST
After the final all the speculations were put to rest when a proud Dhoni hugged Jadeja and lifted him up in joy
Although it was Ravindra Jadeja who steered Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the last mile to their fifth Indian Premier League (IPL) title after they had well nigh lost the final to Gujarat Titans, the 2023 IPL season was rife with speculation of some beef between him and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
There were perhaps two reasons behind the speculations.
First, CSK tried a change on the wheel in the 2022 season. Jadeja was given the captaincy as Dhoni kept playing under him. But it turned out to be a total disaster for them and Jadeja was made to relinquish the position mid-way, and Dhoni was given the reins again. This instability in leadership took the team to find the second last on the points table.
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Second, this year it was widely speculated that it may be Dhoni’s last IPL and as a result of this every time he walked in to bat the crow burst into cheer. The only problem though was that Dhoni only came in to bat after Jadeja was out and he would have a cheering crowd – CSK fans — as he walked out. This wasn’t seemingly sitting well with the all-rounder and he even took a dig at the audience after winning the ‘Asset of the Match’ in one of the games.
However, after the final all the speculations were put to an end when a proud Dhoni hugged Jadeja and lifted him up in joy.
Ambati Rayudu, who was part of the team both seasons, speaking on the BehindWoodsTV YouTube channel, further cleared the air on the matter by speaking at length about the equation shared by Jadeja and Dhoni.
“He (Dhoni) has put this team and has made Jaddu (Jadeja) what he is today. He has nurtured him for what, 10-12 years. So he would naturally be happy that the product that he made has won the final for CSK after whatever happened last year,” said Rayudu.
In a final that spanned a little over two days thanks to inclement weather in Ahmedabad, where the final was hosted at the Narendra Modi Stadium, CSK were set a revised target of 171 from 15 overs after defending champions GT posted 214/4 from their full quota of 20 overs.
A number of batters came up with vital contributions, including opener Devon Conway (47 off 25), Shivam Dube (32 not out off 21) and Rayudu — who two sixes and a four off Mohit Sharma in what was the turning point of the game.
Jadeja was left needing 10 off two balls after pacer Mohit had bowled four excellent deliveries in the final over; he responded by smashing a six straight down the ground followed by a four towards fine leg to cap off one of the most thrilling finishes in IPL history.