The final between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2019 at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium was a roller-coaster journey. Shane Watson was dropped twice by Lasith Malinga and Rahul Chahar while even Chennai Super Kings missed a few chances during Mumbai Indians’ chase. Both sides buckled under pressure and they were rescued by some individual contributions from both teams. In the end, Lasith Malinga bowled the ball which trapped Shardul Thakur LBW as Mumbai Indians clinched the IPL title for the fourth time as they won by one run against Chennai Super Kings. For Dhoni, it was a bitter pill to swallow as he lost for the fifth time as captain of Chennai Super Kings.
“It was very funny as to how both teams were only passing on the trophy from one team to the other. Both teams made a lot of mistakes, the team that made one lesser mistake won,” Dhoni said. Chennai Super Kings had reached the final for the eighth time but it was not one of their best seasons with the bat, with the middle order failing while the top order was inconsistent. The performance of the bowlers was the only shining light for a team that is known for its consistency.
“As a team, we had a good season. But we need to go back and reflect. Wasn't one of those years where we played very good cricket. Middle order never clicked, but somehow we managed. Our bowlers did really well. It was not a 150 wicket, but the bowlers kept us in the hunt. They kept getting wickets when it was really needed. Batting, someone kept chipping in and we kept winning. To be consistent next year, we will have to really think hard,” Dhoni said.
Even coach Stephen Fleming acknowledged that the batting needed plenty of work heading into the next season. "This year in Chennai was tough (turning track), the conditions were tough to read, hard to play. A little bit of training as well, our batters weren't big enough from the form point of view. If we look at the aggregate of numbers from our top order, we could have liked a bit more. Batting certainly was a weak part of our game this season, there is a lot of work to do. But at the same time, how much more do you need? We got to the final, we went till the last ball. Of course, we didn't have a good season with the bat. But there was never a lack of effort," Fleming said.