Mumbai Indians’ youngsters cherish yet another triumphant season
Ishan Kishan kisses the IPL trophy. (BCCI Image)

The likes of Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya and his brother Krunal were beaming with smiles as Mumbai Indians edged Chennai Super Kings in a one-run thriller to be crowned four-time IPL champions. Chasing 150 to win, Lasith Malinga defended nine off the last over to make MI the most successful franchise in IPL history.

Last season, MI had failed to make it to the Playoffs, and Kishan, who scored 23 off 26 in the final and helped the team get a move on after CSK’s spinners had tied them down, lauded the side’s ability to come back strong.

“I think this is the best part of T20. Mumbai Indians are known to make comebacks and we did just that. We lost a few moments, but Hardik got us back with a good over,” Kishan said after the match. “We created half-chances and that is the most important thing for us. Bumrah is an excellent bowler – I knew he would bowl ten in 12 balls, when I asked him while standing at point how many overs he had to bowl, he said two, and I was confident we were going to win after that.”

Hardik was extremely crucial to the side’s success, with his power-hitting bailing MI out of trouble more than once. Hardik scored 402 runs from 16 matches at an average of 44.66 and a strike-rate of 190, including the fastest half-century of the season which he registered against the Kolkata Knight Riders.

“Actually, we were told we might lose this as we had won three times already, but I said no, we have won three times and we will make it four,” Hardik said. “I think the credit goes to the coaching staff and Mahela in particular. As I said in the last game, before making my debut, I had Mumbai Indians as the wallpaper in my mobile phone, three titles in five years, I’m living my dream. The focus was on the IPL until now and it will now turn towards the World Cup.”

With the win, MI completed a 4-0 sweep over CSK this season and Krunal, Hardik’s brother, reckoned beating their arch-rivals in the final is what made the win sweeter. MI have now beaten CSK thrice in the final of an IPL.

“Actually, we were told we might lose this as we had won three times already, but I said no, we have won three times and we will make it four,” Hardik said. “I think the credit goes to the coaching staff and Mahela in particular. As I said in the last game, before making my debut, I had Mumbai Indians as the wallpaper in my mobile phone, three titles in five years, I’m living my dream. The focus was on the IPL until now and it will now turn towards the World Cup.”

“It was too close. What an unbelievable game and to win over CSK is really special. It’s a dream come true for us from our childhood days we wanted to play at a good level playing for the country and playing the IPL for such a big franchise,” said Krunal. “When we were not playing also Mumbai Indians was our dream team. To represent them and win the finals like this is great. I want to mention the way Hardik played this season is amazing. I don’t need to look elsewhere to learn and improve.”