Milestones made unforgettable
Three veteran Chennai Super Kings players celebrated several Indian Premier League milestones in the final tonight! South African batter Faf du Plessis played his 100th match tonight while Indian veterans Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni played their 200th and 300th match respectively. Lifting the trophy for the fourth time in CSK's history made the night even more historic for these three players.
Underwhelming individual performances from both captains
What's funny about both Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings making it to the final of IPL 2021 is that both their captains Eoin Morgan and MS Dhoni now hold the record for the lowest average in an IPL season with a minimum of 10 games played. This excludes tail-enders.
Eoin Morgan has batted at a disastrous average of 11.08 while CSK talisman MS Dhoni has had an average of 16.28 this season.
CSK and strong opening partnerships are a match made in heaven
Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis have been simply incredible this season. Tonight's half-century stand in the all-important final was their seventh in IPL 2021! This tops the six 50+ stands that Michael Hussey and Suresh Raina shared in 2013.
Both Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis also finished in the top two positions of the Orange Cap race. Gaikwad scored 635 runs all season while du Plessis fell just short with 633 runs. This is only the second time after Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli for RCB in 2011 that a team had two batters in the top two positions of the Orange Cap race.
The 61-run stand between Gaikwad and Du Plessis was also the third 50+ opening partnership for Chennai Super Kings in IPL finals after Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay shared stands in 2011 and 2012. They are the only team to boast this record.
What a season Ruturaj Gaikwad has had!
Ruturaj Gaikwad has led from the front for Chennai Super Kings after being introduced to the IPL last season. He has taken charge of innings and delivered splendidly. Gaikwad finished the competition as the proud holder of the Orange Cap and also won the award for the Emerging Player of the season!
Ruturaj is also the youngest winner of the IPL Orange Cap, achieving this incredible milestone at the age of 24 years and 257 days. Shaun Marsh (winner in 2008) and Virat Kohli (in 2016) are next on the list with ages of 24 years and 328 days and 27 years and 206 days respectively.
He becomes the first Orange Cap winner without a 50+ score in his first three innings of the season. In fact, Gaikwad had amassed just 20 runs off his first three matches this season. Ruturaj winning the Orange Cap as well as the title is only the second instance in the history of the league. The first to do it? The man who came out to bat tonight after Gaikwad was dismissed – Robin Uthappa. He did the same for his opponents tonight Kolkata Knight Riders in 2014!
Other miscellaneous stats from the final
Venkatesh Iyer became only the fourth uncapped player to score a half-century in an IPL final! Former Kolkata Knight Riders Manvinder Bisla and Manish Pandey also did the same in the finals of 2012 and 2014 while Manan Vohra scored a half-century for Punjab Kings (who were then known as Kings XI Punjab) in the IPL 2014 final.
Shubman Gill is the first player to score a half-century in the IPL final without hitting a single six!
MS Dhoni becomes only the first player to win an Indian Premier League title after the age of 40!
Important stats from the season rounded up
Harshal Patel, who won the Most Valuable Player Award because of his performances with the ball, becomes the first player from Royal Challengers Bangalore to receive the distinction!
IPL 2021 is only the second instance of all major individual honours being clean swept by Indians. The last time it happened was in 2010. On that occasion, Sachin Tendulkar had won the Orange Cap, Pragyan Ojha had won the Purple Cap, Sachin Tendulkar was awarded the Most Valuable Player, Robin Uthappa had hit the most sixes, and Manoj Tiwary had won the Emerging Player award.
This was also the first IPL season where the three highest scorers were between 10 runs of each other. Ruturaj Gaikwad finished first with 635, his teammate Faf du Plessis had 633 runs, while KL Rahul had scored 626.
Incredibly enough, this is also the first IPL season where the three highest wicket-takers aren't even within 10 wickets of each other. Harshal Patel is the proud owner of the Purple Cap with 32 while Avesh Khan finished second on the list with 24 scalps. Bumrah and Shardul finished third with 21 wickets each.