The Chennai Super Kings defeated the Sun Risers Hyderabad in the IPL 2018 Final on Sunday (May 27) at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai to win their third IPL trophy. With this victory, CSK are on par with the Mumbai Indians in terms of total IPL title wins at the end of this eleventh edition.
In a dramatic turnaround of events, Karn Sharma created a record with Chennai winning the IPL 2018 title. He became the first player ever in the history of Indian Premier League to win three consecutive IPL titles.
Karn Sharma played for the Sun Risers Hyderabad in IPL 2016, Mumbai Indians in 2017 and Chennai Super Kings in 2018.
In all these three title-winning seasons, Karn was not a regular in the side though. He played just 5 matches for SRH in 2016, 9 matches for MI in 2017 and 6 matches for CSK in 2018.
Despite not featuring in the play-off game for CSK in this season, Karn was included in the playing XI in the Final clash against Sun Risers. Sun Risers packed their middle order with right handed batsmen and this has prompted Dhoni to pick Karn while dropping Harbhajan.
On the other hand, Harbhajan Singh did not bowl a single delivery in the play-off (first qualifier). Stephen Fleming, the Chennai Super Kings head coach, later revealed that it was MS Dhoni’s idea to bring in Karn Sharma replacing Harbhajan Singh.
“If you look at the last few games we played, Harbhajan didn’t bowl a lot, so it was a case of what the skipper felt. He wanted a good option against right-handers. There was a lot of discussion, on whether to open with spinners, their combination. Both Harbhajan and Karn have got wickets. It was the captain’s choice,” said Stephen Fleming.
Karn also repaid the faith of his captain by picking up the wicket of dangerous Kane Williamson in the IPL 2018 final. However, he got only 4 wickets in the six games he played for CSK this season. That’s a stat to worry about though!
** Photo credits to ESPN Cricinfo