Chennai Super Kings opener Shane Watson is thankful to the franchise for showing faith in him and giving him the opportunity to express himself in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Watson said it’s been an incredible experience to play for the MS Dhoni-led franchise that looks after everyone ‘incredibly well’.
Shane Watson pointed out that he got the backing of the CSK management despite a string of low scores in IPL 2019. Watson scored 398 runs in his last campaign but he suffered a slow start, failing to impress in his 1st 10 innings. However, Watson turned it around with a 53-ball 96 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, the franchise against which he hit a title-winning hundred in IPL 2018 final.
Watson raised his game in the business end of the tournament, scoring a match-winning fifty in just 32 balls in the Qualifier 2 against Delhi Capitals. Watson nearly won CSK another title as he hit 80 from 59 balls in their 1-run defeat against Mumbai Indians in the final of IPL 2019.
Watson joined CSK in 2018 after a horror run with Royal Challengers Bangalore and the former Australian all-rounder has been one of the most valuable players in the IPL since.
“The 2018 season was one of my better seasons, it wasn’t just the final [where Watson made a match-winning century]. But last year, certainly CSK stuck with me through thick and thin,” Watson told Quetta Gladiators’ head of player acquisitions, Nabeel Hashmi in a YouTube show.
“In every other team that I’ve been in, I may have been dropped a couple of games before I got the runs against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Just them backing me, knowing my next few good innings were around the corner, [was amazing]. Only world-class leaders will really stick by and have the confidence to do that, given the calibre of the players we’ve got.
“That was a great learning for me as well, to be honest, to show that if you believe in someone, you believe in their ability, because you’ve seen what they’ve been able to do time and time again and that they will come good at some stage.”
To be able to play for CSK ‘very special’ experience: Watson
Watson said he was an admirer of MS Dhoni and Stephen Fleming even when he was playing for Rajasthan Royals and that it has been a ‘very special experience’ to play for CSK that is run incredibly well from top to bottom.
“CSK had full faith in me, they’re an incredible franchise to play against. When I played for Royals against Chennai, I always admired Stephen Fleming, and MS as well, the way he carried himself on and off the field.
“To be able to play at CSK and experience the way the franchise is run incredibly well from top-down was a very special experience.
“I do feel fortunate to have this part of my career of the IPL in the last few years, to play for a franchise that looks after everyone so unbelievably well,” Watson said.
Watson is training with CSK in the UAE as they gear up for the high-octane opener against defending champions Mumbai Indians in Dubai on September 19.