May 1, 2018 11:52:17 am
After a thumping 13-run victory over Delhi Daredevils at MCA Stadium in Pune on Monday, the man-of-the-match Shane Watson, who scored 78 runs in 40 balls to set up his side towards attaining the massive total of 211, praised Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for his calming influence on the team. Speaking in a video uploaded on the official IPL website after the match, the former Australian international said, “We don’t really see MS too much around breakfast and lunch – he loves his sleep. [But] to see how much it means to him, to be able to play for CSK, that’s rubbed off on everyone.”
Dhoni scored his third IPL century this season on Monday, as he hammered unbeaten-51 runs in just 22 balls with 2 fours and 5 sixes. Speaking about Dhoni’s innings, Watson further went on to say that seeing him from close quarters is a special feeling for him. “The desire, how much it means to MS, it’s rubbed off on me for sure. Looking at MS doing it at his age, which is in and around my age, spurs me on as well. There’s no reason why your best cricket can’t be around at this stage of our careers. To watch MS from close quarters is very special,” the allrounder said.
The 36-year old further said that he is amazed by how calm the former Indian skipper remains under pressure. “To see him bat as well as he is… It’s as good as I’ve ever seen him hit the ball on all types of wickets, all types of bowlers, he’s just so cool under pressure. When the run-rate is getting up he just knows which kind of bowlers he’s lining up. It’s amazing how he stays so calm,” he said.
Watson, who stitched a solid 102-run partnership with Faf du Plessis for the first wicket against DD, said that he enjoyed his innings. But with the right-hand batsman scoring only 42 runs in the previous three matches, he added that he wishes to get more consistent. “It’ll be nice to be a little more consistent – missing out three games – but to be able to play the kind of innings tonight, to get our team to a good total, is something I’ve been looking forward to playing in the IPL after the previous couple of years, especially with the bat,” he said.
He further lamented his previous two years with Royal Challengers Bangalore, where he failed to perform with the bat after being given the captaincy reigns for injured Virat Kohli, and was dropped just after eight games. “It didn’t go that well at RCB so it’s nice to be able to play the innings I know that I can,” he said.
Watson had earlier scored a 57-ball century for CSK in this tournament against Rajasthan Royals on April 20 as he helped his side in attaining a massive 64-run victory over the opponents. With 6 wins in 8 matches, CSK are currently placed on the top of the points table with 12 points.
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