Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni had a big role in Shane Watson’s superlative performance in the final of the IPL against Sunrisers Hyderabad. The ace all-rounder had a hamstring niggle and Dhoni made sure that Watson was in good shape to bat, by reducing his workload on the field. The move was an instant hit as Watson smashed a scintillating 117 to win the match and title for his side.
Kashi Vishwanath, CEO of CSK, told Times of India that Watson was suffering with an injury but it wasn’t very serious. “It’s true that Watson wasn’t 100 per cent fit. He had niggle, but the team kept him in good shape for the big final.”
The Aussie who hit two tons in the tournament, played the last four league games with niggle. That was the very reason why Watson did not bowl in the games starting from May 18 against Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla. In fact he missed a game against Kings XI Punjab too.
What is noteworthy is that skipper Dhoni made him field within the 30-yard circle, and where Watson didn’t have to move much.
In the final too, Watson wasn’t in the best of shape and was struggling to run between the wickets. But he found his rhythm in the match and smashed a whopping 11 fours and eight sixes in the match.
After winning the match, Watson had said, “The good thing is that I wouldn’t be playing for the next three-four months; feels great. It gives me plenty of time to recover. Throughout the back end of the tournament I was hanging on for dear life. Stephen Fleming and MS Dhoni have been looking after me really well and I am really glad to contribute like I did tonight.”
Watson scored 555 runs in the entire tournament and also struck 35 sixes, the second highest after Delhi’s Rishabh Pant.