IPL 2020, KXIP vs CSK: 'That's where experience counts,' MS Dhoni hails Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni hailed Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis after the two led CSK to a superb 10-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) on Sunday
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni hailed Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis after the two led CSK to a superb 10-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) on Sunday.
Chasing KXIP's target of 179, CSK did not lose a wicket as Watson and du Plessis scored an unbeaten 83 and 87 respectively to give the Chennai side the much-needed win after their three consecutive losses in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020.
After scoring 4, 33, 14, and 1 in CSK's opening four matches of IPL 2020, Watson had come under the radar and had started to look like a liability at CSK's top-order. The 39-year-old smashed 11 fours and three sixes in his knock of 83 from 53 balls during his unbeaten 181-run opening stand with du Plessis, who scored the same number of deliveries, but scored 87. This was also CSK's highest partnership by runs. Their previous best was a 159-run stand that was shared by Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay in a match against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in IPL 2011.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, CSK captain MS Dhoni said that they had persisted with Watson because the opening batsman looked good in the nets and all he needed to do was replicate the same on the field.
"[We] did the small things right. We believed in the process. We were looking for the kind of start today. That's where experience counts. It's not about being more aggressive. Watson was looking good in the nets. But what you want is to replicate that. It was just a matter of time that he gets going. Faf is like a sheet anchor for us. He can always confuse the bowlers with shots like the lap shot.
They compliment each other well. Fleming doesn't get the kind of recognition he should. The good thing between us is that we decide each and everything between us. It's not like we don't have debates over selections. But it stays between us. I felt the bowlers did a very good job. I felt we bowled according to what our plan was. The momentum with the right kind of shots - I felt Watto and Faf backed themselves to play the shots they're known for. It was very good to watch them out there," added Dhoni in the same interview.
After the KXIP vs CSK game on Sunday, KL Rahul remained at the top of the runs chart, having scored 302 runs in five innings. CSK's du Plessis, with 282 runs in five matches, climbed to second place and has scored 10 runs more than Rahul's KXIP teammate Mayank Agarwal.