There have been several players who have shone bright in the IPL and then gone on to do wonders in international cricket. One of them is former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson, who found a second wind in his international career after his star turn with Rajasthan Royals.
Watson’s all-round game helped the Royals win the maiden title in 2008 at the expense of MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings. The Aussie would have a long run with the franchise after which he joined Royal Challengers Bangalore. But his IPL career reached its zenith when he was picked up by Chennai Super Kings.
Also Read | Full coverage of IPL 2020
Watson repaid the faith shown in him by scoring a title winning century in the final of the 2018 tournament. But his 2019 campaign had a slow start and that is where the CSK leadership showed faith in him, something that has left a mark with the Aussie.
“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.
The Australian had a poor run in the first 10 games before hitting a 53-ball 96 against Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2019. He said that he would have been dropped had he been playing or any other team.
Also Read | Brett Lee picks the winner of IPL 2020, names a side ‘definite’ to reach play-offs
“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,” Watson added.
The Australian went on to say that he admired MS Dhoni and CSK head coach Stephen Fleming even when he was playing for Rajasthan Royals and his stint with CSK has been a great one.
Also Read | Smith picks world’s best ODI batsman, praises 2 rising stars of India
“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.
Chennai Super Kings begin their quest for a fourth title with a match against fierce rivals and defending champions Mumbai Indians on September 19. CSK lost the 2019 final to Mumbai by a solitary run.