IPL 2019: I was due, says Shane Watson after classy 96 vs Sunrisers Hyderabad

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Shane Watson had scored 147 runs from 10 matches for Chennai Super Kings in the 2019 Indian Premier League before the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Chepauk on Tuesday. CSK had lost 2 successive matches and their batting was an area of concern.

Shane Watson had scored 44 for CSK in a big win over Delhi Capitals almost a month ago. Since then, he had disappointed at the top of the order and many felt he would be replaced by Sam Billings as the race for the last-4 started to heat up.

But MS Dhoni is known to back his players. In the 2018 IPL, Shane Watson had hammered 555 runs and 2 hundreds. This year, he was due for some runs and Shane Watson said as much when he collected the man-of-the-match award after a 6-wicket win over SRH helped CSK move back to the top of the 2019 IPL points table.

Watson did not forget to thank his captain MS Dhoni and his coach Stephen Fleming for their support even as the runs dried up this summer.

“I was due for runs, that’s for sure. I can’t thank Stephen Fleming and MS Dhoni enough for their belief in me.

“Most of the teams I’ve played in, I would have been dropped by now but they showed the trust in me,” Watson said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

“Of course, I was doing alright in the PSL (Pakistan Super League) and in the BBL (Banladesh Premier League) too, struck the ball well.

“Needed some things to go my way, like it did today when Bhuvi was all over me. He is an incredibly skillful bowler as he swings it both ways,” Watson said.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar was brilliant up front but Shane Watson stayed at the crease and played some breathtaking shots to race away to his 1st fifty in this year’s IPL. He was well on course for his 5th IPL hundred but Bhuvneshwar had him caught by Jonny Bairstow.

MS Dhoni said Shane Watson was batting well in the nets and it was important to back a match-winner like him. Before the defeats against SRH in Hyderabad and RCB in Bengaluru, Chennai Super Kings were in top form and they had lost only one game. With the team placed comfortably at the top, Dhoni could afford to give Watson those extra opportunities.

“I think you can give individuals some games and the team gives them the rest. Watson has been a matchwinner for us. He has been batting well in the nets.

“Whatever small innings he played so far, he was middling them well although he did struggle a bit. This is the time when you need to back them. The management’s thinking was to give him as many games as possible. And the team winning also means that a player gets more games than he would actually get,” Dhoni said.

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