Shane Watson, playing for Chennai Super Kings roared back into form with an unbeaten 83* against Kings XI Punjab in Dubai. His knock along with Faf Du Plessis (87*) scripted a memorable win for CSK and a comeback in IPL 2020 in the process. He was also awarded the Man of the Match for his match-winning knock against Kings XI Punjab.
Watson paired up with Du Plessis to stitch the second-best opening stand in IPL history for a team winning their match by 10 wickets. The pair sized up the chase of 179 within 17.4 overs with 14 balls to spare. Watson hit 11 fours and three sixes in his innings. The way he played his knock was quite close to the one he played in the IPL 2018 final against SRH to help Chennai win their third IPL title. He took his time early on and decimated the opposition bowling attack, once he was set.
Shane Watson Picks His Best T20 Bowlers
Meanwhile, after the match, Watson picked his best five T20 bowlers in the world. The list includes names he has played with and against in international and franchise T20 cricket. Watson named Lasith Malinga, Shahid Afridi, Jasprit Bumrah, Sunil Narine, and DJ Bravo as the best five T20 bowlers he faced in his career so far.
He spoke very highly of everyone when asked as to what he likes about each one of them. “Being able to do what he did so consistently for such a long period of time was just phenomenal. To swing the new ball like he did, take crucial wickets against the best batsman, to be able to come in at the backend of the game and close out the game so consistently was ridiculous” said Watson on Malinga.
He next spoke about Dwayne Bravo who is his teammate with the Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2020. Bravo tops he list of T20 wicket-takers with 506 wickets in 467 matches.
“It’s phenomenal for someone to take 500 (506) T20 wickets. That’s 100 more than the second-placed Lasith Malinga. DJ Bravo, What a man! He is the balance between risk and reward. He has bowled so many overs in the death, which is super-challenging, and he just knows how to find a way of taking wickets” said Watson on Bravo.
Watson also spoke on Bumrah, Afridi and Narine all three of who are good bowlers in their own merit.
“Yes his action has been questioned throughout this career but the impact he has had on games and his numbers are unquestionable. It’s phenomenal the impact he has had on games. Like all ultimate T20 bowlers, he takes wickets at crucial times and hardly goes for any runs” Watson spoke on the KKR mystery spinner.
Jasprit Bumrah’s ability to bowl at the start and at the death is what impresses Watson the most about him.
“He, for me is an all-round package. He is only 26 at the moment but the dominance he has had in T20 cricket so far is phenomenal. He’s skilled with the new ball; he’s different. He’s got speed; he can swing the ball both ways now; he’s got a great change of pace and his execution of yorker is incredible as well.
Watson spoke last on former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi as an opponent. Afridi has 339 wickets from 317 games. In 99 T20Is for Pakistan, the leg-spinner claimed 98 wickets as well.
“He is the perfect T20 bowler. He takes wickets and doesn’t go for many runs. Facing Boom Boom throughout my career, never feel like you’ll get a free ball at all.” Watsoonn signed off.
Watson, who is high of his unbeaten 83 against Kings XI Punjab will need to play another good knock when Chennai face Kolkata in their next game on October 7 in Abu Dhabi.
Also Read: IPL 2020 Match 18 CSK vs KXIP – Match Report