Shane Watson continues to justify CSK's faith in him in IPL 2018. Not long ago, Watson scored a century against Rajasthan to launch CSK into orbit. Against DD at Pune on Monday, Watson was again at his imperious best and meaty blows from him gave CSK a flying start. The Aussie scored 78 off 40 balls with the help of 7 sixes and 4 fours and laid the foundations for a big score.
He combined with Faf du Plessis to raise an opening stand of 102. However, Watson was very lucky off the first ball of the match as he survived a very close shout for LBW from Trent Boult. Boult curled the ball into Watson and the Aussie just about managed to put the bat onto the ball. The review confirmed he was to stay.
T20 batting is all about confidence and how good a batsman sees the ball. In Watson's case, he could be compared with AB de Villiers as he moves after the ball is released and puts himself in a position of strength. However, unlike de Villiers, Watson isn't a great mover at the crease. He prefers to stay on the front leg, an unusual feature being a batsman raised on bouncy Australian pitches.
Against Boult, he might have committed early on the front foot but after he was to stay, he made sure he moved with the movement of the ball. When Boult changed his line to outside off, Watson carved the ball past point using his pace. Watson unleashed an onslaught against Liam Plunkett who wasn't quick compared to DD's other pacers. His military medium and the zilch movement off the track gave Watson the license to line up and hit through the line.
So far, only Gayle, Watson and de Villiers have been seen effective in completing their follow through. Watson first executed a pull straight down the ground against Plunkett for a six and then flicked another. Then against spinners, especially Rahul Tewatia, Watson flexed muscles and kept getting good results. Quite like Gayle, anything that lands in his arc, goes out of the park.
Later MS Dhoni scored a brilliant 22-ball 51* as CSK successfully built on Watson's start to score a whopping 211/4.