Chennai Super Kings (CSK) registered a scintillating 10-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) on Sunday at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. After the win, captain MS Dhoni spoke about their team selection. He expressed that he and the head coach Stephen Fleming decided to stick with their experienced opener Shane Watson, despite his form came under the scanner after having failed to perform in the previous games.
However, Watson repaid the faith of his captain and the coach and shared a 181-run opening partnership with another key player – in-form Faf du Plessis and took CSK to the finish line with ease.
“(Consistency in selection) is something we bank on,” shared MS Dhoni in the post-match presentation ceremony. “Fleming doesn’t get the kind of recognition he should. The good thing is that we decide each and everything between us. It’s not like we don’t have debates over selections or positions. But it stays between us.”
While chasing a target of 179 in 20 overs, CSK got off to a flying start as Watson and du Plessis’ free-flowing batting helped them to put up 60 runs within the power play. Later, the pair added 41 runs in the next four overs where the Kings XI Punjab bowlers had no idea how to counter-attack their onslaught as they smashed all over the park.
While Watson smashed 11 boundaries and three sixes, du Plessis’ knock comprised of 11 fours and one six as well. With this win, CSK moved up to two spots to be at the sixth place in the points table. However, Dhoni is hopeful to replicate this form in the upcoming games as well.
“He (Watson) was hitting it well in the nets and what you need is to do that in the middle. It was just a matter of time. Faf is like a sheet anchor for us, keeps playing those shots in the middle. We needed momentum with the right kind of shots. Watto and Faf backed themselves with the shots they’re known for,” the CSK captain concluded.