Sports Cricket 12 Mar 2018 2018 Indian Premier ...

2018 Indian Premier League: How MS Dhoni engineered Shane Watson's CSK move

Published Mar 12, 2018, 12:00 pm IST
Updated Mar 12, 2018, 12:00 pm IST
The former Australian all-rounder managed only 71 runs from eight matches in 2017 where he played for RCB.
Shane Watson (left) for Rs 4 crore by MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings which was four times his base price. (Photo: AP)
 Shane Watson (left) for Rs 4 crore by MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings which was four times his base price. (Photo: AP)

Chennai: The 11th edition of Indian Premier League is just around the corner as all eight teams gear up for the cash rich league. The two time IPL champions (2010, 2011) will be making a comeback after been banned for two years due to corruption charges.

The yellow brigade surprised everyone when they bought former Australian al-rounder  Shane Watson for Rs 4 crore, which was four times his base price, during  the two-day auction held in Bengaluru.


Watson, who retired from international and first-class cricket in 2016, has been in terrific form in the Big Bash League (BBL) 2017/18 and the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL) season.

Speaking to Times of India Chennai Super Kings (CSK) CEO Kasi Vishwanath revealed how MS Dhoni was convinced about Shane Watson's ability, after the team management and the skipper had sat down to discuss the prospects of buying the Australian all-rounder.

"We knew his potential as an allrounder. Anyone can have a bad season. We discussed with our captain MS Dhoni about the prospects of having Watson in the team and Dhoni was happy. We felt Watson still has a lot to offer," said  Vishwanath.

He also added: "When we found out that he is fit and doing well in Big Bash League, we backed him. He has been terrific in the ongoing PSL as well. We are pleased with the way he has been shaping up.

"Watson fits into the type of allrounders we have had in the past. Watson is a floater with the bat. He can preferably open but move around the order too. It was a conscious effort to have such a cricketer in the mix."

Watson had a disastrous campaign last season with Royal Challengers Bangalore. The Australian managed only 71 runs from eight matches, however Watson has a fantastic Big Bash League 2017/18 season in which he scored 331 runs.

Watson had admitted he had the "worst" IPL in 2017 with RCB. The big-hitting all-rounder, who led the team at various stages of the tournament in Virat Kohli's absence, managed only 71 runs from eight matches and conceded at 9.13.

Eventually, RCB decided against retaining or using the Right-to-Match (RTM) card on Watson at the auction.

However, Watson had hit peak form in the 2017/18 edition of Australia Big Bash League (BBL), finishing among the top five in the batting charts, with 331 runs from 10 matches. The right handed batsman is also leading the runs chart in the ongoing PSL  scoring  299 runs in 8 games for Quetta Gladiators. He has also picked up 10 wickets at an impressive rate of 6.96.

CSK had retained skipper Dhoni along with all-rounders Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja, who had been a key part of the team's success over the years.