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IPL 2018: MS Dhoni’s intuition is incredible, says Shane Watson

Shane Watson, who scored his third Indian Premier league ton on Friday, says Chennai Super Kings’ skipper MS Dhoni has an incredible feel for the game.

cricket Updated: Apr 21, 2018 09:00 IST
Bihan Sengupta
Bihan Sengupta
Hindustan Times, Pune
IPL 2018,Shane Watson,Chennai Super Kings
Shane Watson has heaped praise on Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni.(AP)

Chennai Super Kings all-rounder Shane Watson heaped praise on skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, moments after his century helped his side get back to winning ways and register a 64-run victory over Rajasthan Royals in what was their first game at their new home. (HIGHLIGHTS)

The tale in store was Dhoni’s homecoming, here at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, after he spent two years with Rising Pune Supergiant, the erstwhile IPL franchise. Instead, Dhoni was dismissed for five while Watson toyed around with the Rajasthan Royals bowlers for his 57-ball 106. (SCORECARD)

“MS reads the game incredibly well. His feel for the game is as good as anyone that’s ever played the game. His intuition on the ground is incredible, so… We obviously do a lot of planning of how we’re going to bowl and that comes in from what MS feels and his tactics on the ground. It’s a pretty powerful combination,” he said at the post-match press conference.

READ | IPL 2018: Shane Watson’s fiery ton lifts Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals

Although he’s just around 20 days elder to Dhoni in terms of age, the latter’s far more experienced in terms of international cricket. While Watson himself is a veteran of over 50 Tests and T20Is and another 100-odd ODIs, he admitted that he still learns a great deal from the former India captain.

“I’ve always watched him from far away. He’s so incredibly calm… Well he looks calm, maybe not so on the inside always but he looks so calm. Also, how he tactically reads the game, he’s hardly ever out in regards to his intuitions regarding the feeling of the game. To get to know these people is itself a huge privilege when you get to play these types of tournaments. To know them off the field, understand exactly what makes them great, how they go about their preparation, how they go about their life apart from cricket as well,” Watson added.

He, however, lamented the loss of the home support back in Chennai, stating: “It’s incredibly sad that we aren’t playing in Chennai. Obviously there are some issues going on there which is sad for our whole franchise that we can’t play there. The first game we played I was fortunate to play in Chennai. That atmosphere, even though only half the ground was open, was electrifying. That was something that I’ve never really experienced before. Then for us to move away because of the issues going on was very sad. And then to be able to see everything painted in yellow today just so special.

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“It doesn’t surprise me knowing how passionate CSK fans are. One of the big surprises was in Mumbai, to be able to see half the ground support Chennai. I’ve never played in Mumbai previously when half the ground is supporting the team I was playing for. CSK fans are incredibly passionate and it didn’t surprise me at all to be able to see the fans here and also to the people who have worked tirelessly to get the ground ready,” he further went on to add.

First Published: Apr 21, 2018 08:49 IST