Chennai Super Kings [CSK] will square-off against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday and all eyes will be on the batting-unit of the three-time champions. CSK’s Achilles heel in the IPL thus far has been their misfiring batting-unit and it has been further accentuated with the lack of form of opener Shane Watson.
The Australian all-rounder has thus managed 52 runs in the four games that he has played at an average of 13 and a strike-rate. And, with CSK losing three of those four games, calls have grown louder for the axing of Shane Watson.
Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir, however, feels that CSK should back Shane Watson to the hilt, and if he was in charge, he would have stuck with the Australian for another 4-5 games.
“I would never drop Shane Watson, because their entire batting order looks so rusty. Kedar Jadhav looks rusty. Ambati Rayudu looks rusty,” Gambhir said in a chat show on ESPNCricinfo.
I know Shane Watson is not in the best of forms, imagine replacing Shane Watson with Ruturaj Gaekwad? Obviously, he is a young cricket, developing cricket. Or Murali Vijay? I would back Shane Watson for another 4-5 games. I know it’s a tricky situation for MS, but you got to back your best batsman. A batsman who can wins game if he comes off good. At the moment, he has not, but he can come at any time, you never know,” Gambhir further said.
This is not the first time that CSK has found themselves in such a situation when it comes to Shane Watson. In the last edition too, Watson struggled for form in the league-stage but the team-management stuck with him and the opener repaid the faith with a near match-winning knock in the finals against Mumbai Indians. But unlike last time, CSK is on a losing spree this time around and as Stephen Fleming said in the post-match conference, the pressure will be on Shane Watson to keep his place in the side now.