CSK batsman Shane Watson
CSK batsman Shane Watson plays a shot during the IPL match against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SH) at MAC Stadium in Chennai, on Tuesday, April 23, 2019. Image Credit: PTI

Chennai: After helping Chennai Super Kings (CSK) return to winning ways by smashing a brilliant 96 against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), opener Shane Watson admitted that he was due for runs and added that he was grateful to skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and coach Stephen Fleming for the faith they showed in him.

Watson, who has not had a good outing so far in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), returned to his own and guided CSK to a convincing six-wicket win against SRH at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday.

Chasing 176, CSK rode on a 53-ball knock from Watson to once again move to the top of the points table and almost seal their position in the play-offs. The veteran Australian batsman hit nine fours and six sixes.

Before this innings, Watson’s best score in the ongoing IPL was 44, which came almost a month ago. He was definitely due for a big score and another poor display might have seen him get replaced by Sam Billings. However, the CSK team management continued to back Watson and he finally came through.

“I was due for runs, that’s for sure. I can’t thank Stephen Fleming and M.S. Dhoni enough for their belief in me,” Watson said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

“Most of the teams I’ve played in, I would have been dropped by now but they showed trust in me,” he added.

The 37-year-old, however, missed out on a fifth IPL hundred as Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/18) got his wicket. Watson heaped praises on the SRH pacer and said, “He is an incredibly skilful bowler as he swings it both ways.”

Dhoni said: “I think you can give individuals some games and the team gives them the rest. Watson has been a match-winner for us.

“He has been batting well in the nets. Whatever small innings he played so far, he was middling them well although he did struggle a bit. This is the time when you need to back them. The management’s thinking was to give him as many games as possible,” he added.