Indian Premier League

Dad's Army: Old soldiers Du Plessis and Watson fire up Chennai

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis

Veterans Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis rewarded Chennai Super Kings' faith in sticking with their old guard after leading their team to a thumping 10-wicket Indian Premier League (IPL) win.

Watson, aged 39, struck form with an attacking 83 in an unbeaten 181-run opening stand with the 36-year-old Du Plessis, who plundered 87, as Chennai thrashed Kings XI Punjab on Sunday.

Led by 39-year-old Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the three-time Indian Premier League winners are labelled "Dad's Army" by the media and they ended a run of three consecutive defeats by keeping to a philosophy of backing their ageing players.

While South Africa's in-from du Plessis struck his third half-century of the season, it was Australian Watson's return to form that enabled the team to bounce back.

"It is something (selection consistency) that we bank on and sometimes (Chennai coach Stephen) Fleming doesn't get as much credit," Dhoni said after the win.

"It's not that we don't have debates, but it's one plan, that's the relationship between us."

Watson overcame put behind him scores of four, 33, 14 and one to help Chennai to a franchise record opening stand.

Fleming, the former New Zealand captain who has been with Chennai since the inaugural 2008 season of the cash-rich Twenty20 league, said it was important to retain confidence in players during the lean periods.

"You have to be very courageous when things don't go their way and positive as well," Fleming told reporters after the match.

"Attitude you can control and all we try do is provide some selection security with guys and then ask them to be as confident and positive as they feel.

"If Shane had been struggling in the nets and looking out of touch then it may have been a selection issue," added Fleming. "But he has been nothing but solid."

Du Plessis smashed 11 fours and a six in his 53-ball stay at the crease in Dubai and credited the team management for sticking with their players.

"Credit to Dhoni and Fleming, it's obviously the CSK way," said du Plessis. "They stick with players a bit longer than other teams might."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
loading... Live
South Western Districts 59/0
Titans 192/5
loading... Live
Papua New Guinea 0
Scotland 25/1
Voting Booth
After the opening weekend of URC action, what did you make of the South African struggles?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
It exposed the quality of South African rugby...
38% - 2061 votes
There were positives to take
7% - 362 votes
We shouldn't read too much into one weekend
17% - 896 votes
It will take the SA sides time to adjust to the new competition
38% - 2049 votes