Bengaluru: Shane Watson is mighty impressed with young Indian batsman Sarfaraz Khan, who he says is an incredible player with amazing control over his shots. (IPL 2016: Sarfaraz Khan Cameo Icing on Virat Kohli-AB de Villiers 157-Run Stand For Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Sarfaraz smashed 35 runs off just 10 balls, hitting five fours and two sixes, to propel Royal Challengers Bangalore to a 200-plus total against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Tuesday. (IPL 2016: David Warner’s 50 in Vain as Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers Power Royal Challengers Bangalore to 45-Run Win Over Sunrisers Hyderabad)
“He is an incredible young man and there is no doubt that he has worked extremely hard to get all kinds of shots right. The control over shots he has… never seen before for a young talent like him. It shows he has practised hell of a lot, and we saw him this tonight,” he told reporters at the post-match press conference.
De Villiers’ batting – ‘pleasure to watch’
Watson also said it is a pleasure to watch AB de Villiers bat. The South African batsman hammered Hyderabad bowlers around the park with a whirlwind knock of 82, that was laced with seven fours and six shots over the ropes.
“What I saw is as good as the best batting I have ever seen. He didn’t look like taking risk at all in his entire innings. One shot he played off the backfoot for a six is an incredible shot to play, and he does it with so much of ease is really a pleasure to watch. He executes his shots incredibly well,” he said.
Replying to a query, Watson said there is no need for changing batting order of Chris Gale, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, as it gives a momentum to the team.
“This I saw happening in the previous season when I was playing as a rival for Rajasthan Royals. So, why should one change the order when the top three are delivering. You need to take early wickets, otherwise you are in deep trouble, and that’s what exactly happened tonight,” he said.
‘Gayle will fire’
Watson did not read much into Chris Gayle’s failure at the top.
“It is not going to be everyone’s day. Chris got out early, but we had depth in batting with likes of Kedar Jadhav, Sarfaraz, AB and Kohli in our side,” he said.
Watson also said that the way Kohli and De Villiers batted together in their magnificent 157-run partnership he felt he wouldn’t get to bat.
Watson eventually turned out to bat and contributed in his team’s cause with a 19-run cameo that had three sixes.
“More than anything else playing before your home crowd is a very nice feeling. We did not get to play that many matches in Jaipur – my previous home ground,” he said.
‘Relation with Gayle good’
Asked about his improving relations with Gayle, Watson said it is amazing that a couple of commercials provided an opportunity for both to know each other better.
“Relations with Gayle has been very good so far. We had couple of commercials as well which gave us a chance to know each other better after few run-ins in the past. Don’t know how it works when I am playing alongside him in one team. This is the beauty of cricket,” he said.
Replying to a query, Watson said he was happy to claim David Warner’s wicket because he has the potential to turn the match on its head with his power hitting.
“Yes, it was a prize wicket because David has all the potential to score big runs. We remember him scoring 150 runs in T20. I am happy to have claimed his wicket, and once we saw his back, we knew we could squeeze the opponents,” he said.