Chennai Super Kings (CSK) CEO Kasi Vishwanath has revealed MS Dhoni was convinced about Shane Watson's ability to add value to the side after the team management and the skipper had sat down to discuss the prospects of buying the Australian all-rounder at the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction in February.
The two-time champions helped raise quite a few eyebrows when they bought Watson for Rs 4 crore, four times his base price, at the two-day auction held in Bengaluru.
Even as the likes of Joe Root and Hashim Amla went unsold, CSK's bid for the Australian all-rounder, who had a woeful IPL campaign with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2017 came as a surprise.
Nonetheless, CSK seem to have made a well-thought-out move at the auction as Watson has in fine form in the recent past.
The T20 globetrotter, who retired from international and first-class cricket in 2016, has been making heads turn with his performances in the Big Bash League (BBL) 2017/18 and the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL) season.
"We knew his potential as an allrounder. Anyone can have a bad season. We discussed with our captain MS Dhoni about the prospects of having Watson in the team and Dhoni was happy. We felt Watson still has a lot to offer," Vishwanath was quoted as saying by the Times of India.
He added: "When we found out that he is fit and doing well in Big Bash League, we backed him. He has been terrific in the ongoing PSL as well. We are pleased with the way he has been shaping up.
"Watson fits into the type of allrounders we have had in the past. Watson is a floater with the bat. He can preferably open but move around the order too. It was a conscious effort to have such a cricketer in the mix."
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Watson had admitted he had the "worst" IPL in 2017 with RCB. The big-hitting all-rounder, who led the team at various stages of the tournament in Virat Kohli's absence, managed only 71 runs from eight matches and conceded at 9.13.
Eventually, RCB decided against retaining or using the Right-to-Match (RTM) card on Watson at the auction.
However, Watson had hit peak form in the 2017/18 edition of Australia Big Bash League (BBL), finishing among the top five in the batting charts, with 331 runs from 10 matches.
Watson has taken it to another level in the ongoing PSL as he has played a key role in helping Quetta Gladiators reach the top of the six-team table. The right-hander is on top of the run-scorers list with 299 runs from just eight matches. He has also picked up 10 wickets at an impressive rate of 6.96.
Meanwhile, CSK are gearing up for a comeback in the upcoming 11th edition of IPL, following the end of their two-year suspension over corruption charges. The Chennai-based franchise spent Rs 73.5 crore out of their Rs 80 crore-purse and secured 25 players.
CSK had retained skipper Dhoni along with all-rounders Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja, who had been a key part of the team's success over the years.