Rajasthan Royals v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2015, Bangalore May 17, 2015

Quitting captaincy gave Watson freedom - Dravid

ESPNcricinfo staff

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O'Brien: Watson makes a bowler want to rip his brain out

Rahul Dravid, the Rajasthan Royals mentor, has said that Shane Watson's move to hand over the franchise's captaincy to Steven Smith has given him more freedom to perform his all-round duties. In only his second game after the decision, Watson made an unbeaten 104 off 59 deliveries and then picked up two wickets to take Royals to the playoffs with a win over Kolkata Knight Riders.

"Watson and Smith are quality people besides being quality cricketers. It was a collective decision in which Watto was an active part of," Dravid told the IPL website. "He realized that his role as a batsman and a bowler was a lot more important to us than as a captain. It was such a nice thing to see that we made the change and it allowed Watson to play freely. We saw the result (against Knight Riders). Credit to him that he recognised it and showed the willingness to take that call."

Smith said that Watson wanted to have a "clear mind" so that he could focus on executing his skills with bat and ball. Royals defended a total of 199 for 6 by nine runs in a tense chase as Knight Riders replied with 190 for 9. Watson went for 38 runs in his spell but dismissed Yusuf Pathan and Piyush Chawla in successive overs at the death. He admitted that he would have found it hard to concentrate on his own bowling if he had to worry about things such as making bowling changes during that chase.

"There is no doubt that (while) bowling (in) that second innings, if I had to captain that as well, that would have been very tough," Watson said. "It would have been pretty scattered with my mind. So I was happy that Steve Smith was doing it."

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  • Junaid Ansari on May 18, 2015, 14:59 GMT

    watto is always important Player for RR, starting with first season, well played watto in a do or die match making hundread is speak volume of the player, job done. Now next player to turn their hat in RR camp

  • Rakesh on May 17, 2015, 11:23 GMT

    To the guy who said :-"My state is not involved in the IPL so why bother." Why bother? because good cricket is still good cricket regardless of which state they play for and plus my state IS in the IPL so you don't speak for everyone.

    "The lust for money as seen by the WI, the NZ, the AUS players" Err. IIRC NZ&West Indian players went back to play their national cricket instead of IPL so no they're not cash hungry like you are suggesting.

    "the rivalry among'st players, teams, coaches and fans worldwide are now a thing of the past" I'm pretty sure Indo-Pak rivalry is eternal IPL can't change that.. nothing can.

  • Raja on May 17, 2015, 8:07 GMT

    Below comment is one of the lame comment I ever seen !! So what do you want now ? Lets make 29 teams to represent 29 states and run league for a year ??

    The states which are all picked is mostly filled with residents from other cities and states. Moreover I have seen many people who support teams on the basis of their favorite players and discipline basis rather than the regional diversity you wanna stress.

    Finally to the people who whine of it as the rich / lust for money. "Why don't you guys watch and follow Ranji trophy then ? ". People of this generation needs this rich attraction with lot of stars and advertisement to make any program success and IPL organizers understand it and use the strategy very well.. So there is nothing you have to blame organizers.

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2015, 7:33 GMT

    Another IPL news which is too much these days on espncricinfo. Who's the captain, who's playing who, who's losing, who's in the top three or bottom two...it doesn't matter because there's no pride in it. It's just a tournament to become rich. My state is not involved in the IPL so why bother. Its only few states that are involved in this cash rich league and we from other states need not jump in joy. The lust for money as seen by the WI, the NZ, the AUS players are very discouraging signs for country over club issues. More importantly, the rivalry among'st players, teams, coaches and fans worldwide are now a thing of the past as the IPL has made them now like lost and found twin brothers and thus international cricket is being made boring due to ipl.

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2015, 6:31 GMT

    Watson and most importantly the Australian cricketers have the mental toughness to come out of their weaknesses and perform, do justice to the roles they have been asigned to, hence no surprise here! Well played Watto.....

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