Australia legend Shane Watson has been voted as the greatest allrounder in Indian Premier League‘s 12-year history. Also Read - We Are Hopeful And Optimistic of IPL Happening This Year: KXIP Head Coach Anil Kumble
Watson, who currently is contracted three-time IPL winners Chennai Super Kings, pipped the likes of Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo, Jacques Kallis, Kieron Pollard, Irfan Pathan and Yusuf Pathan. Also Read - Wicketkeepers Need to be Given More Consistent Run in Indian Cricket Team: Parthiv Patel
Watson began his IPL career with Rajasthan Royals and won the inaugural season with them and was twice chosen as the player-of-the-tournament – in 2008 and 2013. Also Read - I Would Have Loved to Play Against Virat Kohli, Right Guy to Lead Indian Cricket Forward: Ian Botham
Gautam Gambhir, who led Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL titles, hailed the allrounder’s impact.
“If we talk about the past 12 years, for me Shane Watson is the best player because he has done magic with Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings. No doubt, his bowling was on a decline in the latter half of his career, but he had an overall impact on the game. He was an excellent player when he used to play for Rajasthan Royals. He not only used to bowl with the new ball but also batted in the middle order,” Gambhir said on Star Sports’ Cricket Connected show.
However, Gambhir said two-three years down the line, Russell will take his vote. “If you ask me the same question two to three years down the line, Andre Russell will win, hands down. But right now, I will go with Shane Watson,” he said.
Former England international Kevin Pietersen praised Watson saying had he not encountered back issues early in career, the Australian would have also shone with the ball.
“He has been such a player that if his bowling has gone off, his batting has become a lot better. I have played with him for a couple of years. He would have bowled so much faster had he not had so many back issues as a youngster. When he was younger, he used to bowl really fast,” Pietersen said.
Meanwhile, Stephen Fleming has been voted as the greatest coach in IPL’s history. After playing for CSK in the inaugural season, Flemcing was appointed as their coach and has continued into the role except for the two seasons when the franchise was suspended.
“You are only as good as your players. I have played under Fleming at the Melbourne Stars. I love him for what he has achieved. To have that longevity to be in a cut-throat environment for such a long time is just a standout achievement,” Pietersen said.
The duo was voted by a panel of experts comprising former international cricketers, senior sports journalists, statisticians. broadcasters and anchors.