In the Indian Premier League, there is often high octane pressure and the games can get agonizingly close. On several occasions viewers have witnessed captains feel the pressure. There are some captains who enjoy high pressure encounters like Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir. But there are some captains as well who aren’t at their best when there is the added burden of captaincy in a high pressure game. The burden of captaincy often deters the performances of individuals and as a result they turn out to be liabilities for their sides.
Shane Watson is one such name who is better off without captaincy. This is what Rahul Dravid, mentor of the Rajasthan Royals feels. Watson began this IPL on a promising note. But then, the load of captaincy took its toll on Watson. As a consequence, Watson struggled with the bat and was nowhere near his best.
The Royals then relieved Watson from captaincy and made Steve Smith the man in charge of the team. The move surely did wonders for everyone associated with the Royals. Without the pressure of captaincy, Watson was back at his best. His ton against the Knight Riders was brilliant.
Rahul Dravid, felt that relieving Watson from captaincy helped the latter. Dravid said, “Watson and Smith are quality people besides being quality cricketers. It was a collective decision in which Watto was an active part of.” “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.”
Watson himself felt better without the pressure of leading the side and this is what he said, “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.” “It would have been pretty scattered with my mind. So I was happy that Steve Smith was doing it.”