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Dhoni-Fleming the best captain-coach: Watson

Australian all-rounder Shane Watson on Thursday termed M.S. Dhoni and Stephen Fleming the best captaincoach combination in the world. Dhoni leads the highly-successful IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings, for whom Watson plays, with Fleming being the head coach.

“My experience with Chennai Super Kings has been very special and welcoming. There’s no doubt that CSK is a very slick operation with how it is run, on and off the field. Everything came down to the leaders, with how N. Srinivasan allows the team to be run by the franchise; with Dhoni and Stephen Fleming, who I believe are the best captain-coach combination in the world,” Watson said.

Watson smashed a 57-ball 117 not out to help Chennai Super Kings win the IPL final in 2018. “There aren’t any secret theories as to why they (CSK) are so successful. It’s just because it’s such a great franchise and such a great operation,” the Aussie said. Watson praised Steve Smith for scoring twin tons in the first Ashes Test on his return to the format after being banned for a year for balltampering. Asked if Australia could win the series against England 5-0, he told the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) website: “That’s wishful thinking. It’s so incredibly hard to be able win away from home. It’s not just the Ashes, for most teams winning away is looking impossible now. “So for us to get off to such a great start, winning the first Test match it’s been amazing, especially Smith.”

Watson, a regular in the IPL since its inception in 2008, said the pressure of playing for the country and franchise were different. “When you are playing for your country, it’s quite different. If things are not going according to your plans as an individual or as a team you have got your whole country on your back.”

“So you always want to prove yourself especially to the people you have grown up with. Whereas at franchises it’s more about the community around the franchise mainly the fans, to be able to engage them. There is pressure as you still got to perform, there’s no question,” he said.

Watson was all praise for TNPL and said it was a great platform for young cricketers from the state. Watson, who retired from international cricket in 2016, said the love for the game kept him going.

Meanwhile, former Indian cricketer, Sreesanth is aiming to make a comeback in the Indian Test team and pick at least 100 wickets before ending his career after his life ban was reduced to 7 years by the BCCI Ombudsman DK Jain.

The Supreme Court had earlier in the year set aside the life ban imposed by BCCI disciplinary committee for his alleged role in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal and asked the Board Ombudsman to reconsider within three months, the quantum of punishment.

Justice DK Jain decided that his ban will end on September 13, 2020 -- seven years as compared to the original life ban. "I am extremely delighted with what I have heard now. Thanks to each one of my wellwishers who prayed for me and the prayers have been answered. I am 36 now and next year I will be 37. I have 87 Test wickets and my aim is I want to finish my career with 100 Test wickets. I am confident that I can return to the Indian Test team and always wanted to play under Virat Kohli," Sreesanth told the media.

Sreesanth has maintained that all the charges against him are false. He has played 27 Tests, 53 oneday internationals and 10 Twenty20 internationals, claiming a total of 169 wickets.

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