Shane Watson described Stephen Fleming as the best coach he has ever worked with while talking about his IPL experience at the Chennai Super Kings and the Royal Challengers Bangalore in a recent podcast.
CSK were seen as an aging team when Watson joined them in 2018. Nevertheless, the Australian delivered for his side, scoring a special hundred in the final against SRH to guide them to the title. Watson heaped praise on the duo of MS Dhoni and Stephen Fleming, adding that his time at CSK was an incredible experience.
"CSK was an incredible experience – to be with a team that was ageing, because of the experience we had, to be led by MS Dhoni, to be coached by Stephen Fleming, who is the best coach I’ve ever worked with. Fleming’s man-management skills, understanding of individuals and team environment, and also his cricket knowledge is ultimate. And, of course, the connection he had with MS Dhoni. That was a super cool experience," Shane Watson said on the Grade Cricket podcast.
Watson went on to win the IPL twice with two different teams. In addition to his title-winning stint for CSK, he was also a part of the victorious Rajasthan Royals in 2008.
The Australian played for RCB in the 2016 and 2017 seasons as well. He opined that the owners at RCB didn't have any emotional connection with the franchise as the team was run like a corporate.
"RCB was a great experience because of the calibre of players I played with. It was run by Diageo, which is sort of a Johnny Walker company, so it was more corporately – sort of – run, which is different. There’s no real emotional connection with the owners who put in their heart and soul into it," the 39-year-old said.
Shane Watson announced his retirement from all formats of the game in 2020
Shane Watson left international cricket in 2016 but carried on playing for various franchises across the globe. The all-rounder retired from all formats of the game after the 2020 edition of the IPL, with CSK finishing 7th on the points table.
In his final IPL season, the Australian scored 299 runs in 11 games at an average of 29.90, while his strike rate read 121.
Overall in his IPL career, Watson played a whopping 145 games, amassing 3874 runs at a healthy strike rate of 137.9 and at an average of 31.