RCB have endured a difficult IPL 2017 and are languishing at the bottom of the table with just two wins from 12 matches so far. However, Shane Watson has lauded the kind of support that his side has enjoyed from fans despite their poor run, calling it the best he has ever experienced.
A year after finishing runners-up to Sunrisers Hyderabad, the highly-rated RCB find themselves down in the dumps. But the fan support has been unwavering.
“The one thing I’ve realized playing for Royal Challengers the last two years is how incredibly loyal the fans are," Watson was quoted as saying by the Indian Express. “Whether that was doing incredibly well last year or this year when we weren’t doing well, but everywhere we went, obviously here at Chinnaswamy, and other parts around India, the support Royal Challengers get is nothing compared to what I’ve experienced before.”
Having reached the final last year, a lot of people were expecting RCB to bag their maiden crown this time and that possibly put the pressure on the star-studded unit. “Playing county cricket as well, which I did in 2004-05, there’s a lot of pressure on you to perform. You're not getting paid more, but you’re actually getting paid to help the team win and then in the IPL, having been exposed to it since 2008, and being someone who the team relies on, you have to perform and it doesn’t always work out that you perform; certainly don’t perform every game,” Watson said.
The former Australian all-rounder retired from international and first-class cricket in March last year and has played in T20 leagues since. “The biggest challenge for me has been not coming off playing international cricket after which you just go into the flow of the IPL, which is obviously an incredibly strong tournament,” he said.
“And it’s been a big learning experience for me, how it hasn’t worked this year for me or this season and how I can actually learn from this experience so that the next tournament I’m playing, the Caribbean Premier League, I’m going to be better prepared,” he added.
RCB’s campaign in IPL 2017 never really got going after losing several key players to injuries and were even shot out for 49 by Kolkata Knight Riders.