Gautam Gambhir has stated that he never rated Chennai Super Kings’ Faf du Plessis as a dangerous T20 batsman, adding that he has exceeded expectations in the ongoing season. The former Indian opener further added that du Plessis' good form in the CPL has helped him to perform well in IPL 2021.
After last year’s miserable performance, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) bounced back in the 14th edition of IPL and became the first team to qualify for the playoffs in the ongoing season. The consistency of the CSK openers was the highlight of the season. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis are already in the chase for the Orange Cap. The former South Africa captain is currently the second-highest run-scorer of IPL 2021 with 546 runs from 14 matches at an average of 45.50.
Reflecting on Du Plessis’ performance in the ongoing season, Gautam Gambhir stated that he never considered the 37-year-old as a dangerous T20 batsman. The former India cricketer further added that du Plessis has exceeded expectations in the ongoing tournament.
"Honestly, if you ask me, yes (he has exceeded expectations)," Gambhir told ESPNCricinfo.
"I never thought he was that dangerous a T20 batter. Yes, he had got runs for CSK, but he's never had the impact someone like Shane Watson had. He will score those 50 off 40 balls but he cannot hurt the opposition bowlers. He's not going to be an all-out match-winner. If Shane Watson gets runs, he'll get a 100 off 60 balls. So yeah, Faf has definitely exceeded all the expectations, not only of myself but of a lot of other people as well," Gambhir said.
Although CSK did not qualify for the playoffs in IPL 2020, du Plessis stood out with 449 runs from 13 matches at an average of 40.81. The South African continued his good form and played few good knocks in CPL 2021 which included an unbeaten 120 and a half-century. The 37-year-old batsman’s experience helped Saint Lucia Kings to reach their second consecutive final in the CPL.
Gambhir reckoned that Faf du Plessis’ good form in CPL helped him to excel in the 14th edition of the IPL.
"He was in good form even in the CPL. Those who are coming into the play after playing in some league have better chances to do well as IPL is a high-quality tournament. Runs under your belt is always important," he said.
"There is no alternative to experience. With experience, Faf knows, when you are in good form, you have to make the most of it. Once you lose it becomes very difficult to find. Look what is happening to Eoin Morgan."
Chennai Super Kings will lock horns with Delhi Capitals in the Qualifier 1 in Dubai on Sunday.