IPL 2021: “Never thought he was that dangerous a T20 batter”, Gambhir says Du Plessis exceeded his expectations

Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad | IPL/BCCI

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opener Faf du Plessis has been in terrific form in the ongoing IPL 2021. He is currently the top run-scorer for his franchise, and second overall, with 546 runs in 14 innings at an average of 45.50.

Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir was surprised to see Du Plessis being a threat with the bat. “Honestly, if you ask me, yes, he has exceeded expectations,” he told ESPNCricinfo.

Gambhir admitted that he never rated Du Plessis as a dangerous batter in T20 cricket. He added that the South African scored runs but they were not as impactful as Shane Watson, who was also part of the CSK franchise.

“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,” he said.

Gambhir pointed out that Du Plessis’ form in the Caribbean Premier League has helped him in the IPL 2021. Playing for St Lucia Kings, he had scored 84 runs against Barbados Royals, which was his last CPL match this season.

“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,” said Gambhir.

“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,” he added.

CSK would need Du Plessis to continue his form against Delhi Capitals (DC) in the first Qualifier on Sunday (October 10).