Watson believes England’s batting depth is not as deep as their bowling
Australian vice-captain and all-rounder Shane Watson has expressed his doubts over the quality of the England batting lineup, stating that it can not be as strong as it looks since they have five bowlers in the squad.
With England having James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan, Steven Finn and Graeme Swann, Shane Watson sees England having an excellent bowling depth, but noted that the batting depth of England is no where near their bowling.
Watson’s comments come after England’s top three batsman, Alastair Cook, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott, have provided the vast majority of runs for the team in the past couple of series, while the middle and lower order have failed to pose any real threat.
“For England to be able to go in with four frontline quick bowlers is a very good thing for them against our batting line-up, but I suppose playing for out-and-out quick bowlers and one main spinner as well means if we’re able to make inroads into their batting line-up early it means they might be one batsman short, that’s something that we see as very important for us to have success here, to try to make early inroads,” Watson said.
Watson, noted that England have been so dominant in the past couple of series since their top three batsman have scored at a very consistent rate.
“That’s been one of England’s strengths over the last period of time with their batting, being able to score heavily in the top three really, so we know if we’re able to make inroads it might expose a part of the English team that hasn’t really been exposed over the last little while as well. Hopefully that’s something we’re able to do, on the flipside of that we know England have got a very strong bowling line-up with no weaknesses there at all,” Watson added.
When asked about whether Australia may look to add another all-rounder in the seventh spot on the batting lineup, Watson stated that he was happy with wicketkeeper Matthew Wade filling that spot.
Speaking about Tim Bresnan, who bats in the same place as Wade, Watson mentioned that he had a great amount of respect for the England all-rounder, but was pleased to have someone of Wade’s quality in the Australian squad.
“I’ll never sell Tim Bresnan short, I think he’s an excellent cricketer, he’s a very highly skilled bowler and he got 70-odd against us in the semi-final of the Champions Trophy a few years ago as well, so I know he can bat, but there’s no doubt it does put a bit more pressure on him batting at seven, and Matthew Wade has had some pretty good success in his short career anyway opening or batting at seven as well,” Watson said.
Bresnan, has been asked about whether he is looking to move up one spot in the England batting lineup, but stated that he was happy at where he stood currently.
The England all-rounder also admitted that he felt as if his training efforts had fallen in the days before the series against Australia.
“It’s always difficult in training, you are a little bit lethargic but can always get up for game, but if you are not preparing as well as you can that’s always to the detriment of the team which suffers, so I felt I was lethargic and saving myself in training for games and that’s a bad habit,” Bresnan said.
Bresnan, also announced that he would have liked to have played in the third ODI against the West Indies at Headingley, which was abandoned due to heavy rain, but was denied the chance since he was not a hundred per cent.
“I wanted to play at Headingley, but I understand the other side of the coin which says there’s a lot of cricket coming up. We’re off the back of a lot of cricket, I’ve bowled a lot of overs and if Andy [Flower] and the medical staff think I looked tired and need a break I respect that decision. I would rather take one game out and rest than be forced to take an extended spell out because of injury. They have a lot of communication between themselves, Andy and Dave Saker and the medical team, and the walls have ears, so if you whisper to somebody that you are tired it’s going to get back to the coach pretty quickly,” Bresnan added.