Watson is hoping that Australia can win this year’s World Twenty20 after coming so close in the last two
Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has announced that the three match Twenty20 series against Pakistan was good preparation for the upcoming International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 later this month in Sri Lanka.
Watson was included back in the Australian squad for the three Twenty20 Internationals after missing the ODI series due to a calf injury he sustained during Australia’s humiliating 4-0 loss to England in an ODI series in June.
Even though Australia lost the Twenty20 series 2-1 and slipped to 10th on the ICC Twenty20 rankings, Watson stated that playing a dangerous side like Pakistan was a good wake up call for the team to step up, and would get them ready for the challenges they may face during the World Twenty20.
“These matches are very important and will give us a good lead to the World Twenty20, we haven’t really had a long time together as a Twenty20 team so it will be good playing Pakistan,” Watson said before the start of the Twenty20 series.
Australia have not had the best of luck in the World Twenty20 since in 2007 they lost in the semi-finals, and in 2010 they were beaten by arch-rivals England in an epic final.
“We have played well in Twenty20 and were unlucky on missing out on the final the last time. This team has got good balance of young and experience and on our day we can beat the best teams in the world,” Watson said.
With George Bailey set to lead the side, Australia will be looking to top Group B, which also includes the West Indies and Ireland.
Before the start of the Twenty20 series against Pakistan, Watson also said: “These three matches (against Pakistan) will be challenging and it’s going to be a great period for us to continue to know what exactly are our roles in Twenty20.”
Watson has scored 643 runs in 27 Twenty20 Internationals, and has also bagged 21 wickets.
Watson also noted that the heat in the United Arab Emirates was something the team struggled with throughout the series.
“The heat is always there, you play throughout the year so heat is part and parcel for both the sides,” Watson added.
When asked about what he thought about Pakistan’s spin attack, Watson said: “Pakistan have got high class spinners with (Saeed) Ajmal and (Shahid) Afridi and they can certainly change the game. In Twenty20 cricket you don’t have much chance to be able to work the ball, when the ball is turning a score of 130 140 is good. There is no doubt they are good spinners.”
Watson also noted that playing in the United Arab Emirates was great since the conditions are very similar to Sri Lanka, and he hoped that Australia could use this to their advantage during the World Twenty20.
“It (UAE) is a great place to play cricket and I am excited and at times these are similar conditions we get in Sri Lanka ao it gives us a good chance to combine as a team and understand our roles,” Watson added.