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“You have to adapt as quickly as you can, so hopefully I can do that in this Test match straight away”
Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has announced that he needs to adapt to the conditions in Adelaide as quickly as possible in order to score some runs and make up for his dismal performance in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane, where he scored 22 and six.
Watson was not given an opportunity to play any Sheffield Shield cricket prior to the start of the first Test since he was still undergoing rehabilitation for the hamstring injury he sustained in India.
“Going into the Test match in Brisbane, I had a week or so to be able to build up my Test-match batting and my mental capacity, so that was certainly my biggest challenge,” Watson said. “I’m going to be in a better place now. I wasn’t able to concentrate for a long enough period of time to be able to bat what I need to in a Test match. It was unfortunate that I wasn’t able to adapt my game quick enough with not playing any four-day cricket or domestic cricket in the lead-up. That’s part of being in international cricket. You have to adapt as quickly as you can, so hopefully I can do that in this Test match straight away.”
Speaking about his hamstring injury, Watson stated that the amount of overs he bowls in Adelaide will be extremely important since the pace bowlers will struggle to take wickets on the drop-in pitch being prepared.
Watson is also confident that he can lend a helping hand to the Australian pace attack, which features Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris and Mitchell Johnson.
“It’s going to be a really important part – the amount of bowling I can do to help out our quicks,” Watson said. “If it’s what we think it’s going to be, the wicket will be flat and the bowlers will potentially have to bowl many more overs compared to Brisbane to bowl the English out. That’s a really important role, especially with back-to-back Test matches and how important it is for our quicks to be able to get through this Test, bowl well and pull up well.
“We certainly know we’ve got the bowlers to be able to exploit that Perth wicket, so I know how important it is for me to pick up the slack. The bowlers certainly looked after me physically in the first Test, they bowled beautifully well and I wasn’t really called on to bowl, but I know this is my turn to be able to put my hand up and bowl the overs to look after those guys as well.”
This is the first time since 2006 that Australia have a 1-0 lead heading into the second Test and Watson announced that in order for baggy greens to maintain their advantage, they cannot let their guard down at any point in time.
“It is a different situation to be in, there’s no doubt,” Watson said. “The last three series we’ve played in, whether it’s been England holding on for a draw or winning the first Test, certainly we come in at a different perspective going into the second game. But we know how important it’s going to be to start really well and keep the momentum going. We know how quickly it can change and how quickly the series can change if we don’t give it everything we’ve got and be totally switched on from ball one.
“It’s certainly a nice position to be in compared to the last three series I’ve been involved in but I know how quickly it can change. The English don’t like losing, they haven’t lost very often, especially to us, over the last three series so they certainly will be coming together to go whatever they can to get back into the series.”
Watson added that captain Michael Clarke was doing well after rolling his ankle during a training session on Monday.
“It was more precautionary today,” Watson said when asked why Clarke skipped training today. “Michael batted beautifully in the first Test, so his preparation was always going to be very good anyway. I know the medical staff is very confident that it was just giving him a break today, and he’ll be training flat out tomorrow ready to go for the Test.”