Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has announced that he is eager to open the batting for the national team in all three formats of the game.
However, as of right now, Watson is likely to be slotted in at number six on the batting line-up in Australia’s Test squad and at number three in the ODI side.
Watson averaged 40.98 when he used to open in Tests, but due to the success of the David Warner-Chris Rogers opening partnership, his chances of opening the batting again are highly unlikely for quite some time.
“I have had my best success opening in all formats,” Watson told Sydney-based radio station 2GB on Tuesday. “I love going in knowing I can just take on the game and not worry about the consequences, which is when I am batting at my best.
“The biggest challenge for me when I am batting down the order is assessing the situation of the game and also trying not to worry about getting out and that’s normally when I get into a slightly negative mindset, which can affect my performance at times.”
If Watson fully recovers from his calf injury by the time India tour Australia in December, the Baggy Greens will be keen to get him bowling numerous overs. This is another reason why he is likely to bat lower down the order. In terms of ODIs, it is hard seeing Watson replacing Warner or Aaron Finch at the top of the order.
“In regards to one-day cricket, if Watto is fit, he will come in and bat No.3,” Australia captain Michael Clarke said. “He’s been very successful there for us and I like him batting in that position leading up to the World Cup. Smithy’s grabbed his opportunity with both hands in regards to one-day cricket. He’s got an opportunity because we’ve got guys out injured. He’ll probably go back down to middle order.”
Since Watson missed Australia’s ongoing tour of the United Arab Emirates, where they are playing Pakistan, he is determined to make up for it in the upcoming series against India.
“They [India] have got a lot of world-class players, especially in their batting, but over here is a different challenge for them,” Watson said. “We are hopeful that the groundsmen are going to make the grounds very conducive to what we do [because] in India they certainly make sure the conditions are favourable to them.”
Watson revealed that he has started bowling in the nets and is also hoping to open the batting for Sutherland this weekend. However, the 33-year-old is also planning to represent New South Wales towards the end of the ongoing Matador Cup.
“If everything goes well this week I should be available to play a game on Sunday for my club team,” Watson said. “I’m very excited to be back playing. It’s the biggest break I’ve had in three or four years so I’m really itching to get back. It’s been a pretty slow process coming back after standing on the ball [in August].”