Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has revealed that he regrets sledging Pakistan left-arm seamer Wahab Riaz during their famous battle in the quarter-final of the 2015 World Cup.
Watson noted that when Wahab was batting during that match, he kept playing and missing a lot when Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc was bowling.
This led to Watson sledging the Pakistan veteran, saying: “‘Have you got a hole in your bat? Because you just keep missing the ball.’”
When it was Australia’s turn to bat and Wahab ended up bowling to Watson, he unleashed a fiery spell that stunned everyone.
The battle was so entertaining and is fondly remembered by many people to this day, including Watson, who said that he “got absolutely peppered” as he “didn’t realise that Wahab Riaz could bowl that fast”.
“One of the very special moments I had in my career,” Watson said while recalling the match during a question and answer session on Instagram as quoted by Wisden. “Even though at the time it wasn’t as enjoyable, but I look back at the quarter-final against Pakistan with Wahab Riaz going absolutely crazy, bouncing the living daylights out of me, he bowled super accurate and he kept bouncing me.
“It was very silly and naive of me [that] I didn’t realise that Wahab Riaz could bowl that fast. I said something to him – because he kept playing and missing Mitchell Starc – so I ran past him and said, ‘Have you got a hole in your bat? Because you just keep missing the ball.’ And again, I didn’t realise he could bowl that fast so once I got out there, I got absolutely peppered.
“I look back at that moment, that was a very special ‘moment to be part of, even though it was super uncomfortable. He got on top of me, I got dropped at fine leg, but yeah, worked out really well in the end.”
Even though Watson was troubled by Wahab on numerous occasions, he managed to come out on top as he struck an unbeaten 64 to lead Australia to a six-wicket win.
Australia subsequently went on to win the World Cup after beating New Zealand in the final.