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Australia determined to win, says Watson

"My style of bowling suits Indian conditions and I'm happy to bowl a particular length and bowl wicket to wicket," says Australia's Shane Watson.

Doug Bollinger was out of breath after a session with the medicine ball when Stuart Karpinnen, the physical trainer, threw him a sandbag and ordered three sets of squats. A newcomer in the Australian team, the paceman was going through all the drills with great intensity even as Shane Watson walked past him with a huge grin on his face. "Well done," he quipped.

Watson, after all, knows a thing or two about heavy training - both its benefits and the risks attached with overdoing it.

Now a replacement for Andrew Symonds, he was the obvious first choice all-rounder before frequent breakdowns kept him out of action. "It's a long story," Watson said after Thursday's training session. "How much time have you got?" he asks.

"During my initial years, no matter how hard I trained, I never used to let go until I was completely satisfied that I got the results I'd set out to achieve. That took a toll on my body. I'm a lot smarter now, I don't mind if I skip a few hard exercises," he said.

Watson's role in this team will require him to bowl long spells alongside Stuart Clark, and to keep up the pressure even as the impact bowlers - Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson - bowl in short bursts. "My style of bowling suits Indian conditions and I'm happy to bowl a particular length and bowl wicket to wicket," he said. "I can adapt to any role to play Test cricket."

 

The unofficial two-day encounter against an RCA XI starting on Saturday is practically a home game for Watson. At the RCA Academy, there's a huge photo of Watson in his Rajasthan Royals attire. His impressive performances through those 45 days helped him fight back into the Australian set-up. The next 45 days will be a different cup of tea, but Watson will be hoping Jaipur again provides a happy spark to his stop-start Test career.

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