2013 Ashes `defining moment` for Watson, Oz, says ex-player Damien Martyn

Johannesburg, July 5 (ANI): Former Australian cricketer Damien Martyn has said that the upcoming back-to-back Ashes series against England represent a 'defining moment' for Australia, especially all-rounder Shane Watson.

Australia, who begin their bid to regain the urn from their arch-rivals when the first of five Tests starts at Trent Bridge, has been marked by lacklustre on-field performances in the ICC Champions Trophy and several off-field problems during their build-up to the series, Sport24 reports.

Although new coach Darren Lehmann moved quickly to restore Watson to his favoured position of opening the batting, the report said that the fact is Watson has scored just two hundreds in 41 Tests.

According to the former batsman, he was in no doubt as to what was at stake for the current team, which is looking to put the embarrassment of their 4-0 loss in India earlier this year behind them, adding that the 10 Test matches are a defining moment for Watson and for a lot of the players in the side.

With the teams heading to Australia for a return campaign starting in November soon after the completion of their series in England, Martyn, who retired midway through the 2006/07 Ashes having struck 13 hundreds in 67 Tests, said that Watson has played 40 Test matches and needed to start making his mark at some point.

Meanwhile, former Australia all-rounder Tom Moody said that now would be an ideal time for one of Australia's unheralded batsmen to stamp their authority on an Ashes, just as Waugh did 24 years ago in scoring 506 runs, in a six-match series, at an exceptional average of 126.50.

Stating that a lot can be learnt from Australia's 1989 Ashes win, Moody further said that unknown can happen in an Ashes series, adding that players, especially Australian batsmen, are going into this series not expecting to score runs, with the possible exception of Watson and captain Michael Clarke.

However, Moody said that Watson has a lot to prove in Test cricket and has the opportunity to stamp himself as a serious Test batsman in this series.

Australia's batsmen have struggled against the swinging ball in recent Ashes contests and next week's first Test at Trent Bridge will see England begin a bid to win three straight series against their arch-rivals for the first time since the 1950s, the report added. (ANI)

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