Home > News >

Shane Watson excited about opening for Australia in Ashes

Shane Watson excited about opening for Australia in Ashes

Shane Watson scored 90 against Somerset in the four-day warm-up match © Getty Images

London: Jun 28, 2013

Shane Watson is fired up by the prospect of opening for Australia in the Ashes 2013 series in England, the all-rounder said on Thursday.

Australia’s squad contains several openers but new coach Darren Lehmann has said he wants Watson at the top of the order.

Watson did his best to play himself into some sort of form with a rapid 90, off just 94 balls and including 20 fours, on the second day of Australia’s tour match against Somerset at Taunton on Thursday as the visitors closed on 266 for four in reply to the west country county’s 320.

After a rain-shortened day, Watson spoke of his delight at the vote of confidence he’d received from former Australia batsman Lehmann, brought in after South African Mickey Arthur was sensationally sacked just 16 days before the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge on July 10.

“It’s nice to get that confirmation and it’s a hugely exciting challenge for me,” said Watson, one of four players controversially dropped during the 4-0 Test series loss in India in March for failing to provide written feedback on the team’s performance requested by Arthur.

“Darren is very up front about things, from my experience of him, but he also does care when he needs to,” added Watson. He is black and white in a really good way.

“It’s nice for me personally to know I have the backing of the coach and the opportunity to open is something I am very excited about. I didn’t know exactly what my role would be until Darren took over as coach. I had a few chats with Michael Clarke and Mickey Arthur about it, but there was no confirmation.”

“Darren has been more definite about where he wants me to bat.”

“It doesn’t mean any more security because if I am not performing I can’t expect to get picked. But I’m very happy about it.”

England hold the Ashes after a 3-1 series win in Australia in 2010/11 and also won the preceding Ashes clash in England in 2009.

Much of their recent success against Australia has been built on penetrative swing and seam bowling, with Watson saying England’s attack represented the “ultimate challenge” for an opener, a role he was thrust into in 2009.

“Taking on the quicks with a brand new ball is something I never knew I would enjoy until the last Ashes series here in 2009,” he said.

Ricky Ponting gave me the opportunity through the middle of that series and it’s something I did and do love.
“I feel my game and my mentality is now suited to opening the batting.

“The English quicks are as good as there are in the world at the moment and have been for the last few years.

“It is the ultimate challenge to take on the best bowlers with a brand new ball in what sometimes will be bowler-friendly conditions.

“If I can’t get up for that, there is no point in playing.”

As for his bowling, the 32-year-old medium-pacer added: “Certainly opening the batting means I can’t bowl as much. But I know I can contribute with the ball and I do love bowling.”

As for Australia’s chances of regaining the Ashes, Watson said: “We are obviously the underdogs coming into the series and we haven’t played well, especially in India a few months ago.

“We know we are going to have to be at our best very consistently throughout the series to have the success we want. England have a very good side, which has been the case for quite a while now.

“It’s going to be a massive challenge for us and we are all very excited about it.”

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014 (12:30 IST)   at Bulawayo

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (12:30 IST)   at Bulawayo

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

India tour of England 2014

Jul 17, 2014  at London

India won by 95 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 16, 2014  at Galle

South Africa won by 153 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 12, 2014  at Hambantota

South Africa won by 82 runs

Photos

Gallery: India vs England 2nd Test at Lord's

Videos

Alastair Cook jokes about his bowling

India’s wins in England — from 1971 to 2014

Ravindra Jadeja knighted by her majesty Queen Elizabeth II

India’s win over England in 2nd Test at Lord’s: Twitter reactions

Ishant Sharma pummels England into submission as India clinch Lord’s Test by 95 runs

Ishant Sharma registers name at Lord’s honours board, takes 6 wickets in 2nd Test against England

Bhuvneshwar Kumar England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Ishant Sharma South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014 Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan 2014

Afghanistan to chase 262 runs in their 50 overs

Kevin Pietersen hopes to play for England again

Ishant Sharma says his efforts are appreciated only by teammates

Sachin Tendulkar describes Ishant Sharma’s performance in England vs India, 2nd Test, as “exceptional”

Former Dominica cricketer Gifford Walsh dies in car accident

Ishant Sharma’s house targetted by fans after expecting another failure

India’s wins in England — from 1971 to 2014

Ravindra Jadeja knighted by her majesty Queen Elizabeth II

MS Dhoni and the Deathly Hallows

India vs England at Lord’s 2014 and Australia vs India at Perth 2007-08 similarities

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

What did Armaan Kohli gift Sangram Singh for his birthday?

Neil Nitin Mukesh: I prefer doing films with strong characters!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here