<div class="img-caption-wrap "> <img alt="Ashes 2013: Shane Watson mocks England's selection gamble" src="https://st2.cricketcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/cricket/image_20130822180939.jpg" title="Ashes 2013: Shane Watson mocks England's selection gamble" /> <p class="imgcaptionnew" style="width:618px;"> Shane Watson scored an authoritative 176 in Australia's first innings in the final Ashes Test at The Oval © Getty Images</p> </div> <strong>London: Aug 22, 2013</strong><br /> <br /> <a href="/tags/Shane-Watson/post" target="_blank">Shane Watson</a> taunted England after the <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/cricket-articles/Ashes-2013-Shane-Watson-rsquo-s-masterful-176-comes-at-the-right-time-for-himself-and-Australia/30185" target="_blank">Australia batsman punished their selection gamble</a> with a superb 176 on the first day of the fifth Test on Wednesday.<br /> <br /> Watson has endured a dismal series that saw him lampooned for repeatedly getting out lbw, but the all-rounder at least partially redeemed himself as he put England debutants <a href="/tags/Chris-Woakes/post" target="_blank">Chris Woakes</a> and <a href="/tags/Simon-Kerrigan/post" target="_blank">Simon Kerrigan</a> to the sword in south London.<br /> <br /> With the Ashes already retained, England made the surprise decision to experiment with their line-up, bringing in Warwickshire all-rounder Woakes for <a href="/tags/Jonny-Bairstow/post" target="_blank">Jonny Bairstow</a> and Lancashire left-arm spinner Kerrigan for the injured Tim Bresnan.<br /> <br /> It had been widely anticipated Surrey pace bowler <a href="/tags/Chris-Tremlett/post" target="_blank">Chris Tremlett</a> would return on his home ground after impressing in the 2010/11 Ashes in Australia.<br /> <br /> But instead Woakes and Kerrigan endured a miserable, wicketless day as Australia piled up 307 for four.<br /> <br /> Asked if he was shocked to see England's changes, Watson said: "Yeah I was actually. I was expecting Tremlett to play to be honest.<br /> <br /> "He had quite a lot of success against us in the last series in Australia. He bowled beautifully in the Tests he played.<br /> <br /> "I was certainly a bit happier to face Woakes and Kerrigan than a guy (Tremlett) who is 6ft 8in and sends balls bouncing around your face. I'm certainly not complaining.<br /> <br /> "You could definitely sense he [Kerrigan] was very nervous in those first couple of overs.<br /> <br /> "There's no doubt it's extremely nerve-wracking, especially if someone tries to get after you in your first Ashes Test.<br /> <br /> "You are pretty much exposed out there and you have to try to find a way through it. He will certainly learn from it."<br /> <br /> In contrast to the woes of England's new-boys, Watson's innings was a cathartic moment after his struggles over the previous four Tests.<br /> <br /> The 32-year-old's third Test hundred was his first in 25 matches and 48 innings since his previous best of 126 against India at Mohali in October 2010.<br /> <br /> And Watson, playing his 46th Test, revealed he had been through an emotional time while trying to battle his way out of the slump.<br /> <br /> "I have had a lot of soul-searching over this last month, more than at any time in my career," he said.<br /> <br /> "Of course it's a big relief to get a hundred, no doubt about that. But for me the most important thing has been trying to bat for a long period and trying to stop getting out the same way.<br /> <br /> "I've worked very hard and had some good people helping me get into a place where I can bat like that. To bat for a long period and to do that in the Ashes was nice."<br /> <br /> Although Watson was happy with his efforts on Wednesday, he conceded it was only a small consolation after letting the team down earlier in the series.<br /> <br /> "I haven't scored anywhere near the runs needed to help the team. I didn't score enough when I opened," he said.<br /> <br /> "It's only a consolation because the most important time was the first three Tests. I knew how important it was to score runs as a senior player and I wasn't able to do it.<br /> <br /> "I've been asking myself a lot of questions about where I'm at as a cricketer. It's nice to be able to put it together today but not so nice that it's taken so long."<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, England pace bowler <a href="/tags/James-Anderson/post" target="_blank">James Anderson</a> insisted his Lancashire team-mate Kerrigan could still bounce back from his nightmare start.<br /> <br /> "The guys in the dressing room have a got a job to do. We have to rally round him and try to keep his spirits high," Anderson said.<br /> <br /> "He has had one bad day but he can come back tomorrow and show everyone what he can do.<br /> <br /> "He is a quality player and that is why he has been picked."