Australian all-rounder Shane Watson on Monday said his unbeaten knock of 64 against Pakistan in the World Cup quarter-final is the “most important innings” of his ODI career as he was plain “lucky” to survive the hostile spell from Wahab Riaz.
Watson, who was not in the best of form going into the tournament, but ended up being a crucial cog in the wheel for Australia in the knockout stages as the hosts lifted their fifth World Cup trophy on Sunday.
“I thought about it as loud as it can get. I had a lot of luck specially to be able to get through that couple of overs in that spell. It worked well for me. It is the most important innings that I have played in ODI cricket as I said that I had a lot of luck through that phase because I was able to stay in win the match for my team,” an ecstatic Watson said at a media interaction after team’s victory celebration city’s Federation Square.
Watson has now been a part of two World Cup teams and said in jest that it can be associated with joys of having a second baby.
“Well I don’t have a second child yet but may be, it’s a feeling close to that. First time in West Indies was special but to win it second time in front of the home crowd is what dreams are made of. I feel very lucky to be born at the right time to play World Cup at home,” a beaming Watson said.
He was all praise for the team’s fast bowlers, who performed exceptionally throughout the tournament.
Asked to comment on the pacers’ performance, he said, “Incredible. I mean the fast bowling unit of 2007 was as good as they got but the way this group executed the plans is incredible.
“Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc along with Josh Hazlewood, who came in during the later, complemented each other very well. We executed our plans against big teams like India and Pakistan perfectly,” said Watson.
He was particularly impressed with Mitchell Starc, who was named Man of the Tournament.
“Starc has pace and swing. He has the variations to trouble the best batsmen in the world during death overs. He has the ability to bowl at different phases. And for someone so young and able to do that at big stage is a great thing,” Watson couldn’t stop gushing about his teammate.
He had some tough time in the early part of 2013 when he was sent home after the ‘Homework Gate’ scandal and he has come a long way since then.
“I hope selectors continue to pick me. It wasn’t the end of the road in any way (2013 controversy) as I was about to turn things around and close to doing that. I was lucky to get that opportunity,” said Watson.
Since Australia had to play 9 matches over six weeks, Watson is fresh and raring to go for his IPL Franchise Rajasthan Royals.
Asked if he needs a break during first phase of IPL, Watson said, “No, I will be fine. We have played only 9 games (World Cup) in 6 weeks whereas we normally play 9 matches in three weeks. There has been less pressure on the body and easy to go.”