Shane Watson, who will retire post the World T20, has picked the one Test match suspension on the 2013 tour of India as one of the lowest moments in what has otherwise been an illustrious career. (STATS || POINTS TABLE || FIXTURES)
Watson was sent back home alongside teammates James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja for not doing the ‘homework’ assigned to them post the defeat in the Hyderabad Test. Australia were eventually whitewashed in the four-match series.
Asked whether it was the lowest point of his career, Watson chose to see the funny side of what happened in 2013.
“It is a good guess and it was here in Mohali. The good thing is that we were staying in a hotel in Chandigarh and I have got bad memories of one of those rooms. It surely is not a nice memory. Being suspended for a Test for not doing the homework that I didn’t realise I had to do,” Watson quipped drawing laughter from the media persons.
Watson surprised many by announcing on the eve of the game against Pakistan that he will be retiring post the tournament. Has he started to look at life differently?
“Not really. Apart from thinking about these last few games. Probably for the first time, I have sat back and looked at my career, the highlights and I have got so many in what has been an incredible career. I have spent time thinking how fortunate I have been to play for Australia for this long. It has been a privilege to play for my country,” said an emotional Watson.
He was next asked to rate the top three batsmen – Virat Kohli, Steven Smith and Joe Root — at the moment.
“Look first of all it is a pleasure to watch these guys bat more than anything. Virat, for example, to play against him, even though you don’t want him to be scoring runs, the shots that he plays, how easily he is able to find the gaps, is incredible. How well he holds his nerve, he showed that against Pakistan.
“About Joe Root, how well he has adapted to the T20 format is very good. He is only going to get better. Then Smith, you see where he hit the balls, his mental strength to bat long period of times, is amazing. Even A B (de Villiers) is phenomenal, one of the best I have seen in my career.”
He was praise for his once IPL teammate Ajinkya Rahane, who has found it difficult to break into Indian T20 XI.
“Jinks I think is a very good player. But where do you fit him with the quality of Indian batting line-up? He certainly knows how to score in all conditions.”
Australia have tinkered with their batting order in the first three games, pushing Watson up and down the order and not opening with David Warner. Watson said the batting effort against Pakistan was a good sign.
“Our batting clicked for sure (against Pakistan). In the end, I know have batted in multiple positions all through my career. Just feel fortunate to play in any position for the team,” he added.