Stop press … Shane Watson CAN play

I have written a lot of negative things about Shane Watson.

Well today, despite leaving a straight one on the stumps, I’m not going to.

Shane Watson can play cricket.

He can bat well, very well.  His driving is is sublime, and when he is on song, his agression and smart stroke play has the potential to change the course of a session, even a match.  He is even more devestating in ODI.

His highest test score is 126, and he has been out in the 90s too many times, indicating that he may have a slight problem with his concentration, but if I had a an opening batsman who consistently scored between 50 and 100, I’d take it.

He can also bowl.  I think he comes in off too long a run up, but he and wobble it in the air and off the pitch and has a knack of picking up wickets at important and surprising times.  I saw him pick up 6 at Lords a year ago, it was a clever and patient display of medium pace bowling.

His international figures are excellent – particularly when you consider that he was never an opener in international or first class cricket until he stepped in a couple of years ago.

Tests: 28

Runs: 2011; Ave: 40.3 (approx); 2 hundres and 15 fifties

Wickets: 48; Ave: 28.77; 2 five fors.

It is reasonably early days – but these are better than Flintoff’s figures

ODI: 138

Runs: 4122; Ave: 43.38; 6 hundreds; 26 fifties

Wickets: 138; Ave: 29.10.

These figures rival some of Australia’s best ODI all-rounders.

I may not like the guy, but he can play.

And I guess that’s my point – that I don’t like him doesn’t really matter, it may be fun to write, and at times humourous (as least to me), but he is playing for Australia, and doing a dam good job of it.

I’m not writing about the match today – apart from to say it was solid, slow, and shortened – fingers crossed for tomorrow.



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