World Twenty20 2012 September 28, 2012

A true IPL success story

"Don't bowl there to Shane Watson #wt20" said an excitable @cricketaus on twitter. The "there" was a short slow leg spinner outside legstump
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"Don't bowl there to Shane Watson #wt20" said an excitable @cricketaus on twitter.

The "there" was a short slow leg spinner outside legstump. You probably shouldn't bowl there to any batsman in the world, regardless of skill level or venue. At the moment, you could pretty much bowl anywhere to Shane Watson and he'd find a way to hit it for six.

The first ball of Australia's tournament was a wicket to Watson. In that game he was man of the match. Against West Indies he was man of the match. And today he was man of the match. In the tournament Watson has eight wickets, 164 runs, and three cheques. He also caught Chris Gayle, eventually. We still have no idea how good Australia are, because no team has come close to getting past Watson.

Australia's middle order could be their Achilles heel but unless Watson gets dismissed early we'll never see them. Australia can't rotate the strike against the spinners: not a problem if Watson just hits them for six. Australia have two young and inexperienced seamers in their line up: but Watson is protecting them as best he can with his trusty medium pace.

Australia are three from three because of Watson. Perhaps the hit out in the UAE and their training camp in Darwin helped refine their game. They may have sorted their fear of spinners. The pitches being faster than expected is going to be to their advantage. And George Bailey may be exactly what this team needed. But in this tournament all we've really seen is Watson.

Watson hasn't looked this invincible since he took Rajasthan to a very unexpected title as a lowly paid player in the first IPL season. At $125,000 he was paid $75,000 less than Justin Langer by the same team and wasn't even sold in the first round of the auctions.

At that point in his career Watson gave more press conferences about injuries that he took wickets or runs. He was brought back into the Australian side with phenomenal speed every time he was fit, and yet his performances never really justified it. He was the favourite whipping boy of the fans, very much the Australian Rohit Sharma. His IPL contract was more because of a strong 2007 World Cup and through his former Australian and Hampshire teammate Shane Warne. He was man of the tournament, broke back into the Australian line up, and has become the Shane Watson of current day.

The IPL gets much flak, but Shane Watson is one of its true success stories. It was perhaps not the success story that India was looking for. All that time in the IPL has certainly given Watson plenty of practice of hitting rubbish bowling far into the subcontinent stands as dancing girls and fireworks go off.

There was plenty of rubbish bowling. But should Watson, and Warner, get some of the credit for that? Both are the sort of batsmen that bowlers properly fear. They are both strength players who don't just dispatch bad balls, they murder them. A bowler knows a slight mistake in length to Watson, or line to Warner, will disappear. That is pressure. Against England a lesser Indian attack was unplayable, Watson and Warner turned them into mush. They were decisive, sure and brutal. They should get as much credit for how they batted as India get criticism.

South Africa had muddled their way to 133, Pakistan had stumbled to 136 and India underachieved to 140. Watson punched Australia to 140 in less than 15 overs. Every shot he played was 100% sure of what he wanted to do with it. He made a decision, and he put the ball there.

In other forms of cricket, Watson can cause problems for Australia by not making the big hundred that completely changes the game. And his body never really looks like holding up for too long a spell. In this format of the game his making a sixty is a big innings, and four, usually non-consecutive, overs seems to be ok with him. He's a perfect killing machine for T20 cricket, and in a format where one man can make a huge difference, Watson is taking Australia from a ranking below Ireland to a legitimate threat for the title.

The Australians call Glenn Maxwell "The Big Show" but right now Shane Watson is the entire show.

Jarrod Kimber is 50% of the Two Chucks, and the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Watto on September 30, 2012, 1:40 GMT

    JRodd, I know it hurts acknowledging my greatness, so suck it up princess!

  • Daniel on September 29, 2012, 13:04 GMT

    IPL has also revived the careers of Chris Gayle (who wasn't this destructive before the 2011 IPL) and TM Dilshan (who transformed into an opener only because of IPL)

  • Kami on September 29, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    It was just a day for Watson...same team was beaten twice by Pak some days back. Subcontinent teams still take pressure in playing with Aussies..if Dhoni would have bowled first, the result could be different....

  • Weqas Ali on September 29, 2012, 10:16 GMT

    Really IPL is a failure story for Indian Cricket Team. The reason is quite obvious. No worries for indian player to fail in the international cricket because even if they are out of the team because of bad performance IPL is there to earn money for any average cricketer. And if IPL was a success story then pakistan should have never qualify for the super eights. but they played semi final of every WT20 so far and seems to play again.

  • moniker on September 29, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    Mr Jarrod Kimber, I forgive you this time, but please don't mention Nohit Sharma and Shane Watson in the same context ever again! Neither of them deserve it!

  • Ram on September 29, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    Watto may be success story of IPL, but since the inception of IPL India is yet to win a super 8 match. IPL has ruined Indian cricket.

  • RASHID on September 29, 2012, 7:18 GMT

    I feel watson is a smart and elegant cricketer. He has calm nerves and has all the temperament to win matches for his team. But i would still like to say that pakistan cricket is very unpredictable and they can handle watson very well. only problem with pakistan is their poor run chasing ability. they somehow lack confidence in their batting. i would suggest pakistan team should play asad shafiq in middle order to handle the pressure in crunch games.

  • Kartik on September 29, 2012, 6:34 GMT

    India knew before going into this match, the whipping they took in all formats of the game from Aus last winter. But obviously either the Team Mgmt was on high or they should acknowledge that they are a Team of 1 Only and Not a team of Eleven. They had no contingency plan in case that player had to failed? They were the weakest link for Super 8 and will finish like one. You kn=ind of laugh on all these Pundits - in Chappell, Boyc, and Murali.

  • abhay on September 29, 2012, 6:23 GMT

    aussie smashed indians to all corners of the field.ipl has made it known to the outside world of bowling wide off side to dhoni, shortpitch to raina,kohli,floating outswinger to gautam. it has also made thm aware of the shortcomings india has in bowling.IPL is like FDI in retail gud for multibrand owners without any obligation towards indian farmers or consumers.obviously ipl has failed to produce any quality bowlers.i see india beating pak but losing to proteas on tuesday.

  • Sunil Kher on September 29, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    I am afraid but again here we go with the IPL. If Watson himself were to answer honestly, will he attribute all his success to IPL? Even if IPL would not have been held, I am sure Watto would have been successful ... if not more. Indian players have gotten accustomed to IPL sums of money and hence their performance in T20 has gone down the tube. IPL should not be treated/boasted upon as success story from any angle IMHO (unless the inception was to make Indian team the worst in every facet of the game).

  • Watto on September 30, 2012, 1:40 GMT

    JRodd, I know it hurts acknowledging my greatness, so suck it up princess!

  • Daniel on September 29, 2012, 13:04 GMT

    IPL has also revived the careers of Chris Gayle (who wasn't this destructive before the 2011 IPL) and TM Dilshan (who transformed into an opener only because of IPL)

  • Kami on September 29, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    It was just a day for Watson...same team was beaten twice by Pak some days back. Subcontinent teams still take pressure in playing with Aussies..if Dhoni would have bowled first, the result could be different....

  • Weqas Ali on September 29, 2012, 10:16 GMT

    Really IPL is a failure story for Indian Cricket Team. The reason is quite obvious. No worries for indian player to fail in the international cricket because even if they are out of the team because of bad performance IPL is there to earn money for any average cricketer. And if IPL was a success story then pakistan should have never qualify for the super eights. but they played semi final of every WT20 so far and seems to play again.

  • moniker on September 29, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    Mr Jarrod Kimber, I forgive you this time, but please don't mention Nohit Sharma and Shane Watson in the same context ever again! Neither of them deserve it!

  • Ram on September 29, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    Watto may be success story of IPL, but since the inception of IPL India is yet to win a super 8 match. IPL has ruined Indian cricket.

  • RASHID on September 29, 2012, 7:18 GMT

    I feel watson is a smart and elegant cricketer. He has calm nerves and has all the temperament to win matches for his team. But i would still like to say that pakistan cricket is very unpredictable and they can handle watson very well. only problem with pakistan is their poor run chasing ability. they somehow lack confidence in their batting. i would suggest pakistan team should play asad shafiq in middle order to handle the pressure in crunch games.

  • Kartik on September 29, 2012, 6:34 GMT

    India knew before going into this match, the whipping they took in all formats of the game from Aus last winter. But obviously either the Team Mgmt was on high or they should acknowledge that they are a Team of 1 Only and Not a team of Eleven. They had no contingency plan in case that player had to failed? They were the weakest link for Super 8 and will finish like one. You kn=ind of laugh on all these Pundits - in Chappell, Boyc, and Murali.

  • abhay on September 29, 2012, 6:23 GMT

    aussie smashed indians to all corners of the field.ipl has made it known to the outside world of bowling wide off side to dhoni, shortpitch to raina,kohli,floating outswinger to gautam. it has also made thm aware of the shortcomings india has in bowling.IPL is like FDI in retail gud for multibrand owners without any obligation towards indian farmers or consumers.obviously ipl has failed to produce any quality bowlers.i see india beating pak but losing to proteas on tuesday.

  • Sunil Kher on September 29, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    I am afraid but again here we go with the IPL. If Watson himself were to answer honestly, will he attribute all his success to IPL? Even if IPL would not have been held, I am sure Watto would have been successful ... if not more. Indian players have gotten accustomed to IPL sums of money and hence their performance in T20 has gone down the tube. IPL should not be treated/boasted upon as success story from any angle IMHO (unless the inception was to make Indian team the worst in every facet of the game).

  • Bharat Gang on September 29, 2012, 4:30 GMT

    Rightly said Watson the "Entire Show".

  • andrew schulz on September 29, 2012, 1:53 GMT

    What about Cummin's bowling and fielding. He was superb, and it was a true team effort in the field.'Entire show' my eye.

  • CricketLover on September 29, 2012, 1:42 GMT

    Shane Watson is one of my favorite cricketers of this era.It would be a pleasure to shake a hand with the guy that I try very hard to copy while batting for my local team.

  • Anil on September 29, 2012, 1:34 GMT

    India knew before going into this match, the whipping they took in all formats of the game from Aus last winter. But obviously either the Team Mgmt was on high or they should acknowledge that they are a Team of 1 Only and Not a team of Eleven. They had no contingency plan in case that player had to failed? They were the weakest link for Super 8 and will finish like one. You kn=ind of laugh on all these Pundits - in Chappell, Boyc, and Murali.

  • sibul on September 29, 2012, 1:29 GMT

    The Australians call Glenn Maxwell “The Big Show” but right now Shane Watson is the entire show

  • Chokkashokka on September 29, 2012, 1:22 GMT

    blah blah blah - australia lucked out again with the rain. Where was Watson's bat in the first 36 delieveries bowled by the Indian attack before teh rains arrived? I'm sick and tired of the biased coverage of anything indian and english on this website - and then the censorship masked as "moderation" of comments.

  • Number_5 on September 28, 2012, 23:40 GMT

    Shane Watsons' form is due to the IPL? Give me a break. Besides some good early bowling, India's' bowling was not at its best. Any batsman in world cricket punishes bad bowling, Dave Warner was doing it well before the IPL was a gold coin in the BCCIs dreams & Watson was identified as a talent back when Steve Waugh was just starting to administer his mental disintegration. If anything T20 has shown success in this format is as much due to luck & the form of 1 or 2 players. Big sixes, great fielding and lots of noise and colour. Not bad for the 9th ranked team in the world.

  • Cabinet96 on September 28, 2012, 23:31 GMT

    Jarrod and Shane. The perfect combination of writer and player.

  • Harish on September 28, 2012, 23:17 GMT

    i am mad indian cricket lover,I think i don't know what to say about MSD, first of all he didn't pick sehwag,i know every one complains about him but he can win matches single handedly,second bowling of our great legendary spinners every ball was bowled in the half pitch right on the bat....every spinner begged Australians to hit them long...third when he is going to learn to accept his own mistakes...when ever india looses he will give you a cheap excuse... he nevr gives credit to other teams... Australians played great cricket and they deserve to winnnnnn....

  • Nadeem Khan on September 28, 2012, 23:03 GMT

    If Watson is a big IPL success story, then the whole Indian team is a big failure of IPL.

  • Tim on September 28, 2012, 22:00 GMT

    Great to see some aura back about the Aussie side. We are certainly the real deal in this tournament. Not just Watson the rest of our bowling has been brilliant and Warner has been just as good as Watto with the bat with all others unrequired. We can win, we should win. So far the best in the world have looked substandard in comparison.

  • Meety on September 28, 2012, 21:31 GMT

    Loved the last sentence!

  • Ramesh on September 28, 2012, 21:31 GMT

    Perfectly said Mr.Kimber !! I have no surprises about Watson's limited over performances in sub-continental conditions...He is just using his IPL experience. Other prominent player that I can think of is Chris Gayle: another success story from IPL - West Indies are also pitching in well in the tournament, thanks to Gayle Storm !!

    These two have shown to their nations, few benefits of being in IPL!

    However, I am still not sure why the IPL hosting team has never learnt anything from it :) !!

  • fezan on September 28, 2012, 21:10 GMT

    lol....

  • Msk on September 28, 2012, 21:00 GMT

    Who is this guy and what is he talking about can somebody please this article down, waste of energy to read it , I have no clue is he praising Watson ,or giving another excuse to Indian lost

  • manash on September 28, 2012, 20:58 GMT

    shane watson 'the Best player in the world'..

  • Anonymous on September 28, 2012, 20:57 GMT

    Australia and WestIndies is really performing well at this moment, they are hitting and bowling well when compared to other team in the tournment, India need to put to lot of runs in the board to protect themselves, but they failed to do so against the strong team. Still they need to do lot of homework in the ground with both the ball and the bat, as it not easy to win this tournment with rough and tough teams

  • Zohaib on September 28, 2012, 20:46 GMT

    He is really a mr cool....wow i am amaze to c how he hits neatly...how can a guy like him looks cool and compose in every match....pakistan should never allow him to unleash...

    A pakistani fan

  • Pradyuman on September 28, 2012, 20:44 GMT

    watson was the perfect executioner tonight of the nincompoop dodos. yeah, thats what india offered and he was the gunslinging mad dutch marauding in the 17th century mauritius.

  • Ahmed on September 28, 2012, 20:38 GMT

    Being Pakistani fan I saw Aussy openers do the same to Pakistani attack in dead rubber in UAE few weeks ago. I have seen not only Watson and Warner, but also Michael and David Hussey, Cameron White, George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell can score BIG sixes. Thats always a threat. I think this Aussy team is the strongest at the moment. Both bowling and batting looks extremely solid. All other teams have weak points, Pakistan's batting is brittle, Proteas have to prove that they are no "chokers", Sri Lankans depend on two bowlers and three batsmen, Indian bowling is perhaps not as strong, England seem pretty flat, Windies rely heavily on Gayle, Kiwis dont have depth in batting and bowling. This aussy team is STRONG.

  • ScoreField on September 28, 2012, 20:21 GMT

    Well written, classic

  • Zahid on September 28, 2012, 20:04 GMT

    I don't understand what the ipl gas to do with Shane Watson. I think Mr Kimber needs to do an article on the ipl destroying Indian cricket. Apart from winning the first t20 World Cup (more like Pakistan lost) India has not won a single super 8 game yet. What had the ipl done for Indian cricket.

  • Sandeep on September 28, 2012, 19:59 GMT

    Take a bow, Watson! This is coming from a humbled Indian...

  • Danish on September 28, 2012, 19:59 GMT

    Why exactly did you quote "South Africa had muddled their way to 133, Pakistan had stumbled to 136 and India underachieved to 140" this? its had nothing to do with the article yet rather giving credit to Pakistan you picture a sorry side for no good reason.

  • Som on September 28, 2012, 19:46 GMT

    If Gayle is the Don of T20 cricket. Watto is its Sobers !

  • Anonymous on September 28, 2012, 19:38 GMT

    If watson hits steyn and morkel or the spin of pakistan,he cud be rated the best. But scoring against Ireland westindies and india who have a below standard bowling attack doesn speak high of him.He s just another improved cricketer.

  • Haroon Hameed on September 28, 2012, 19:19 GMT

    I think by playing against Saeed Ajmal in Dubai and getting Bamboozaled in every game Shane Watson definitely looks in really good touch and now I bet everyone will be calling them the Favorites of the Tournament and if they beat South Africa in Next Match I think it will be very difficult to stop them later in the Tournament.

  • Anonymous on September 28, 2012, 19:14 GMT

    Yup, Watto currently is the most valuable player of present scenario.Though he was like Australian Rohit Sharma some years back but thanks to Ipl shaping his carrier.

  • sathish on September 28, 2012, 18:48 GMT

    this is a cracking article.

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  • sathish on September 28, 2012, 18:48 GMT

    this is a cracking article.

  • Anonymous on September 28, 2012, 19:14 GMT

    Yup, Watto currently is the most valuable player of present scenario.Though he was like Australian Rohit Sharma some years back but thanks to Ipl shaping his carrier.

  • Haroon Hameed on September 28, 2012, 19:19 GMT

    I think by playing against Saeed Ajmal in Dubai and getting Bamboozaled in every game Shane Watson definitely looks in really good touch and now I bet everyone will be calling them the Favorites of the Tournament and if they beat South Africa in Next Match I think it will be very difficult to stop them later in the Tournament.

  • Anonymous on September 28, 2012, 19:38 GMT

    If watson hits steyn and morkel or the spin of pakistan,he cud be rated the best. But scoring against Ireland westindies and india who have a below standard bowling attack doesn speak high of him.He s just another improved cricketer.

  • Som on September 28, 2012, 19:46 GMT

    If Gayle is the Don of T20 cricket. Watto is its Sobers !

  • Danish on September 28, 2012, 19:59 GMT

    Why exactly did you quote "South Africa had muddled their way to 133, Pakistan had stumbled to 136 and India underachieved to 140" this? its had nothing to do with the article yet rather giving credit to Pakistan you picture a sorry side for no good reason.

  • Sandeep on September 28, 2012, 19:59 GMT

    Take a bow, Watson! This is coming from a humbled Indian...

  • Zahid on September 28, 2012, 20:04 GMT

    I don't understand what the ipl gas to do with Shane Watson. I think Mr Kimber needs to do an article on the ipl destroying Indian cricket. Apart from winning the first t20 World Cup (more like Pakistan lost) India has not won a single super 8 game yet. What had the ipl done for Indian cricket.

  • ScoreField on September 28, 2012, 20:21 GMT

    Well written, classic

  • Ahmed on September 28, 2012, 20:38 GMT

    Being Pakistani fan I saw Aussy openers do the same to Pakistani attack in dead rubber in UAE few weeks ago. I have seen not only Watson and Warner, but also Michael and David Hussey, Cameron White, George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell can score BIG sixes. Thats always a threat. I think this Aussy team is the strongest at the moment. Both bowling and batting looks extremely solid. All other teams have weak points, Pakistan's batting is brittle, Proteas have to prove that they are no "chokers", Sri Lankans depend on two bowlers and three batsmen, Indian bowling is perhaps not as strong, England seem pretty flat, Windies rely heavily on Gayle, Kiwis dont have depth in batting and bowling. This aussy team is STRONG.