Australia v India, World Twenty20, Group 2, Colombo September 27, 2012

Not over-dependent on Watson - Bailey


George Bailey, the Australia captain, does not think his team is over-dependent on Shane Watson, after the allrounder weighed in with bat and ball in both group-stage victories. Watson made 51 off 30 balls and took 3 for 26 against Ireland, and followed that with an unbeaten 41 and 2 for 29 against West Indies.

"I don't know whether you can call it over-dependence on Watson just because he has performed well in both the games," Bailey said. "He is a very good player, he is good with the ball and he is an outstanding batsman. He is one of the players that opposition teams fear when they run into him. At the moment, one of his strengths is his consistency, so he is dependable, but I am not sure if we are over-dependent on him."

Watson and David Warner, one of the most powerful opening combinations currently in limited-overs cricket, gave Australia solid starts in both games so far but Bailey said that did not mean the rest of the line-up was not capable. "Watson and Warner are able to provide us an urgent start. There is no doubt that they are key wickets because they can take the game away," Bailey said. "I guess they are crucial, but we are not at a stage where the rest of us are just making up the numbers."

Bailey was asked whether Watson and Warner's contributions meant the middle order was undercooked in terms of time spent in the middle. "The middle-order is very happy," he said. "I know it's a tough one now but you've just got to prepare and train well. It's not that any of these guys haven't played a lot. In fact, we have played a lot against the guys we are coming up against. Whenever you get the opportunity to perform, you make sure you are ready to go."

MS Dhoni, the India captain, was also asked about the Watson-Warner combine, and his side's plans to control the duo. "They are one of the best because they have done consistently well," Dhoni said. "Both of them play aggressive cricket and look to score as many runs as possible in the first six overs. Since we are looking to play with five bowlers there is a bit more variety up the sleeve, which can be used in the first six overs. So let's see how they start."

Dhoni said most international sides had aggressive openers in Twenty20s, which helped in getting good starts against the new ball. "If you can put pressure on the opposition bowler, then more often than not they look to save themselves, so if you have a good start, you have an upper hand," Dhoni said. "In the subcontinent also it is important, initially the ball comes on to the bat nicely, and from the eighth to the 12th over is the time when the game changes. We have seen that quite a few wickets slow down and stroke-play becomes a bit tough. It is important that the top four take advantage of the ball coming on to the bat."

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on September 28, 2012, 19:40 GMT

    @Meety on (September 28 2012, 06:10 AM GMT) - once in a blue moon I can sometimes get it right!

  • Ryan on September 28, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    @satish619chandar "We might realize the dependency if Watto gets injured for a game." In case you have forgotten, Watto was injured for pretty much the whole of last summer in Australia except the last couple of games of the one-day series. And the games he did play in, he was pretty undercooked and struggling to get his form back. He didn't play any of the T20 games. Did Australia lose any of those series' last summer? The only way to know if Australia is overly-dependent on him is if he fails, which so far he hasn't done at this tournament. If you can afford to leave out the leading run-scorer in T20 history, that suggests to me that Australia don't feel they are over-reliant on Watson.

  • Andrew on September 28, 2012, 10:29 GMT

    @parabrahmam on (September 28 2012, 09:37 AM GMT) - LOL! I couldn't help but repond to ".....and indians have....BEST FIELDING." Brilliant! You are the funniest dude on the planet!!!!!

  • parabrahmam on September 28, 2012, 9:37 GMT

    Aswin can handle Freeky warner and watson, and nothing to do with rest of australia batting ... WE HAVE MASTER MIND DHONI .. YUVI will bang australian bowling... KOHLI is been massive ..and indians have BEST BATTING LINE UP . and BEST FIELDING. Lets see who will bang the stadium with their sparkles

  • Satish on September 28, 2012, 9:23 GMT

    The best thing Australia did is, to bring in Mike Hussey to No.3 slot. Previously when one opener gets out, with Wade, Bailey and Forrest, they ate up balls and put even more pressure on the other opener. Now, they can play more freely with the fulcrum of their batting aside. Starc is excellent as a bowler for them. Not the same essentially with Cummins. He is decent without being as threatening or consistent. Watto is the second best seamer in the team if not first but certainly the best batter. And, for Bailey to say they are not dependent on him is a joke. We might realize the dependency if Watto gets injured for a game.

  • Andrew on September 28, 2012, 6:10 GMT

    If Warner & Watto play near their potential, Oz don't need much from the middle order to post a tough total. Anybody else kicks in, & we win. Just wonder if Watto can replicate this in the semi's (if we get there!).

  • Dummy4 on September 28, 2012, 5:41 GMT

    What rubbish. Just because the australia top order is doing well, it doesn't mean the middle/lower order won't! The top order has to fail in the first place if the middle order has to contribute :)

  • Dummy4 on September 28, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    I think India gonna struggle today without Sehwag..Though he is out of form, T20 is a game where one bright day can take you over the line and when sehwag has a good day he will be unstoppable.He will be the one batsman who will create fear among the Aus bowlers.Hope Dhoni doesn`t risk dropping him for today..Play 5 bowlers and sehwag in place of Raina who is a shortball suspect.

  • Bryn on September 28, 2012, 4:15 GMT

    so hang on. the greatest player in the world does what he should and dominates with bat and ball and there is critisism? have i got that right? has the whole world gone crazy!?

  • Suraj on September 28, 2012, 3:44 GMT

    Watson will rock against fragile Indian poor attack,,,,,,and overrated batsman.......

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