ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

West Indies v Australia, 2nd Test, Port of Spain

Run-outs 'not good enough' - Watson

Daniel Brettig in Port of Spain

April 13, 2012

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Ricky Ponting vents his frustration after being run out, West Indies v Australia, 1st Test, Barbados, 3rd day, April 9, 2012
"I'll be doing everything I possibly can to make the adjustments I need to make to be able to get it as right as possible" © AFP

Shane Watson has pledged to rid himself of a run-out affliction that he admits is affecting the progress of the Australian team.

A horrid misjudgement to account for Ricky Ponting in the first innings of the Bridgetown Test was perhaps the worst of the eight such dismissals Watson has been implicated in over his 33 Tests.

The incident visibly affected Watson, leaving him hunched over his bat and cursing for several seconds as Ponting marched off, and contributed to a clouded state of mind that had him driving impertinently at the second ball after lunch and edging behind.

"That [Ponting run-out] hurt me," Watson said at Queen's Park Oval. "Unfortunately I've been involved in too many run-outs, which is not good enough, but this one especially really did affect me, so I made sure that I've given Ricky a few presents and provided him a number of things I could to try to cheer him up a little bit, because it did affect me a lot. I'll be doing everything I possibly can to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Having made a bold 54 on the final afternoon that helped set-up Australia's dramatic chase to defeat the West Indies in the first Test, Watson will play his second match at No. 3 with confidence about the position, but is acutely aware that it will not be his strokeplay or technique that team-mates will be most wary of.

"I'm going to have to do a couple of things differently, definitely," Watson said. "There's no doubt the way you're brought up running between the wickets, everyone's slightly different, like your technique and how that develops.

"I've got to have a look at my technique of running between the wickets and my calling, because in the end it hasn't been compatible with the guys I've batted with as well. I seriously need to find a way to make sure it works, because at the moment it hasn't been working consistently anyway, and it's not good enough.

"Any form of the game but especially in a Test match on a flat wicket when runs are so valuable, it's certainly not good enough. I've been having a chat to a few guys and I know there are a couple of specific things that I know I can do differently to be able to communicate better to ensure there's less chance of that occurring again."

Having had six Test matches out of the national side due to injury, a run-out in Watson's first match back did not escape the attention of the Australian team room, and he said he was under as much pressure from the rest of the squad as he was from himself to correct a damaging fault in his game.

"Peer group pressure I think [has influenced Watson to change]," he said. "And also I am very honest with myself in all of my life, let alone my cricket side, and I know when there's something not right that I need to address. This certainly is one of those because it is not good enough and it's affecting the team. I know from my perspective I'm very honest with myself to know that's something I do need to rectify. But also peer group pressure means I certainly need to.

"I'll be doing everything I possibly can to make the adjustments I need to make to be able to get it as right as possible. Run-outs do occur, but trying to limit the amount from my perspective. It's a fine line. You want to make sure you are putting the pressure back on the West Indian bowlers and fielding team to be able to score the runs and rotate the strike.

"But also the fine line of not taking a big risk which means you could lose a wicket as well, whereas being cautious means there can also be some mix-ups as well. It is a fine line and that's the reason why in games there are run-outs. But from my perspective it is something that hasn't been good enough and I definitely need to rectify it, because we can't afford those things to happen."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Comments: 45 
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Posted by Roo on (April 16, 2012, 6:54 GMT)

@Always-positive :- "I think you will find England are the number 1 team in the world according to the ICC"... Are you sure?... Have a look!... South Africa are equal no.1 in the world & on count back in Test series won the Saffa's are well in front... England have fallen from their high 12 months ago to back in the pack with little between the top 6 teams, as Eng found out against Pakistan & Sri Lanka... @Always-positive :- "Only thing I can think of that SA are 1st at is choking"... Well you couldn't beat them at their home & now have to face them in a few months... lol... Let's wait shall we ;) ...

Posted by Michael on (April 16, 2012, 3:11 GMT)

@Callum Hinton: Because Ponting won't be in the side in a year's time, and it's easier to find a 4 than a 3.

Posted by Michael on (April 16, 2012, 3:07 GMT)

rajsri: so your suggestion is for Watson to score at a rate that has been achieved by only a few batsmen in the history of the game - Sehwag, Gilchrist, Afridi (over a short space). Well, that should be pretty easy. I'll just go tell him, and that will sort it all out, right? While I'm at it, I'll mention to Chris Martin that he needs to get a move on if he's going to break Tendulkar's record of hundreds...

Posted by RajivSrinivasan on (April 15, 2012, 13:28 GMT)

Being a die hard OZ fan my views are that watson should bat down the order.Watson does not convince me as an opener nor as a no 3. I guess the best slot would be to play @ no 5 or 6. he needs to play a role of an attacking batsmen capable of scoring with a strike rate of 80+, this would deflate any opposition.Thats what adam gilchrist did throught his career and symonds for a short period of time , shane is very capable of doing the same. Also I am not convinced with Warner at the top.he is in two minds whetehr to check his shot or play his shot and when you play with a doubt in mind you are bound not to make a big score. Aussies are trying to have warner do what shewag does for india and in doing so they should ask him to play his natural game and not that a game he is not familiar about. his 100 in perth was because he played positively on a pitch that was wearing down, for him to chnage hisi style is like dayle steyn bolwing @ spedd of 120's.

Posted by rob on (April 15, 2012, 12:26 GMT)

@ Callum Hinton .. that is a stunningly good point. In fact, there is really little else to say. .

Posted by Mariam on (April 15, 2012, 10:49 GMT)

Someguy, Khawaja will be back in the team this season, he is a classy player who was the leading shield player in Australia for 3 years running, this season was interrupted but he should be back this season. He is one of the better talents in Aussie cricket at the moment. Any player who can smash the South African attack in their own conditions can bat anywhere in the world and Khawaja did that in the record chase Australia made by top scoring in that match. It was a shame punter got him run out in Brisbane against NZ otherwise he would have got a 100 there as he averages over a 100 in that ground in Shield cricket.

Posted by Rajaram on (April 15, 2012, 10:47 GMT)

The ONE Way by which Watson can get over this run -out jinx is to tell his partner to do the calling - AND TRUST HIS PARTNER"s judgement.

Posted by Mark on (April 15, 2012, 6:27 GMT)

@mari2619 Khawaja scored 260 runs @ 28.88 this summer.... hardly the kind of form to force his way back into the team.

I agree that he has talent with the bat, but I believe his being dropped was influenced by other things as well as a lack of form. Things such as attitude and fielding.

As far as Watson goes, his batting average since getting back into the team in 09 has been reasonably good. My biggest gripe about Watson (other than his tendancy to run people out), is that he doesn't know how to convert a start. 17 50's and only 2 100's.... that's nowhere near good enough for a top order batsman. Mitchell Johnson has a better conversion rate than that (6x50 and 1x100 for those who care, plus one of those 50's was a 96 not out)!

Posted by Guy on (April 15, 2012, 5:33 GMT)

I don't agree with Henrik Loven that Clarke should move up to #3. As Thevas says, he's our best player of spin and is currently prolific at #5. Steve Waugh stayed at 5 for a decade while younger players like Langer, Blewett and eventually Ponting took #3. Khawaja and Marsh are top order players so if they're only good enough for Test cricket at #6, they're not good enough for Test cricket. Watson has the technique for #3 or #4, but he does need to convert more 50s to 100s. In general re other comments on who should be in the team - two sayings: 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' and 'the grass is always greener on the other side'. Voges? FC avg 42, 14 centuries at 32 years of age. Klinger? FC avg 38, 10 centuries at 31 years of age. Cooper? 1 FC century. Ferguson? FC avg 35, 7 centuries in 7 years. Come on. I'm amazed no one has mentioned Brad Hodge! Incidentally: Watson FC avg 45, 17 centuries, plus 192 wkts @27. Khawaja FC avg 43, 9 centuries at 25 years of age.

Posted by Andrew on (April 15, 2012, 5:25 GMT)

@featurewriter - it's worth noting that Klinger's ton, (not wanting to knock him), was against a Uni side with no players having played more than TEN FC matches. You can only play against what is in front of you, but I would be dissappointed if he didn't get a 100 against a side that would arguably be below 1st grade city level in Oz. It is one of the messy aspects of trying to line up a players stats, depending on whether you are in first division county division countyv UNI sides, can really distort your stats.

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Daniel BrettigClose
Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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