Australia in India 2013-14 October 8, 2013

Australia turn to Watson's experience for tips

44

If George Bailey's Australia have to displace India as the No 1 ODI side during their seven-match series, Shane Watson will have to play a big role. Not just with the leather and the willow that he is accustomed to, but more so in mentoring a squad that lacks experience at the highest level.

If Australia's final training session at the Cricket Club of India's Brabourne Stadium before flying to Rajkot for Thursday's solitary Twenty20 international was an indication, Watson was ready for the challenge. The allrounder, who joined the squad on Monday evening following Rajasthan Royals' fruitful Champions League T20 campaign, appeared to be the sought-after senior during Australia's extensive practice session.

Almost everyone returning from his stint in the nets was seen seeking tips from Watson. And it was perfectly understandable since Watson's wealth of experience of playing in India dates back to Australia's triumphant Champions Trophy campaign in 2006. Adam Voges, who was among those who sought Watson's advice, admitted the latter would indeed wear the mentor's hat along with wicketkeeper Brad Haddin during the series.

"Shane is a senior player along with Brad Haddin and these guys bring a wealth of experience, particularly here in India," Voges said. "Shane has played a lot of cricket here and any tips that he can give to any of our guys, I am sure we all will be listening."

Having been on the road for a fortnight during Royals' dream run in the CLT20, Watson expectedly took it easy, only doing fielding drills early on. Once he was done with that, the most experienced international cricketer in the Australia squad of 14 switched to the mentoring role for the rest of the session.

First, he stood close to the fast bowlers' nets and was seen constantly passing on tips. He had a prolonged discussion with Mitchell Johnson, the only other squad member besides Watson with more than a 100 ODI caps, who is looking to cement his place in the Australia side. The duo appeared to be discussing gripping the ball and wrist positions.

Watson then walked across the outfield and stood behind the batsmen, observing whether his tips had had an impact on Johnson's bowling. Soon, he was joined by his Royals teammate James Faulkner and the duo was involved in yet another extended chat. After finishing the discussion, Watson sat down on a chair. For the next half hour or so, it became a free-for-all information session for all his team-mates.

If they follow Watson's words of wisdom and he repeats his heroics in the last ODI against England, Australia may well pose a serious threat to India's top ranking by the end of the series.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on October 9, 2013, 0:50 GMT

    If Nic Maddinson fires in the T20; he could be a surprise inclusion on the one day team. As an optimistic Aussie I would indeed welcome this because our batting is one class player short without Clarke, and Maddinson is of the all too rare matchwinning variety of batsmen. A batting lineup of Finch, Maddinson, Watson, Bailey, Voges, Haddin, Maxwell, Faulkner would have the kind of explosive run making capability to run with India were they to play to their potential. This also makes the first T20 critical for players like Maddinson and Maxwell to potentially force their way into the team past fringe ODI'ers such as Hughes and Ferguson.

  • gauravm5 on October 8, 2013, 21:02 GMT

    Dont under estimate Aaron Finch, he has been a revolution in the IPL, brutally hitted Indian spinners. Glenn Maxwell can also be a danger, he is definitely gonna click atleast twice in 7 ODIs and when he clicks he will shift the momentum in favor of australia in just 5 overs. Also, India doesn't have good fast bowlers and ashwin has never been good against Australian batsman specially against Watson in IPLs.

  • on October 9, 2013, 19:16 GMT

    @Swaroop Bhg.....ur 100% correct...i readed all of ur comments.....ur absolutely correct....watson is best allrounder in world in odis or t20's.....in tests he will pick by any team 4 sure......watson can singlehandly win match's.....he dont fear spin n every1 knows how much he is good againest fast bowling...moreover indian fast bowlers are worest then any team....india dont hav any misterous spiner quality spiner lik sunil narayan or ajmal....aftr gayle....watson is best hitter in world....in addition his bowling....im an indian n im saying he is best player in world in odi's.....

  • cricketsubh on October 9, 2013, 12:07 GMT

    my 1st odi team is .1.finch.2.madison.3.watson.4.berly.5.voges.6.fargusion.7.haddin.8.countanal.9.duherty.10.makey.11.jhonson.

  • cricketsubh on October 9, 2013, 12:03 GMT

    i agree with u karnawat33 this series will be very close i think aus have vrey gud bowling attack at the moment but they need batsman like watson.berly two key players need to click and pick madison for odis he is a great talent and need to be back by the selector and clarke

  • KARNAWAT33 on October 9, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    India are undoubtedly the World Champions at home. Australia, on the other hand are depleted, to top it off they are without Clarke. Barring the 3 match bilateral series Australia played out of which 2 games were washed out and India Won 1, India have never beaten Australia in a BILATERAL ODI SERIES since almost 30 years. The last time Australia came, they were injury plagued; but were with Ponting and Hussey. Over 7 matches they lost 8 key players to injury but went on to win the series 4-2 (One ODI was washed out). This is going to be a Thrilling Series and anyone who thinks India are going to outplay Australia will be proven wrong. It is advantage India BUT you can never rule out a side who play with the NEVER GIVE UP ATTITUDE and the FLARE OF CHAMPIONS, although it has been missing, but it is still in their blood. A green top means game over for India, so the Indian fans should hope that the board presents surfaces like "Motera" in every game for this series to be a contest.

  • on October 9, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    It is going to be a whitewash. India are a much better side, well equipped to beat amateur aussie side. i dont see them penetrating the india batting line up n more than anything they will struggle to cope the middle overs of jadus n ash spin.

  • on October 9, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    @MinusZero. Watsons last test match was a career best 170 odd. Thankyou.

  • on October 9, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    @ dorothydix, correct.. for the past few years, australian cricket is only good at loosing matches n their immature journalists r good at making negative statements at their only man(watson) in the team. although he's is the best performer by far in the team when compared to the kids(warner, hughes, clarke, cowan, wade, etc) in the team. watson is world no.8 allrounder in tests, no.3 allrounder in odis, no.10 batsman in odis, no.1 allrounder in t20, no.3 batsmen in t20. he's the only australian in all those above mentioned icc world rankings. no other australian made it in the list. its just statistics. but everybody knows he's the best destructive batsman n allrounder in the world. this was shown in world t20 2012 when he single-handedly took aus to semis by winning all man of the matches awards.

  • on October 9, 2013, 2:36 GMT

    Don't underestimate Watto in his right mood, Aaron Finch , Glenn 'Big Match' Maxwell et al. And the solidity of Bailey. Also, don't underestimate the fact, most of the current OZ bowlers did well in Indian conditions -- both in IPL & CLT-20.

    If our current Indian team still do well, it is only the impact of blooding in the new breed of young fearless (no fear to lose) cricketers, in place of the old logs who started rolling down the greens, so slowly. So lethargically. With slow reactions and responses. They were still getting selected ( by the previous selectors) just for their batting or bowling alone; without realising that cricket has changed, and also demand better skills in the field.

  • on October 9, 2013, 0:50 GMT

    If Nic Maddinson fires in the T20; he could be a surprise inclusion on the one day team. As an optimistic Aussie I would indeed welcome this because our batting is one class player short without Clarke, and Maddinson is of the all too rare matchwinning variety of batsmen. A batting lineup of Finch, Maddinson, Watson, Bailey, Voges, Haddin, Maxwell, Faulkner would have the kind of explosive run making capability to run with India were they to play to their potential. This also makes the first T20 critical for players like Maddinson and Maxwell to potentially force their way into the team past fringe ODI'ers such as Hughes and Ferguson.

  • gauravm5 on October 8, 2013, 21:02 GMT

    Dont under estimate Aaron Finch, he has been a revolution in the IPL, brutally hitted Indian spinners. Glenn Maxwell can also be a danger, he is definitely gonna click atleast twice in 7 ODIs and when he clicks he will shift the momentum in favor of australia in just 5 overs. Also, India doesn't have good fast bowlers and ashwin has never been good against Australian batsman specially against Watson in IPLs.

  • on October 9, 2013, 19:16 GMT

    @Swaroop Bhg.....ur 100% correct...i readed all of ur comments.....ur absolutely correct....watson is best allrounder in world in odis or t20's.....in tests he will pick by any team 4 sure......watson can singlehandly win match's.....he dont fear spin n every1 knows how much he is good againest fast bowling...moreover indian fast bowlers are worest then any team....india dont hav any misterous spiner quality spiner lik sunil narayan or ajmal....aftr gayle....watson is best hitter in world....in addition his bowling....im an indian n im saying he is best player in world in odi's.....

  • cricketsubh on October 9, 2013, 12:07 GMT

    my 1st odi team is .1.finch.2.madison.3.watson.4.berly.5.voges.6.fargusion.7.haddin.8.countanal.9.duherty.10.makey.11.jhonson.

  • cricketsubh on October 9, 2013, 12:03 GMT

    i agree with u karnawat33 this series will be very close i think aus have vrey gud bowling attack at the moment but they need batsman like watson.berly two key players need to click and pick madison for odis he is a great talent and need to be back by the selector and clarke

  • KARNAWAT33 on October 9, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    India are undoubtedly the World Champions at home. Australia, on the other hand are depleted, to top it off they are without Clarke. Barring the 3 match bilateral series Australia played out of which 2 games were washed out and India Won 1, India have never beaten Australia in a BILATERAL ODI SERIES since almost 30 years. The last time Australia came, they were injury plagued; but were with Ponting and Hussey. Over 7 matches they lost 8 key players to injury but went on to win the series 4-2 (One ODI was washed out). This is going to be a Thrilling Series and anyone who thinks India are going to outplay Australia will be proven wrong. It is advantage India BUT you can never rule out a side who play with the NEVER GIVE UP ATTITUDE and the FLARE OF CHAMPIONS, although it has been missing, but it is still in their blood. A green top means game over for India, so the Indian fans should hope that the board presents surfaces like "Motera" in every game for this series to be a contest.

  • on October 9, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    It is going to be a whitewash. India are a much better side, well equipped to beat amateur aussie side. i dont see them penetrating the india batting line up n more than anything they will struggle to cope the middle overs of jadus n ash spin.

  • on October 9, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    @MinusZero. Watsons last test match was a career best 170 odd. Thankyou.

  • on October 9, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    @ dorothydix, correct.. for the past few years, australian cricket is only good at loosing matches n their immature journalists r good at making negative statements at their only man(watson) in the team. although he's is the best performer by far in the team when compared to the kids(warner, hughes, clarke, cowan, wade, etc) in the team. watson is world no.8 allrounder in tests, no.3 allrounder in odis, no.10 batsman in odis, no.1 allrounder in t20, no.3 batsmen in t20. he's the only australian in all those above mentioned icc world rankings. no other australian made it in the list. its just statistics. but everybody knows he's the best destructive batsman n allrounder in the world. this was shown in world t20 2012 when he single-handedly took aus to semis by winning all man of the matches awards.

  • on October 9, 2013, 2:36 GMT

    Don't underestimate Watto in his right mood, Aaron Finch , Glenn 'Big Match' Maxwell et al. And the solidity of Bailey. Also, don't underestimate the fact, most of the current OZ bowlers did well in Indian conditions -- both in IPL & CLT-20.

    If our current Indian team still do well, it is only the impact of blooding in the new breed of young fearless (no fear to lose) cricketers, in place of the old logs who started rolling down the greens, so slowly. So lethargically. With slow reactions and responses. They were still getting selected ( by the previous selectors) just for their batting or bowling alone; without realising that cricket has changed, and also demand better skills in the field.

  • landl47 on October 9, 2013, 2:03 GMT

    @cricketsubh: it took me a while, but I finally worked it out: 'countanal' = Coulter-Nile. For a moment I thought I'd stumbled into another type of website altogether!

  • bobagorof on October 9, 2013, 1:25 GMT

    Imsrk: Despite your 3 consecutive comments, you lost all credibility when you said that 'Aus has no chance against zim or bd'. Australia is the number 2 ranked ODI side in the world (and 4 ranks higher than either Bangladesh or Zimbabwe in Twenty20). Sure, India will probably win the series and may do so comfortably, but saying they have 'no chance' against sides who they have performed substantially better than is just silly. You're also forgetting/ignoring that Australia beat India in the World Twenty20 last year, and beat England in the ODI series in September, so using your logic those teams are worse than Bangladesh and Zimbabwe?

  • class9ryan on October 9, 2013, 1:21 GMT

    Haddin should open the innings this series becoz they may waste a place accommodating Hughes at the top of the order. I hope things go well for the Aussies. But being a Indian fan I would love to see a 4-3 or 5-2 series win.

  • cricketsubh on October 9, 2013, 0:42 GMT

    i donot think so i think this series will be a close one.

  • MinusZero on October 9, 2013, 0:26 GMT

    It would be nice if the selectors would come out and say that this series will not affect selections for the Ashes. Till now, apparently ODI form means you are a good test player. Example: Watson - Good ODI, Bad test.

  • on October 8, 2013, 23:30 GMT

    This series will be the real test for the indians, but they shiukd win this with ease against the aussies if they take a few of em out like watson and maxwell and stop them from making stuff, the most important role would be that of bhuvi, this is a real test for him as well.

  • dorothydix on October 8, 2013, 21:12 GMT

    A welcome change to have a more positive article on Watson. Australian journalists take note !

  • Mayan820 on October 8, 2013, 20:59 GMT

    There is little doubt in my mind that the Ausies are going to get seriously wacked in this series. Ok, Finch, Watson, Johnson and one or two more has performed well in India, but a cricket team consists of 10 players, NOT 3+. The likes of Rohit, Dhawan, Dhoni, Kholi, Reina, Yuvie, Rayudu are simply going to destroy the Ausie bowlers. Let us say Watson and Johnson can account for 4 of the above fairly quickly in every game (& I would say that this is very generous to the Ausies!), it still leaves 3 more Indians to do the damage . . . and a LOT OF DAMAGE THEY WILL DO! Bank on that!! For the Ausies to win a game from here, will be very difficult. Having said that . . . stranger things have happened in this wonderful game . . .

  • warneneverchuck on October 8, 2013, 20:28 GMT

    By looking at aus bowling I can say that even raina and rohit sharma are better spinners than aus front line spinners

  • warneneverchuck on October 8, 2013, 20:26 GMT

    Aus has no chance against zim or bd forget abt beating world no. 1 side which recently smashed all teams in champions trophy in eng

  • warneneverchuck on October 8, 2013, 20:23 GMT

    By reading aus fans comment I m sure that they r in panic and know tgat their team wil be humiliated by india once again

  • andrew27994 on October 8, 2013, 19:03 GMT

    @LillianThomson : If you in particular don't care about this series then why would you comment on these forums ? It seems to me that you have already prepared your excuses for your team's probable fate. And as far as bowling is concerned, I concede that Australia produce better fast bowlers than India but in the spin department we produce a far superior bowling attack than Aussies. Since we have home advantage, we might probably embarass you the same way we did when we thrashed Aus 4-0 in what you consider your favourite format of the game.

  • launcher007 on October 8, 2013, 18:43 GMT

    @ LillianThomson first let Australia win against us and after that we can see who cares and dosent, I think u already afraid of Australia losing to India and started to tell ur reasons

  • Neal_88 on October 8, 2013, 18:28 GMT

    PrasPunter: Why do you guys think that all the teams in the world has to play in your seaming wickets to be no. 1. My friend now i think to be a no. 1 team you have to be a very good team in Indian conditions beacause holy grail of crickett is shifting from england to india now. You wait and watch.

  • wanyudo on October 8, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    Hmm....has the makings of an exciting series like any other India vs Australia duel, but really cannot see the Aussies making much of a fist this time round-banking on Watson ???? Yeah, not probably the brightest of ideas. As for the others.....Well, to be really truthful, I do not see anyone apart from Haddin making the task difficult for the Indians-especially the spinners. While a lot would rest on Bailey, Finch,Voges & probably Moises Henriques, they just are in totally different world when it comes to facing the slower bowlers- make no mistake I am pretty sure that they would score pretty heavily against the quicks, but they really have shown the tendency to fall apart like a house of cards against spin-so there you have it, the scoreline would be 6-1 to India.

    At least that is the impression I'm getting as viewer & keeping in mind the recent trend with the Oz's-for I would be only to glad to be eating my words come the end of the tour.

    The very best to both sides.

  • Sshawn on October 8, 2013, 17:27 GMT

    @Praspunter.. wow prejudiced enuf? I mean if DRS doesnt work Aussies can complain against it in Ashes but its so wrong if BCCI takes a stand. Wickets are cooked if they spin and flat but they are not if they are seaming and with loads of grass..u know that they do it to support Aussies pacers well thats too much to accept for imbeciles i believe..Why did u stopped at pitches and DRS why dint u blamed umpires for deciding in favor of Indian spinners becoz aussies dont know how to play .. well dam blame Indians for poor Aussie players .. u cracked me up good for lunch .. crawl back

  • LillianThomson on October 8, 2013, 17:24 GMT

    Does anybody care? This series has precisely zero profile here in Australia: most ODIs are forgotten as soon as they are played, but these are so irrelevant - and most of us are so bored of endlessly playing India - that they have the unique distinction of not even being noticed while they are played!

    Cricket Australia, could you please schedule some matches against teams which can bowl like South Africa or Pakistan? At this rate we will never see Irfan here, yet we have to keep watching these trundlers.

  • on October 8, 2013, 16:55 GMT

    captian George Bailey will play well in any condition in the present form.he took attack to trendwell(who had a good serie in india) in england hw will play a big role watch him out

  • on October 8, 2013, 16:38 GMT

    @praspunter, i agree on bad wickets.. even i love cricket in the 80's when the pitches across the world had pace n bounce. scoring 40's or 50's in those days is a nice ting because it is against quality bowling on quality pitches. but the world has changed for the bad.. cricket too changed for the bad.. these days, even no.10 can score a 100 due to the bad pitches.

  • PrasPunter on October 8, 2013, 15:50 GMT

    Swaroop, thats right - indian conditions = absence of DRS , cooked wickets and what not. Yes it is difficult to win.

  • dsscreen on October 8, 2013, 15:34 GMT

    Though India are the favorites in the series don't fr got past oz tour of 7 ODI WE lose to average oz side 4-2,4-2.

  • on October 8, 2013, 15:32 GMT

    the promotional video for the series by star sports describes the best... shane watson..australias greatest hope.

  • cnksnk on October 8, 2013, 15:19 GMT

    I am sure thag Watto would have picked up a lot on man management by watching Rahul captaining RR. However is his inter action more because a certain Michel Clarke is not with the team and this gives Watto the space to take a larger role and express himself.

  • on October 8, 2013, 15:15 GMT

    australia has no chance in winning the ODI series because watson is the only man in the team who can affect india. no other player can play top cricket in indian conditions. i expect henriques to play well. its very diffucult for other batsmen to face indian spinners in india. its watson vs india.... (one man) vs (full team)

  • PrasPunter on October 8, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    On a slightly sceptical note, has the absence of Pup and Mickey together come as a mighty relief for Watto ,to the extent that he has started to enjoy his role in the team ? I don't complain as long as Aus wins. Presidency is more important than the President, you know. Don't care if Pup or anyone else plays or not, as long as the Aus team stands on the winner's podium anyday.

  • CricketChat on October 8, 2013, 15:09 GMT

    Watson's performance will be key to Aussie team success. He has been in decent form with RR, but more importantly, the insight he can provide on Ind player's strengths and weaknesses that will add to his value.

  • on October 8, 2013, 14:47 GMT

    Watto's fast track "drive thru-and-pick-up-your-food" type quicky tutorials may not add much. But the experience of so many players in the OZ team from their involvement in the IPL, over the years will certainly help.

  • on October 8, 2013, 14:05 GMT

    What happened to divisive and disruptive Watto? Glad to see the man-management has changed for the better over the last few months :)

  • on October 8, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    Australia has a good balanced side . With Bailey and Watto and Finch also in good Form I don't see INDIA winning 7-0 . It will either be 4-3 or 5-2 in favour of INDIA

  • on October 8, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    shane Watson will play a crucial role in this series....if he performs every match then aussies have an excellent chance of beating the Indian side.

  • Jalz007 on October 8, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    I don't think a one-on-one interaction will have a lot of bearing in the performance in such short span of time. After all being actively involved in the game & getting the experience has a lot of difference. Nothing can replace experience gained on field, how much ever lectures, advice that you give...

  • cricketsubh on October 8, 2013, 12:53 GMT

    yes watson is key for aus in this series .my t20 team is 1.finch.2.madison.3.watson4.berly.5.haddin.6.maxwell.7.hanrices.8.dahurty.9.countanal.10.makey.11.fulkner.

  • on October 8, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    good to hear, maybe he's finally learning to become a team player, has never seemed that way!!!

  • subnys on October 8, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    Nice to know that Shane Watson is playing a big brother to all the other team-mates.

  • subnys on October 8, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    Nice to know that Shane Watson is playing a big brother to all the other team-mates.

  • on October 8, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    good to hear, maybe he's finally learning to become a team player, has never seemed that way!!!

  • cricketsubh on October 8, 2013, 12:53 GMT

    yes watson is key for aus in this series .my t20 team is 1.finch.2.madison.3.watson4.berly.5.haddin.6.maxwell.7.hanrices.8.dahurty.9.countanal.10.makey.11.fulkner.

  • Jalz007 on October 8, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    I don't think a one-on-one interaction will have a lot of bearing in the performance in such short span of time. After all being actively involved in the game & getting the experience has a lot of difference. Nothing can replace experience gained on field, how much ever lectures, advice that you give...

  • on October 8, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    shane Watson will play a crucial role in this series....if he performs every match then aussies have an excellent chance of beating the Indian side.

  • on October 8, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    Australia has a good balanced side . With Bailey and Watto and Finch also in good Form I don't see INDIA winning 7-0 . It will either be 4-3 or 5-2 in favour of INDIA

  • on October 8, 2013, 14:05 GMT

    What happened to divisive and disruptive Watto? Glad to see the man-management has changed for the better over the last few months :)

  • on October 8, 2013, 14:47 GMT

    Watto's fast track "drive thru-and-pick-up-your-food" type quicky tutorials may not add much. But the experience of so many players in the OZ team from their involvement in the IPL, over the years will certainly help.

  • CricketChat on October 8, 2013, 15:09 GMT

    Watson's performance will be key to Aussie team success. He has been in decent form with RR, but more importantly, the insight he can provide on Ind player's strengths and weaknesses that will add to his value.

  • PrasPunter on October 8, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    On a slightly sceptical note, has the absence of Pup and Mickey together come as a mighty relief for Watto ,to the extent that he has started to enjoy his role in the team ? I don't complain as long as Aus wins. Presidency is more important than the President, you know. Don't care if Pup or anyone else plays or not, as long as the Aus team stands on the winner's podium anyday.