Chennai v Rajasthan, IPL 2013, Chennai April 22, 2013

'I was half-capacity without my bowling' - Watson

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Shane Watson's hundred, the first of IPL 2013, might have gone in vain as Chennai Super Kings chased down Rajasthan Royals' target of 186, but the Australian allrounder was relieved to be back among the runs and bowling once again.

"It's nice to finally score some runs. I felt that I have been hitting the ball really well," he told the IPL site after the game. "In T20 you need a little luck as well to get your innings going. Unfortunately we weren't able to finish well.

"I'm very excited to get back to bowling. It's certainly something that I've missed in the last three months. It will probably take me another two games to fully find my feet and bowl exactly how I want to."

Watson's bowling return is neatly timed, coming only two days before Australia's selectors are expected to announce their Test squad for the Ashes series in England this summer. Although he has recently relinquished the vice captaincy, he remains a strong contender to make the squad.

He bowled for the first time this year in Royals' previous game, against Royal Challengers Bangalore, following a series of injuries, the most recent of which was a calf issue. In the match against Super Kings, the final over of the game was his second.

Watson said he is almost close to full bowling fitness, but not quite there just yet. "I'm getting closer to being 100%. A couple of more training sessions and games, and my body will be absolutely ready to handle the rigours of bowling. It is holding up well generally but now it's just the matter of it getting used to bowling again.

"On the whole I feel as good as I ever have. I've put in a lot of hard work during this period and hopefully, will reap the rewards for the coming 10 months or so. I was half-capacity without my bowling. It feels great to be bowling once again."

Though they could not pull off the win, Royals did well to get to 185 in Chennai, he said: "I think 185 is a lot of runs on any ground. At the beginning of the match our mindset was probably 160-170 and we ended up with an above-par score. We batted really well as a unit."

Speaking about Watson's innings off 101 off 61 balls, Chennai spinner R Ashwin said the great start he gave Royals forced Super Kings to shuffle their bowling options, resulting in him coming on within the Powerplay: "This year I have bowled quite a few death overs as I have come into the attack pretty late. I have bowled a lot of 13th, 15th and 17th overs this season. We have a couple of overseas seamers and an Indian seamer, which gives the captain many options to exploit in the Powerplay," Ashwin said. "[Today though] Watson was going great guns and the captain probably wanted to shut down [Royals' scoring] and look to get a breakthrough. Shane Watson made sure that I had to come early into the attack."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • PrasPunter on April 23, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    In the best interests of us, Watto , we need you at your full-fitness, both with the bat and ball. Give yourself every chance of getting to that to give our best shot at the Ashes. Because glory in test cricket is what our culture is all about. Baggy-green matters !! Not worried about what you do when not in Australian colors as long as that doesn't affect your performance when wearing those.

  • Chris_P on April 23, 2013, 22:09 GMT

    @Meety. I don't know whether I would take him for the tests. He hasn't the form, we should be looking for the future & I am afraid I don't see him in it. MoHen offers a vastly better base to build on. I am starting to get an uneasy feeling about the upcoming selections.

  • fazald on April 23, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    If the Australian cricket selectors pick the team for the ashes strictly on merit rather than players with good looks and abandon those agendas against certain players then I reckon that we can win the ashes. There is enough talent out there in Australian cricket but our selectors keep making the same mistakes over and over again as a result Australia has been humiliated in recent time. Only very recently the Australian A team whitewashed the strong England Lions 4-0 which speaks volumes about the young talent we posses. My team for the ashes strictly on merit reads as follows. Watson, Warner, Khawaja, Hughes, Clarke, Haddin, O'Keefe, Pattinson, Harris, Siddle/Starc, Lyon, Cowan/Rogers,Wade and Bird/Faulkner.

  • on April 23, 2013, 14:34 GMT

    Not that Mr. Watson's batting half worked well; it is always a team effort.

  • fazald on April 23, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    It's high time that Watson starts scoring some runs. I mean convert those forties and fifties into hundreds. He and Mitchell Johnson who are two of our most senior players in the Australian cricket team have consistently failed to fire and have been very disappointing and irresponsible to say the least and are now on the verge of being dropped from the team for the ashes. I reckon this could be their last opportunity to prove that they are good enough to continue playing for Australia for years to come.It's a shame that having played for so long that they have still not sealed their places in the team and have to still fight for an ashes berth. Watson's main problem is that he is injury prone and has to start over and over again while Mitchell Johnson is going from bad to worst with his line and length however much he is being coached by Dennis Lillie a million times. If only Watson and Johnson could contribute to the team anytime we could be victorious seventy five per cent.

  • gsingh7 on April 23, 2013, 14:23 GMT

    backing australia for 5-0 whitewash of poms. go watson go/ u r in form and can blast any opposition apart along with dynamo warner. blast the english attack into oblivion

  • sents2013 on April 23, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    For all you Australian supporters, did nobody else thought, Australia needs Michael Hussey back in their team, ask him to reconsider and play for the team. He will prove to be a better asset than Watson. Hussey is playing better than any other Australian players currently in the team.

  • hhillbumper on April 23, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    amazing that IPL starts and he can bowl again. His IPL form has no relevance at all to test cricket.

  • Meety on April 23, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    @Chris_P on (April 23, 2013, 8:56 GMT) - I agree, but I would take him on tour. I would consider Champ Trophy form for the Ashes as stupid as it sounds. With 2 new balls, this Champ Trophy COULD be a good sighter for the Ashes, if of course you are prepared to overlook coloured balls & clothing!! (ps: NSP don't seem to mind)!

  • vithur1507 on April 23, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    Watson wasnt known as a Queensland state player or NSW player; infact he got into IPL as an Australian team performer. If making money was his prime motive, he could have easily done that playing in many leagues(though his Aussie contract is somewhere around million, he could have earn that in doing commercials). Every cricketer knows that IPL hardly lasts between 16-19 games(provided they are an automatic selection in the team), if they werent going to perform for their countries on a consistent basis, boom..next year they will be replaced by some other set of players. When pup or watt were in their mid or early 20's, they had the likes of Langer, Hayden, Ponting, Lehman,Warne, McGrath..... to lead them, now watson and pup had to do all the mentorship roles to an inconsistent aussie lineup. Their roles have become tougher and performing under the pressure and taking the pressure off the youngsters is not a walk in the park.

  • PrasPunter on April 23, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    In the best interests of us, Watto , we need you at your full-fitness, both with the bat and ball. Give yourself every chance of getting to that to give our best shot at the Ashes. Because glory in test cricket is what our culture is all about. Baggy-green matters !! Not worried about what you do when not in Australian colors as long as that doesn't affect your performance when wearing those.

  • Chris_P on April 23, 2013, 22:09 GMT

    @Meety. I don't know whether I would take him for the tests. He hasn't the form, we should be looking for the future & I am afraid I don't see him in it. MoHen offers a vastly better base to build on. I am starting to get an uneasy feeling about the upcoming selections.

  • fazald on April 23, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    If the Australian cricket selectors pick the team for the ashes strictly on merit rather than players with good looks and abandon those agendas against certain players then I reckon that we can win the ashes. There is enough talent out there in Australian cricket but our selectors keep making the same mistakes over and over again as a result Australia has been humiliated in recent time. Only very recently the Australian A team whitewashed the strong England Lions 4-0 which speaks volumes about the young talent we posses. My team for the ashes strictly on merit reads as follows. Watson, Warner, Khawaja, Hughes, Clarke, Haddin, O'Keefe, Pattinson, Harris, Siddle/Starc, Lyon, Cowan/Rogers,Wade and Bird/Faulkner.

  • on April 23, 2013, 14:34 GMT

    Not that Mr. Watson's batting half worked well; it is always a team effort.

  • fazald on April 23, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    It's high time that Watson starts scoring some runs. I mean convert those forties and fifties into hundreds. He and Mitchell Johnson who are two of our most senior players in the Australian cricket team have consistently failed to fire and have been very disappointing and irresponsible to say the least and are now on the verge of being dropped from the team for the ashes. I reckon this could be their last opportunity to prove that they are good enough to continue playing for Australia for years to come.It's a shame that having played for so long that they have still not sealed their places in the team and have to still fight for an ashes berth. Watson's main problem is that he is injury prone and has to start over and over again while Mitchell Johnson is going from bad to worst with his line and length however much he is being coached by Dennis Lillie a million times. If only Watson and Johnson could contribute to the team anytime we could be victorious seventy five per cent.

  • gsingh7 on April 23, 2013, 14:23 GMT

    backing australia for 5-0 whitewash of poms. go watson go/ u r in form and can blast any opposition apart along with dynamo warner. blast the english attack into oblivion

  • sents2013 on April 23, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    For all you Australian supporters, did nobody else thought, Australia needs Michael Hussey back in their team, ask him to reconsider and play for the team. He will prove to be a better asset than Watson. Hussey is playing better than any other Australian players currently in the team.

  • hhillbumper on April 23, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    amazing that IPL starts and he can bowl again. His IPL form has no relevance at all to test cricket.

  • Meety on April 23, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    @Chris_P on (April 23, 2013, 8:56 GMT) - I agree, but I would take him on tour. I would consider Champ Trophy form for the Ashes as stupid as it sounds. With 2 new balls, this Champ Trophy COULD be a good sighter for the Ashes, if of course you are prepared to overlook coloured balls & clothing!! (ps: NSP don't seem to mind)!

  • vithur1507 on April 23, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    Watson wasnt known as a Queensland state player or NSW player; infact he got into IPL as an Australian team performer. If making money was his prime motive, he could have easily done that playing in many leagues(though his Aussie contract is somewhere around million, he could have earn that in doing commercials). Every cricketer knows that IPL hardly lasts between 16-19 games(provided they are an automatic selection in the team), if they werent going to perform for their countries on a consistent basis, boom..next year they will be replaced by some other set of players. When pup or watt were in their mid or early 20's, they had the likes of Langer, Hayden, Ponting, Lehman,Warne, McGrath..... to lead them, now watson and pup had to do all the mentorship roles to an inconsistent aussie lineup. Their roles have become tougher and performing under the pressure and taking the pressure off the youngsters is not a walk in the park.

  • MaruthuDelft on April 23, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    Australia is going to bring Ashes home this year. Pup is not going to be the main cause. It will be Watson. He will take at least 6 wickets and 80 runs per test match in this ashes.

  • sonicattack on April 23, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    As Brydon Coverdale said in a different thread: 'the selectors should have learnt from their Xavier Doherty mistake in India: you don't pick Test players based on limited-overs form.' ....so why on earth is an IPL century relevant to the Ashes?

  • wibblewibble on April 23, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    Watson was clearly playing for his ton, once he had that he threw his wicket away instead of pushing on to make a match winning contribution. It's the same as he plays in Tests, no application just hit and giggle.

    If anything, Watto has been getting consistently worse in Test cricket as he commits fully to making cash off T20.

  • Go_F.Alonso on April 23, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    All the Oz fans, I hope your selectors don't think like you do. Shane Watson, when bowling, brings great balance to your side. He should be the 2nd name (after Pup) when the team list is drawn up. It'd be nice if he can convert the 50s into 100s but even the 50s - when he goes back to scoring them consistently - are quite valuable. He just needs to NOT lose his concentration while batting and would comfortably walk into most other Test teams, can't believe you guys are baying for his blood.

  • Harlequin. on April 23, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    1 - massive, massive difference between test cricket and this stuff and if the selectors are using the ipl as a guide to how people are going to perform in the Ashes then Aussie cricket is in worse shape than I thought!

    2 - By the time the Ashes come round, Watson might well have changed his mind about what he wants to do, and decided he wants to be a wicket-keeper instead.

    3 - @SamRoy, you have been spoilt over the last few years by the likes of Langer, Hayden, Gilly who can score tons at good lick. I'd have thought that after the Indian series, you'd have taken hundreds no matter how they come! And I reckon patience is needed by the openers playing in England, just look at the home teams top 3: Cook, Compton, Trott - they're hardly dashers!

  • Baundele on April 23, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    He started his career as a pace bowler. Injury forced him to concentrate more on his batting and eventually he became the best all rounder of the world. Being a pace bowler means a lot of passion for it. If he loses it completely I am sure he will lose interest in cricket. No pace bowler can play happily taking the role of batsman-only. Cricket needs Watson and for the sake of it, I wish him all the best.

  • SamRoy on April 23, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    I still don't understand why Australia are so bent on playing Ed Cowan. He is never going to play an impact innings for Australia. If he gets an 100 it is going to take anywhere between 250 to 275 balls. And he unlike Cook, who scores much faster than Cowan, doesn't get them regularly enough. What happens more often is he gets about 15 in one innings and about 55 in another innings and eats up a lot of deliveries. Sometimes in England when the sun is shining quick run scoring is required so that when the cloud cover comes on you get to a comfortable position. Cowan in my book is useless anywhere except in Australia where you get good weather and good decent pitch throughout the test match. So its better if Warner and Watson opens in England.

  • Chris_P on April 23, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    Sorry Watto, you need to start performing in real cricket games not this silly hit & bash games. With a sub 30 batting average & a plus 40 bowling average in first class games for the past 3 years, the time has come for you to earn your spot back for tests. I can't recall anyone having a run like yours without performing, & I was one of your biggest supporters, but the brutal facts are that you are not performing nor deserve a spot in the test side. Brutal but honest assessment.

  • on April 23, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    Watto a real nightmare !! Good innings bro !

  • Masterrulz on April 23, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    Great performance by Watto keep it up ...

  • AshesErnie on April 23, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    PFEL is dead right. An IPL ton, while commendable, has no bearing on Test cricket. The Poms won't worry whether Watto is selected or not, he's not a threat.

  • satishchandar on April 23, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    Let us be clear.. If Watto feels he is good enough to bowl, let him bowl.. I am pretty certain a guy like him will be knowing what he is doing.. Mere money wont make a guy of his experience to do silly stuffs..

    And for those who want him to skip bowling to be fit for Ashes, Watson is complete player when bowling.. If IPL can provide something like real time practice and little 4 over workout for him, why not take it? After all, he is playing cricket only here and not rugby or football.. It is same as playing first class cricket or doing in nets.. Even a little workout considering he is going to bowl only 4 of the overs..

  • Apocalypse_EX on April 23, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    @Mitty2 Thats harsh mate. He already said he was planning on starting to bowl midway through the Ipl the day the squad was selected for the tests against India. He reason he played in India as a batsman is the same reason Malinga retired from tests, their body couldnt handle the rigours of bowling in tests. It was never about club or country but the format. Its cruel to judge his commitment too, why else would he keep on playing, getting injured, work to get back to fitness and try to play again for the most part of a decade? Anybody else and they would have given up bowling or even playing cricket. But I do agree he has been poor in tests and needs to earn his way to the test team with first-class performances not limited overs performances.

  • latecut_04 on April 23, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    Mixed responses here.Indian (IPL)fans expectedly congratulating him on his ton.An Aussie supporter is happy he has resumed bowling and hope he turns up 100% fit and inform with both bat and ball for Ashes.Majority Aussie fans angry that he bowls in IPL but not in test matches( again expected).Now questions to consider here are:1.did Watson abstain from bowling on his own or was it a team decision (management)not to risk him getting injured before Ashes.?2.Despite that was Watto eager to bowl(especially in India where Aus bowling was a dud.)3.Will he get injured if he resumes bowling in IPL thereby sabotaging his place in Ashes squad.4.Most imp question:is he a certainity in Ashes squad given his recent performances with both and ball and 'attitude issues'(as reported).Aus team mgt has to accept that though he can be called a batting allrounder he should not bat higher than No:6 in tests and SHOULD bowl as the 3rd/4th bowler especially on days3,4and5(rev swing.)Else drop him.Period

  • Pathiyal on April 23, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    by those proper cricketing shots, he just announced his availability for test cricket! dont know why some throw dirt at him! :-)

  • on April 23, 2013, 7:40 GMT

    @Mitty2, Watson is 100% devoted to AUS Cricket... Look at his eyes when he plays for his nation.... He is really incomplete without his bowling... Also, it's Clarke or Team Management who has decided not to give bowling to Watto... I'm sure, Many like you has already forgotten 4/5 recent bowling performances of Watto when the so called Great Guns of Aus Bowling were not able to pick a single wicket... It's simply pitty of AC that they don't give a 2nd chance to a Cricketer like Symmo, Watto... even though they are deep inside trouble. One fact guys, Aus Cricket totally came down when Symmo got sacked from the team.... Anyways, i'm an indian, just a neutral cricket fan.. simply was giving my points... And i know, all of you will tell that I'm wrong!!! But you better know who is....

  • sanjeevbiswal1984 on April 23, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    Congrats Watson for a ton

  • PFEL on April 23, 2013, 7:37 GMT

    How many times are we seeing Test claims being pressed by T20 form . . . unbelievable. Select test players on First Class form and performance, not if they perform in ODIs (Doherty) or Big Bash/IPL.

  • Yash CSK on April 23, 2013, 7:28 GMT

    Awesome Innings - respect indeed ! And this is a way woke up the Sleeping lions and we got to see some exciting cricket. A befitting reply from Hussey, it brought the masterclass out of him!

    Hussey showed that he could play the anchor role as in the KKR chase, or switch to the aggressor at his will, which is great for the Super kings ! Just waiting to see Faf and albie in the team soon. This year it looks like a mini competition within the CSK camp for those 4 playing slots. :)

  • Mitty2 on April 23, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    Funny that, Watson conveniently only being able to bowl in the ipl, but not the tests. What was that Shane, you'll quit your bowling to focus on your batting? Of course you can do it in the ipl though, just not playing for your country. If ever people needed to find a singular reason for our batting woes, just look at 20/20's influence; watson's example epitomizes it!

    Stick with playing the formats that bring in the money Shane, just get the hell away from the Australian test squad.

  • Mitty2 on April 23, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    Funny that, Watson conveniently only being able to bowl in the ipl, but not the tests. What was that Shane, you'll quit your bowling to focus on your batting? Of course you can do it in the ipl though, just not playing for your country. If ever people needed to find a singular reason for our batting woes, just look at 20/20's influence; watson's example epitomizes it!

    Stick with playing the formats that bring in the money Shane, just get the hell away from the Australian test squad.

  • Yash CSK on April 23, 2013, 7:28 GMT

    Awesome Innings - respect indeed ! And this is a way woke up the Sleeping lions and we got to see some exciting cricket. A befitting reply from Hussey, it brought the masterclass out of him!

    Hussey showed that he could play the anchor role as in the KKR chase, or switch to the aggressor at his will, which is great for the Super kings ! Just waiting to see Faf and albie in the team soon. This year it looks like a mini competition within the CSK camp for those 4 playing slots. :)

  • PFEL on April 23, 2013, 7:37 GMT

    How many times are we seeing Test claims being pressed by T20 form . . . unbelievable. Select test players on First Class form and performance, not if they perform in ODIs (Doherty) or Big Bash/IPL.

  • sanjeevbiswal1984 on April 23, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    Congrats Watson for a ton

  • on April 23, 2013, 7:40 GMT

    @Mitty2, Watson is 100% devoted to AUS Cricket... Look at his eyes when he plays for his nation.... He is really incomplete without his bowling... Also, it's Clarke or Team Management who has decided not to give bowling to Watto... I'm sure, Many like you has already forgotten 4/5 recent bowling performances of Watto when the so called Great Guns of Aus Bowling were not able to pick a single wicket... It's simply pitty of AC that they don't give a 2nd chance to a Cricketer like Symmo, Watto... even though they are deep inside trouble. One fact guys, Aus Cricket totally came down when Symmo got sacked from the team.... Anyways, i'm an indian, just a neutral cricket fan.. simply was giving my points... And i know, all of you will tell that I'm wrong!!! But you better know who is....

  • Pathiyal on April 23, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    by those proper cricketing shots, he just announced his availability for test cricket! dont know why some throw dirt at him! :-)

  • latecut_04 on April 23, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    Mixed responses here.Indian (IPL)fans expectedly congratulating him on his ton.An Aussie supporter is happy he has resumed bowling and hope he turns up 100% fit and inform with both bat and ball for Ashes.Majority Aussie fans angry that he bowls in IPL but not in test matches( again expected).Now questions to consider here are:1.did Watson abstain from bowling on his own or was it a team decision (management)not to risk him getting injured before Ashes.?2.Despite that was Watto eager to bowl(especially in India where Aus bowling was a dud.)3.Will he get injured if he resumes bowling in IPL thereby sabotaging his place in Ashes squad.4.Most imp question:is he a certainity in Ashes squad given his recent performances with both and ball and 'attitude issues'(as reported).Aus team mgt has to accept that though he can be called a batting allrounder he should not bat higher than No:6 in tests and SHOULD bowl as the 3rd/4th bowler especially on days3,4and5(rev swing.)Else drop him.Period

  • Apocalypse_EX on April 23, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    @Mitty2 Thats harsh mate. He already said he was planning on starting to bowl midway through the Ipl the day the squad was selected for the tests against India. He reason he played in India as a batsman is the same reason Malinga retired from tests, their body couldnt handle the rigours of bowling in tests. It was never about club or country but the format. Its cruel to judge his commitment too, why else would he keep on playing, getting injured, work to get back to fitness and try to play again for the most part of a decade? Anybody else and they would have given up bowling or even playing cricket. But I do agree he has been poor in tests and needs to earn his way to the test team with first-class performances not limited overs performances.

  • satishchandar on April 23, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    Let us be clear.. If Watto feels he is good enough to bowl, let him bowl.. I am pretty certain a guy like him will be knowing what he is doing.. Mere money wont make a guy of his experience to do silly stuffs..

    And for those who want him to skip bowling to be fit for Ashes, Watson is complete player when bowling.. If IPL can provide something like real time practice and little 4 over workout for him, why not take it? After all, he is playing cricket only here and not rugby or football.. It is same as playing first class cricket or doing in nets.. Even a little workout considering he is going to bowl only 4 of the overs..

  • AshesErnie on April 23, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    PFEL is dead right. An IPL ton, while commendable, has no bearing on Test cricket. The Poms won't worry whether Watto is selected or not, he's not a threat.