Australia v England, 5th Test, Sydney, 4th day January 6, 2011

'We've let ourselves down' - Watson


Shane Watson was almost too depressed to speak after another one-sided Ashes day left him and his team-mates searching for answers. He's been one of the few Australian players to have made a serious mark on series, but his mistakes have also cost the team at crucial times.

Today he ran himself out, ending his counter-attack at 38, and by stumps the best Australia could hope for was avoiding an unprecedented third innings defeat of the campaign. They were 7 for 213, still 151 from making England bat again, and even some predicted morning showers should not be able to hold off the tourists on Friday.

"It's not great being a part of something that has been so disappointing," Watson said. "It would be nice to be in the golden era, but we're not playing well enough to be part of that this year. Going into this series I thought there were going to be defining moments in our careers and there has been - on the wrong side, unfortunately."

Australia used to have "Tough Day" Tim Nielsen to analyse these types of performances, but in this series it has been "Bad Day Watto". Unfortunately for Watson he's been required during four of the Tests. "There's no doubt we've let ourselves down in the way that we've played," he said, covering this match and the entire series.

"The English have played extremely well in the last two games, they've made the most of the conditions, whether it's been swinging or seaming, or going reverse and turning. Hats off to them, they've played unbelievably well. We haven't played up to our standard."

He thinks the hosts under-estimated how strong England would be in Australia this time. "With the history of the Ashes and how it's panned out, and playing in our home conditions, it has surprised me in a way," he said. "The way they've played, and how complete they are as a team, it's very impressive. The Australian team hasn't done that."

He now calls David Saker, the England bowling coach, his "ex-good mate". He was joking, but was also disappointed that an Australian has been so successful in helping the old enemy. Saker and England's attack haven't been responsible for all the dismissals.

Watson has been involved in three run-outs, causing the exits of Simon Katich in Adelaide and Phillip Hughes in Melbourne. Today he did it to himself, ending up at the same end as Hughes when he didn't bother to look at his partner when going for an unnecessary second.

"It's not good, it's hard to put a finger on it to be honest," he said of the reasons why he's so often involved in mix-ups. "It's a horrendous situation to be involved in three run-outs now. It's something I've got to work on. It's not good enough."

The same sentiment applies to the team's overall performance. "We don't want to be losing the support that we've had for such a long time with the Australian fans," he said. "We've got to play so much better to keep the faith."

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Martin on January 7, 2011, 13:44 GMT

    @SeaforthA1; LOL - Sir_Freddie_Flintoff is having a joke with certain Aus fans, perhaps ones like you - Because that's all we've been hearing from some Aussies - that Australia are the better side, poor selection this, bad luck that, bad coaching this, bad management that, the sides are well matched.... blah, blah, blah, blah. DENIAL. Jeez - BRING ON THE GALAHS!...............& GET REAL !

  • Basil on January 7, 2011, 3:18 GMT

    Lets see who has let who down. This is not written in the benefit of hindsight but what any rational TEAM first attitude should have led to. 1- Clarke should not have played 1st Test with back injury 2- North did not warrant selection for first 2 Tests 3-Doherty should have never been selected. Hauritz was our first choice, if the selectors had not had faith in him then all logic points to the spinner who played in the AustraliaA match. The A team spinner is the A team spinner because he is next in line, right? OKeefe took 4/88 and scored a half century in an innings where the top order struggled. The guy averages 40+ with the bat and 23 with the ball. He has bowled against England, Sri Lanka A, and Pakistan A so he's got form. How could he not be selected? 4- Ponting should not have played MCG with a broken finger 5- Teflon Tim Neilsen should not have been signed on for 3 more yrs. If he was a footy coached he would have been sacked. 6- Watson at 4or5 (aka J.Kallis)

  • Samaresh on January 7, 2011, 2:14 GMT

    Watson has the potential to score double hundreds and I think he could have made few centuries in this series but anyway....

    History repeats itself and every team goes through the same cycle. It is so nice to see Australia losing one series after another. Hope they continue to lose few more. The arrogance, the sledging and the winning seemed to have become a distant past. Well, the good news is that Ponting will be out and perhaps Clarke (so called future captain) as well.

    Happy new year Australia.

  • JIGNESH on January 7, 2011, 1:42 GMT

    Michael Beer must be the nephew or relative of any one of the selectors of Australian Board. I mean he carries THE BOWLING AVERAGE more than 43 runs per wicket in his first class debut series. I am not saying they shouldn't select the player who just started the first class career. They should select if he performed a lot better than 43 runs per wicket in his first class debut series. Same as Hilfy is selected in AUS Natioanl team because of his stupid brother-Punter. Hilfy and Beer is not even qualify for any English county to play and they have been selecting for the Australian National team. WOOOOOOOOOOOW!!!

  • Andrew on January 7, 2011, 0:31 GMT

    I could even understand the rotation of spinners that have come thru - although I thought that Krezja was discarded too soon - but this summer stunk of stupidity. Doherty is a talented young bloke - I think his career stats didn't tell the full picture as he was an improving WIP. Hauritz came back from injury in India & was made to look ordinary by great Indian batting & some odd tactics, he should of been given the opportunity North got & had 1st crack at the Poms. Reason being - he has had success aginst England previously, & had a good summer the season before. Beer's selection for Perth wasn't that bad - because he was never going to play, but to take him to Melbourne & Sydney was ridiculous. Meanwhile Hauritz, O'Keefe & O'Brien were taking wickets at a better strike rate then Smith, Doherty & Beer have ever done. O'Keefe did quite well in the England A game, & then gets trumped by Beer who would not have been on the radar. Spin selection policy has been STUPID!

  • Andrew on January 7, 2011, 0:17 GMT

    In Oz, in all our football codes, if the team fails the Coach usually gets the chop before the players do. Even International codes like League, Union & Soccer this happens, why is it that Nielson gets a 3 yr extension? The other staff member that needs questions asked of him is Langar (great true blue legend he is), our batting has really been exposed big time, & he is the batting coach. I am still very optimistic about Oz talent, the players we have running around at the moment can get us back to the top, but I don't know if selectors are watching the same players we are! Take spin bowling, yes I understand there was a void with Warney retiring, (he had been hinting at it for about 3 yrs prior), things were okay because we should of had McGill for a few years after - he got injured, we then had a problem. Not many of our spinners get a go at Shield level, because our pitches don't wear down until late on Day 4, & in test Day 5. TBC

  • Andrew on January 7, 2011, 0:10 GMT

    It pains me to say it - but we were thumped. I am stubborn so I think it was more of a case of one side playing to their potential & the other well below. How much of that was related I am not sure. I beleive that the players we have are good enough to get Oz back to the top, I think most of our problems are off the field. I think Cooley did a great job getting MJ back on track for Perth, but why was it that reasonably good bowlers (Hilfy, Harris, Bollinger, & MJ) were incapable of bowling a reasonable tight line? Why did our batsmen generally leave so many balls alone outside off stump that were there to be smashed? For most of my time watching cricket Oz cricket has been about an attacking style, who's idea was it to try & grind out the opposition? Grind them in the field - yes, but play strokes when you are batting. Watto in the 2nd innings yesterday (until he run himself out), played the way he played last year & looked great, why did he not score a boundary in a session4 days ago?

  • Andrew on January 7, 2011, 0:00 GMT

    I don't know where to begin, I acknowledge that England played well (really well), I think they finished the series with a better side then when they started, I couldn't imagine Broad & Finn doing what Tremlett & Bresnan did @ the MCG & SCG. I can't beleive that Punter basically never really fired a dhot in anger with the bat this series, for that matter Pup was way below expectations. It is obvious that this was the most well prepared Pommie side in Oz in my 30yrs of watching cricket. I keep coming back to there is no way on Earth ANYBODY could of foreseen what Cook did! I remember Vaughn had a good series in Oz 8 years ago, & maybe Strauss may of been able to get close to that, but 700+ runs @ 120+ blows me away. I have watched Cooks career from before he got in to the Test team & thought he would be a very useful Test cricketer with a 40+ average. He would have his good series & some not so good - not a Bradmanesque summer down under. TBC

  • Dummy4 on January 6, 2011, 23:01 GMT

    I am truly looking forward to India playing tests in England later this year. That should be a good series.

  • Ned on January 6, 2011, 22:43 GMT

    some stern questions have to be indeed asked , but lets do this calmly not in a fit of panic.sometimes another teams great performances aren't an honest appraisal of your teams strengths or weaknesses,things can look a lot worse than they really are.

    Though failure is a great teacher and if taken properly can only be a tool for growth.

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