England v Australia, 5th Investec Test, The Oval, 1st day August 21, 2013

End of a barren spell for Australia's No.3s

Stats highlights from the first day's action at The Oval

  • Shane Watson's 176 is his third Test century, and easily the highest - his previous-best was 126 against India in Mohali in 2010. Since that Test match and before today, Watson had gone past 50 ten times in 46 innings, without once going on to a century: his highest during this period had been 95.

  • The century by Watson was the first by an Australian No.3 batsman in nearly two years: the previous hundred was Shaun Marsh's 141 against Sri Lanka at Pallekele in September 2011. In 48 innings since then and before this match, Australia's No.3 batsmen had averaged 23.17, with a highest of 87. They were the only team whose No.3 hadn't scored a hundred during this period.

  • The last time an Australian No.3 batsman scored 150 or more in an overseas Test was at Cardiff in 2009, when Ricky Ponting made 150. In all there have been 20 instances of Australian No.3s scoring 150 or more overseas, of which Ponting and Don Bradman have contributed five each. Among those 20 instances is Jason Gillespie's unbeaten 201 against Bangladesh in Chittagong in 2006.

  • In just this one innings, Watson scored 34% of the total runs he had scored in 17 previous Test innings in England: in those 17 tries, Watson had managed 520 runs at an average of 30.58, with a highest of 68.

  • The on-side was clearly Watson's preferred scoring area in this innings: 115 of his 176 runs came in that region, and 91 of those in the arc between midwicket and the sightscreen. Fifteen of his 25 fours came on the on-side. The bowler who suffered the most at his hands was debutant left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan, who leaked 35 runs off 25 balls to Watson, and overall went for 53 in eight overs.

  • Stuart Broad has been Michael Clarke's nemesis in this series, but this time Clarke fell to James Anderson, another bowler who has had plenty of success against him in the past. Anderson dismissed Clarke for the eighth time, sneaking past Broad, Ishant Sharma and Dale Steyn, who have each dismissed him seven times. Broad still has the slightly better average against Clarke, though: his seven dismissals have cost him 163 runs (average 23.28). Anderson averages 27.50 runs per dismissal against Clarke.

  • The 145-run stand between Watson and Steven Smith is the sixth century stand for Australia in this series, and the third-highest. Watson also added 107 for the second wicket with Chris Rogers, which makes this the first instance of two century stands in the same innings for Australia in this series. England have also had six century partnerships in this series.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Cameron on August 22, 2013, 12:54 GMT

    Agree @Jason Bray! Besides Watson was never on 10, he went from 8-12 with a boundary!

  • Chris on August 22, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    In the three years and 24 Tests between centuries, Watson averaged 30.4. No wonder we've been losing when we carry a player that long. I feel sorry for guys like Hughes, Khawaja and Cowan, who have got shafted in and out of the team.

    "Three tests and you're out mate.! Who do you think you are? Watson?"

    Watson last night proved nothing except if you give a guy long enough, he eventually will have a day out.

    But considering he could have been out twice LBW very early, and was still getting rapped on the pads late in his innings, it's certainly no certainty that he is in for a period of prosperity with the bat.

    From now on, how about the Aussie selectors make him live by the same rules as for Kjhawaja, Hughes, Cowan, Marsh, Quiney etc. i.e. You have to perform to keep your spot

  • Dummy4 on August 22, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    all i can say is that i absolutely love when dizzy gillespies double ton comes up in statistics!

  • Dummy4 on August 22, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    Good start by Australia but big question is can they dismiss England very cheaply. DO they have any good idea's to dismiss Bell. It looks like most of the home sides are dominating in test matches in their home. England will struggle to beat same Australian side in Australia. The sorry state of Test cricket is that every side in their home conditions are dominating. Right now England is top in this series and will Australia do anything surprise in this test match.

  • Per on August 22, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge You may think it's a dead rubber, but the Poms certainly don't think so. They want blood after all these years of tormenting! Don't think for a min been a tightly contestedute that just because they're 3-0 up they are satisfied. I think that the Pommys are silly emough to forget it could SO EASILY have been 2-2. This has has been a tightly contested series where the poms are very lucky to be 3-0 up.They're looking to the big picture -the return trip down under!

    However, I do agree that with regards to Watto, it's way too early for judgement on him & the no 3 position. His rollercoaster career doesn't have a solid foundation as yet. To say that "he has arrived" after 1 good innings is just moronic!

  • Dummy4 on August 22, 2013, 6:02 GMT

    @Vinay - Something can't be history unless it actually happens. You can't forget things that did happen and implant a Watson innings in an alternative reality that is based on something that didnt happen - unless you're Dr Who

  • Bob on August 22, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    Remember this... One swallow does not a summer make.

  • Julian on August 22, 2013, 5:32 GMT

    Batting line up finally has some sense to it. Warner and Rogers make a good opening combination Warner the agressor and Rogers the compiler, Watson has all the attributes of a NO.3 he has a good technique, playes well off the front and back foot, can counter attack in any conditions and he plays the quickies well.

    Clarke and Smith are good players of spin and also can play in either mode defensive or attacking. They're very similar players apart from their current records ( Smith is your " poor mans " version of MJ Clarke ).

    As for the NO.6 the last remaining position I think Hughes and Khawaja have had their chance and need to go back to 1st class cricket and make another claim for a spot, so who is left ??? My self personally I like Shaun Marsh @ 6 he is a great counter attacker and can play spin and pace. He is perfect for this position as he can also attack and the end of an innings when the tail is folding. Closest thing to the best No. 6 Mr Cricket Michael Hussey

  • John on August 22, 2013, 4:03 GMT

    This was a good innings from Watson but it was again a fairly limited-overs-style innings on a fairly friendly pitch. As such, the doubt still remains that he has what it takes to tough out a big Test score regularly. It was difficult early on so credit to him there, although getting a start has never really been his problem. It would also have been tough after copping that blow to the head, so you have to admire his ability to concentrate after that. Really should have been caught by Cook on 104, so is that an indication that he let his concentration wane after reaching the hundred? He wouldn't be the first to do that of course.

  • Rajaram on August 22, 2013, 3:12 GMT

    At last! The successor to Ricky Ponting! I hope Shane Watson makes this position his own! I also suggest that Steve Smith moves up to Number 4 - he combines well with Shane Watson and Michael Clarke moves back to his favourite position of Number 5 where he has scored his best hundreds.

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