Shane Robert Watson
June 17, 1981, Ipswich, Queensland
Right hand Bat
Right arm Fast medium
Shane Watson overcame the limitations of a fragile, injury-prone body to become one of Australia's premier allrounders of the 21st century.
As a bowler, he developed into one of Australia's best exponents of reverse swing, and if he was not claiming wickets himself he was often building pressure at one end. As a batter, he was a broad-chested attacker in the Matthew Hayden mould, blessed with enough power to not have to muscle shots to get them to the rope, and with finesse to boot.
Always a dangerous striker in the shorter formats, Watson clubbed Bangladesh for 185 in an ODI in 2011. In the T20 World Cup the following year, he was the Player of the Tournament for his 249 runs, the most by anyone in the tournament, and 11 wickets (second most). In the IPL, he won the title with Rajasthan Royals in the first year of the tournament, and in 2018, his first season with Chennai Super Kings, he powered them to the trophy with 117 off 57 balls in the final.
Despite an athletic figure made for photo shoots, Watson's frame was so brittle it threatened to break him. He suffered recurrent back stress fractures, hamstring strains, calf problems, hip complaints, and more in his career, but prevailed, changing his training and giving up alcohol, but not his dream. The sacrifice and effort paid off in 2009, when he was chosen as a Test opener in the middle of the Ashes series. After two scores in the 90s and an 89, he brought up his first Test hundred at the MCG against Pakistan. A productive few years as a Test opener led to back-to-back Allan Border Medals, but then injury interceded again. Though Watson returned to the team in 2012, he spent the rest of his Test career floating up and down the order in search of a place to call his own.
In 2013, he became Australia's 44th Test captain when he led the team to a three-day loss in Delhi in place of the injured Michael Clarke. He gave up the vice-captaincy after that tour and played for another two years before being dropped during the 2015 Ashes, after which he announced his retirement from Tests. The following year, he called it quits in all international cricket after the T20 World Cup.
Batting & Fielding