Watson confident of reclaiming the baggy green cap

Sydney, Sep 3 (UNI) As Andrew Symonds is almost certain to miss the next month's tour to India, injury-plagued Australian all-rounder Shane Watson is confident of coming up to the demands of a steep Indian Test and will reclaim the baggy green cap he last wore in 2005.

The 27-year-old hard hitting batsman missed the first clash of the ongoing three match ODI series against Bangladesh at Darwin due to calf soreness as Australia was reduced to 11 available players after the decision came to send Symonds home for a disciplinary breach.

Watson's career has been left with injuries and there are obvious concerns over how his body will cope with four Tests in the oppressive sub-continental hotspot.

However, Watson has insisted that he has never been in better shape before after he has cut down with workload of a once over-the-top training regimen.

''I'm in physically the best shape I've ever been in my career.

I've made such amazing inroads with my fitness,'' he said.

''The most important change is that I'm not over-training these days. I have realised that you don't lose your talent in a day and I don't keep training any more just for the sake of it. I do whatever bowling or whatever training I need to do to get my workload in, and that's it,'' Watson, who bagged the Man of the Series title with 472 runs and 17 wickets for Shane Warne's victorious Jaipur franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL), said.

However, after the IPL, he returned to the Australian one-day team during the tour of the Caribbean this year in place of an injured left-handed opening batsman Matthew Hayden.

Inspite of Symonds' situation, Watson would have been in Australia's squad to tour India. But suddenly he is no longer the back-up all-rounder.

Watson has indeed never been given so much time to shine at the Test level, although his partnership-breaking medium pace has always been rated ahead of Symonds' off-spin.

But due to Symonds being on the Test side, there was little light at the end of the tunnel. But now the all rounder has a huge opportunity ahead in the Indian tour.

Watson, who has returned from a broken toe in today's One-dayer against Bangladesh held at Darwin and scored 29 runs, it seems that the chance of Symonds to come back to the team is unexpected.

''India is an extremely intriguing and challenging place and it would be amazing to get an opportunity on that tour,'' Watson said.

''But one thing I have learned over the years is to concentrate on the current and not worry too much about what is coming up.'' UNI XC PY RKM KN1815

Story first published: Wednesday, September 3, 2008, 18:35 [IST]
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