Watson fancies being Australia's long-term opener

Posted By: Staff

Warwickshire (UK), Aug.3 (ANI): After top scoring for Australia in the first innings of the third Ashes Test with 62 and remaining unbeaten on 34 in the second innings of the same match going into the fifth and final day, all-rounder Shane Watson believes he can be Australia's long-term opening solution.

Watson, who came in for Phillip Hughes, said he believed he had the skill and temperament to survive against the new ball.

"I have absolutely loved the challenge of opening the batting and I feel now that I have the technique to be able to open the batting," The Australian quoted Watson, as saying.

"I have no doubt I have the mental and technical aspects to be able to open the batting and consistently do well. I just have to get out there and consistently perform to be able to be up there and form a really good partnership with Simon Katich," he added.

Watson has come a long way in the last 18months. Then, he had made four ducks in six innings and was averaging less than five.

"I was probably the most nervous I have been before I went out to bat the other afternoon, but once I got out there and got through a few overs I felt fine. I felt more confident and I really enjoyed the challenge of opening the batting, " said Watson.

Watson credits Greg Chappell, now head coach of Cricket Australia's Centre of Excellence in Brisbane, for the improvement in his batting.

In 17 one-day matches opening the batting, Watson has averaged 54 and scored two centuries.

"Previously my technique was a little bit more complicated. Greg Chappell is the guy I have really worked with closely over the past six months to be able to really simplify my game." (ANI)

Story first published: Monday, August 3, 2009, 13:00 [IST]
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