It wasn’t just Watson (57), but skipper Ricky Ponting (77) too missed out on a ton. “No doubt it was disappointing that no one got a hundred today because it was a good wicket,” said Watson. “It is one of those things that happens on certain days. You never mean to get out and we are hoping we will get some more partnerships going tomorrow morning. With these conditions, we should get a good total in the first innings like we did in Mohali.”
Commenting on his good form in the series, he said: “I have played some important games now and it feels more comfortable out there in different grounds and understanding the different conditions. A little bit of time off also helped me refresh my mind. And I have set my goals for the next eight to ten months that are coming up.”
With only two specialist batsmen left, Watson expected Marcus North (43 batting) to get to three-figures. “Marcus is looking very good. He started his innings beautifully. He hit with the middle of the bat on most occasions. It is always a delight to watch Marcus in flow. He is going to be the key man for us to post a good total out there. Ricky also batted beautifully out there today and it is obviously disappointing that he did not get a big one,” he offered.
The all-rounder thought the moist conditions here may offer some conventional swing to pacemen. “The wicket is nice, a little tacky. Usually in India, there are footmarks and it is dusty and it turns from early on. Out there in these conditions, there is more moisture as well that will help conventional swing. The wicket is playing very true and is a really nice batting one, there has been a bit of carry for the quicks as well,” he pointed out.
It was good to a see strong, noisy crowd on the first day of a Test, but their booing of Aussie players was totally uncalled for. “I didn’t know anything about it, I thought they were cheering,” said Watson, trying to play down the issue.