Duty-bound Watson eyes better show

I know my game and my body better than ever, says Australian

But the recent tour of Sri Lanka saw Watson emerge as a true force as far as bowling in Tests is  concerned. The New South Welshman procured good reverse swing to trouble the Sri Lankan batsmen, perceived to be an unstoppable unit in home conditions.

Watson’s confidence and months of duteous work on his fitness mirrored in the long spells he bowled in Lanka, and the burly all-rounder admitted so.

“The amount of overs I bowled through the Test series is something I haven’t really done. To be able to know that my body can handle long spells, and to bowl that many number of overs… it was really exciting. Bowling was a part of my game that was put on the back burner for a while, especially in Tests. To be able to take my bowling to a place that I thought was non-existent was pretty exciting,” Watson said.

Watson said balancing his workload will be the key to him producing more such spells. “I have to balance my workload and I’ve done that pretty well through the Sri Lankan series. As I said, that’s the first time I’ve bowled that much. Hope I can bring it all together in future and continue the same way.”

With his bowling getting a lift, Watson said he was now feeling at the top of his craft. “Now, I know my game and body better than ever in my career. In that sense, I feel that I have developed as a player. It’s something I put in a lot of effort over the years. It’s something I learnt the hard way. As an athlete, you have to push your body and there are chances of you getting injured. I had my share of injuries in the past, so it was important to blend skill and fitness.”

However, Watson didn’t have a great series with the bat in Lanka. The right-hander said he’s been working with former opener Justin Langer, now Australia’s batting consultant, to improve his game. “I talk to him a lot about my batting. We are quite different players in how we play and approach the game. Bur there is no doubt that having Justin’s experience has helped me a lot. He’s got the best out of his talent, a very successful Test career. It helps me as an individual and also the team as a group.”

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