'India Test tour did it for me'

Watson says he owes development to last years visit to land of spin


On a mission: Shane Watson is relishing the opportunity of making a contribution with both ball and bat. Reuters

“Last October’s trip was one of the best chances I have had in my career, to have played in India on turning wickets and with the ball reversing,” said the 28-year-old Queenslander.

“They were really strange conditions to what we are used to in Australia. I learnt so much on that tour. Unfortunately, we did not get the result we wanted,” Watson said about the visit that ended with Australia being beaten in the four-Test rubber. “My game has come along especially in the last six months. I just want to continue (in the same vein) and perform,” he said.

Watson, on a high after back-to-back hundreds in the semifinals and final of the Champions Trophy in South Africa and helping his country retain the crown, said it took him some time to understand the intricacies of playing well in big games. Watson also pointed out that Australian skipper Ricky Ponting was the ideal man to learn from about how to go about playing big games.

“We have one of the best in the business Ricky, who has scored so many runs in the big games. He’s a great guy to learn from,” he said.

Watson felt the current tour gave a very good chance for players not used to Indian conditions to get acclimatised especially with the 2011 World Cup coming up in the sub-continent.

“It’s a very important trip especially for the guys who have not been here before and played in Indian conditions.

“We need to get used to the conditions, understand what our strengths are. The next couple of times we come here are a very big foundation for the 2011 World Cup,” he said.

Watson did not lay too much emphasis on pace spearhead Brett Lee’s prediction of a 7-0 whitewash. “It seems he’s taken over from (Glenn) McGrath (of uttering such outrageous predictions). Of course, we want to win every game. But to me the most important thing is winning the series. 4-3, 7-0 whatever it is,” Watson said.

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