Watson warms to opening

Since being thrown together with Katich following Phillip Hughes’ axing, Watson has scored 716 runs at an average of 65. The Katich-Watson combination averages 71 and has given Australia a solid foundation at the start of each innings.

The pair proved instrumental in helping Australia to an emphatic victory in the opening Test against Pakistan, putting on a 180-run stand in the first innings before Watson added an unbeaten century in the second -- his first in five-day cricket. “My main job now is as an opener. The most important thing for me is to go out there and score runs and set up the innings for the team,” he said.

“I definitely see myself more as a batsman at the moment because of the role I am playing within the team,” Watson was quoted as saying in the media.

On his partnership with Katich, Watson added: “Simon and me are continuing building some good platforms for our team and that’s what we’re there for. We’re having a lot of fun out there and I think every time we go out, we continue to grow and develop as an opening pair.” Australia face Pakistan again at the SCG from Sunday. The second Test marks five years to the day since Watson made his Test debut, also against Pakistan.

And he now understands the bond needed between openers, best illustrated by the partnership between Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer for Australia in recent years.

“We’ve got a very good rapport -- we always have -- and being part of an opening partnership is something very unique to me and something I’ve never experienced before,” Watson said. “It’s the same thing every single time you go out to bat, whereas when you’re batting in the middle order, you never know who you’re going to be batting with.”

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