Australia Cricket Players
Shane WatsonShane Robert Watson (born 17 June 1981 in Ipswich, Queensland) is an Australian cricketer. He debuted for the Australian cricket team in 2002, playing his first one-day international against South Africa. While he has become a regular member of the one-day squad, Watson has played few Test Matches for Australia, having debuted against Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground in January 2005. Despite being allocated to be Australia's designated Test all-rounder, injuries have prevented him from claiming his position in the Test team.
Watson started his first-class cricketing career for Tasmanian Tigers after leaving his home state of Queensland, but returned to play for his native Queensland Bulls as his international career was beginning. He has also played for Hampshire in the English County Championship. He regards Terry Alderman as one of his mentors.
Watson was selected for his first Australian team in early 2002, being selected to tour South Africa with the Test team after topping the Pura Cup wicket-taking charts for Tasmania, as well as steady middle-order batting performances. Australian captain at the time Steve Waugh stated that Watson would possibly be Australia's first genuine all rounder since Keith Miller and Alan Davidson in the 1950s.
Watson's injury sidelined him until the 2003/04 Australian season, and during his rehabilitation he played most of the season as a batsman, allowing himself to improve his batting skills while his back was still healing. During this time he smashed an unbeaten 300* for his club side, Lindisfarne.
Watson returned to regular ODI duty in the 2004/05 season, as a bowling all rounder. He also played in the Third Test against Pakistan as the fifth bowler, in order to allow Australia to play two spinners and three pace bowlers on a dry Sydney Cricket Ground pitch.
Watson had been previously criticised for his relatively flat bowling trajectory and inability to move the ball, reflected in his relatively high bowling average. Jamie Cox, a former Tasmanian team-mate and future Australian selector, felt that Watson was being mis-used as a bowling allrounder, believing that he was better suited as a conventional batsman and part-timer bowler, rather than a bowler who engaged in power hitting in the latter part of an innings.
This changed when Watson opened the batting for Australia at the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy, alongside wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist, instead of Simon Katich. In the competition he impressed with both the ball and bat, as Australia moved to their first Champions Trophy victory. Critics and captain Ricky Ponting cited his better strike rate, straight hitting and the ability to bowl as the reasons why he was selected ahead of Katich. After failing in the first two matches against the West Indies and England, Watson made a 50 in Australia's victory over India, which sealed their place in the semi-finals.
Ponting suggested that Watson would bat at the number 6 position in the Ashes series against England in 2006/07, and he was named in the squad. However, he came off the ground in a one-day domestic game the week before the first Test with a suspected hamstring tear, which ruled him out for the first three Tests. Michael Clarke was called up in Watson's place, and responded with a half-century, and then a century to cement Clarke's place in the team.
Watson was expected to be fit for the fourth Test on Boxing Day and the MCG in Melbourne, and because of Damien Martyn's unexpected retirement, it looked likely that Watson would be included in the side. However, another injury setback in a match for Queensland ruled Watson out for the rest of the Ashes series. Watson eventually returned in February to the ODI side, replacing Cameron White in the all rounder position, However he again broke down with injury during the 2007 Cricket World Cup and missed most of the Super 8's before returning in fine style smashing an unbeaten 65 of 32 balls against New Zealand. Injury again struck Watson prior to the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 as he missed most of the tournament due to hamstring strain.