Sydney Test: Watson, Asif return from where they had started

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Sydney, Jan.2 (ANI): The second Test match between Pakistan and Australia starting Sunday (January 3) here would see two players from both the teams returning to the place where they had made their Test debuts five years ago.

Both Australian all-rounder Shane Watson and Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif had a rather forgettable start to their Test careers, but they would taking the field on Sunday as one of the senior players of their respective sides who have great responsibilities on their shoulders, the Daily Times reports.

Who would have thought that Watson, who has played just 14 Tests since making his debut at the SCG, would open the batting for his side after having been stuck in between greats like Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne at No. 7 during his initial days at the international level.

"It seems so long ago, my Test debut here. It's amazing how at the time I thought I was ready to go. I thought I was in a good place back when I was a youngster, but you don't realise how much you can learn and the things you really can develop as a batsman, as a cricketer and as a person," Watson recalled.

Australia had defeated Pakistan in the 2005 Sydney Test by nine wickets. The win was largely due to the first innings double-century by Ricky Ponting and the 13-wicket haul from the two spinners Stuart MacGill and Shane Warne.

This time around it Pakistan which likely to press into service its two spinners Danish Kaneria and Saeed Ajmal on a pitch that is likely to offer some bite to the spinners despite the green covering.

Recalling his first Test, Watson spoke about Kaneria's tight spell and said that the leg spinner would be a dangerous addition to the visitor's bowling attack.

"He knows how to bowl well here in Sydney. He does get a lot of revs on the ball, whether it's his top-spinner, his leggie or his wrong'un. He will definitely be a big challenge, there's no doubt about that, and I think it will give them a little more firepower with it spinning in Sydney," Watson said.

"It's going to be a big challenge and as a batting unit hopefully we can make sure he doesn't have the Test that he really wants," he added.

On the other hand, Asif would surely want to improve on his debut performance of 0-88 from 18 overs when he goes on to the field on Sunday. (ANI)

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