Hobart (Tasmania, Australia), Jan.18 (ANI): Six months ago Shane Watson was not even in the Australian Test team, but now he has finished the summer as Australia's leading run-scorer and one of the world's top all-rounders.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Watson's figures this summer suggest the once-fragile Queenslander, who has spent years trying to keep his constantly faltering body on the park, should be included alongside Jacques Kallis, Dan Vettori, Dwayne Bravo and Stuart Broad among the world's in-form all-rounders.
The 28-year-old has churned out 609 runs for the summer at an intimidating average of 60.9, clear of captain Ricky Ponting (514 runs at 51.4) and opening partner Simon Katich (513 at 57).
His career averages after 16 Tests - nine of those coming since he was reinvented as an opening batsman - are starting to stack up. Watson averages 41.38 with the bat and, following his nine overs of reverse swing yesterday to remove Pakistan's two best batsmen, Mohammad Yousuf and Umar Akmal, he boasts a respectable average of 33.12 runs a wicket.
He still has a long way to go to match his idol - South African champion Kallis averages 54.8 with the bat and 31.3 with the ball over 134 Tests - but he is heading in the right direction.
"I see myself, opening the batting especially, as being a batting all-rounder so my batting is number one and that needs to continue to improve and get up there and be the best it can possibly be. Of course, I would love to keep my average around 30 with the ball because it means I am contributing with the ball as well. That would be the dream thing, to be able to continue my career along that path," said Watson, who has been a vital partnership breaker this summer with 13 wickets.
"I think I can definitely continue to improve on [those numbers] because I feel I'm only getting better. This summer has been a learning curve for a number of different reasons, whether it's with my bowling or batting, continuing to challenge my game and my mental application, especially. I believe I can definitely continue to get better because the more you play the more you learn and I would love to be able to sustain what I have been able to do. But cricket is a funny game and you've got to make the most of your good times because you don't always have good days," he added. (ANI)