Auckland, Feb 25:
Underperforming Shane Watson Wednesday said he feels like ending a run drought when Australia take on New Zealand in a World Cup Pool A game at the Eden Park here on Saturday.
The 33-year-old all-rounder is under pressure to retain his place in the side, especially with regular skipper Michael Clarke and James Faulkner returning to the side after injuries. Watson had scores of 16, 41, 22, 34, 0 and picked up a wicket in the last five One-Day Internationals (ODIs).
“It’s crunch time for me to score runs in general. I didn’t score runs in the first game which was very disappointing – to not get through that first ball. I think it’s important for me to score runs any time,” he was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.
“But I’m doing everything I possibly can. I do feel it’s coming along well, I just haven’t scored runs.”
Watson has made adjustments to his technique and most recently consulted Dean Jones for advice. He could probably have used a hitout last Saturday against Bangladesh in Brisbane more than anyone – even the returning Clarke – in an effort to find his groove but was denied that chance due to rain.
“I didn’t get through the first ball in the first game against England and unfortunately didn’t get a chance to play against Bangladesh. I actually feel like I’m hitting the ball well. I just need to give myself a chance to get in some innings and get things rolling.”
He almost certainly will play, of course, offering selectors both bowling and experience to go with, they hope, what he’s done at past World Cups with the bat.
“I’ve been in and around a number of World Cup campaigns. I know what to expect and I know it doesn’t always go exactly to plan as well,” Watson said.
During a training session Wednesday, Watson was swatting them cleanly to all corners, one bludgeoned ball even flying into the main arena, but facing Trent Boult and Tim Southee is far different to a throwdown.
“I just want to score runs and I want to perform. That’s really what it is, and that’s what I’m working extremely hard on and always have to be able to continue to expand my game and give myself the best chance to be able to perform every single game.” IANS