Monday, February 14, 2011

Shane Watson - An Admission

The Emergence
I still remember when this guy first came about. A tall, blonde, bits and pieces all-rounder, making his name against a useless England outfit many years ago. He revealed his signature hyena screams, as if every wicket he claimed was Tendulkar, batting brilliantly, in a World Cup final. I expected him to disappear quickly a la Shane Lee or Andy Bichel.
 Tenduuuulkaaaaaar. © Indian Premier League
The Return
A horror run of injuries kept him on the fringe, but not forgotten. Finally, constant stupidity from Andrew Symonds and a clutch of Aussies calling it a day meant that the stocks were low. From all the demolished sky scrapers came a reasonably tall apartment.

How I laughed though. Shane Watson a senior of Australian cricket? I put the boot into him, chuckling away when Roach cleaned him up first ball, how he profited from plenty of dropped catches, when Chris Gayle put him in his place.

I even joined subtly titled Facebook group The 'I Hate Shane Watson' Society.

The Rise
However in 2011, as Watson walked up to claim his second consecutive Allan Border's medal, my laughs stopped, the realization dawned. He is actually a decent cricketer.

Batting and fielding averages

Bowling averages

Those are very good numbers. Better than Flintoff and all of New Zealand. Looking past the cracks, he has a good attitude as an opening batsman. He sheds the temptation to be another Matthew Hayden, and is willing to play the long haul and focus on tight defence and restraining his shots. If he kept his frequently good starts going, he'd be more prolific than most test openers. In a team that is floundering, at least he gives them starts. 

Heck, even the monkey shrieks have eased up a bit.

The Admission
So here it is. I concede. Shane Watson has my respect.

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