When Shane Watson shone in the face of Wahab Riaz’s fiery bowling
Shane Watson withstood the fury of Wahab Riaz and took his team to victory over Pakistan. (Source: Reuters)
It just had to be. Australia versus Pakistan had to be about pace bowling. Wahab Riaz bowled one of the best spells of pace bowling in World Cups and it will be remembered for long. (Full Coverage| Points table| Fixtures)
But it will also be about the person who faced the music. Shane Watson might have been short on confidence and form, but he survived the fierce spell to take Australia into the semi-final.
Watson took his time. He was two off 11 balls, 13 of 27 and finished with 64* off 66. The first phase was when Wahab was banging it in short. Once Wahab was exhausted, Watson looked at ease. One example was the pull he played of Sohail Khan. He failed to execute the same shot when Wahab bowled it short. However, he did not lose his calm and hung in there. Displaying his temperamentm Watson avoided the short stuff from Wahab as well as the flying kiss.
Steve Smith may have looked the better batsman but Watson lend an able hand to him. After playing a second fiddle in that partnership, Watson stepped-up and played a solid role. It was all about grit, not brilliance or flair. He might not have been the star, but the crucial innints was important in the context of the game as Australia had lost three wickets cheaply when he came in.
Watson will always rate this innings as one of his best ones. Some may say he was given a life. But isn’t that how cricket is?
Players like Virender Sehwag, Glenn Maxwell, David Warner and Shahid Afridi wouldn’t have been the batsman they are today had ‘life’ not been a part of cricket. Watson got one and made the most of it. He dropped his shoulders brilliantly to the bouncers, played the drives all along the carpet and made sure that nothing goes in the air and Australia do not go out of the tournament.
Source:: Indian Express