Shane Watson’s first Test as captain ended in defeat. That too, under three days!
If that was not bad enough for Watson, the result also meant Australia lost four matches in a series for the first time since the 1978-79 Ashes series.
But the defeat in the final Test here was not as close at the scorecard suggests. Watson and his men knew they had evened out things early on Sunday before the match eventually turned India’s way.
“I thought we were definitely in the game. If we got to 150 and more, if we bowled well on that wicket, then we were going to give ourselves a very good chance. Unfortunately, things didn’t go exactly right with the ball,” said Watson soon after India’s six-wicket victory.
Reflecting on the 4-0 drubbing, Watson said, “It's extremely disappointing. We came here with high hopes of having a good series. And the 4-0 (margin) here is what we deserved. The Indians have totally outplayed us. We haven’t played to our best, unfortunately.”
Talking about the state of the pitch here, Watson point out, “If you saw a few of the dismissals, you’d probably realise that it wasn’t that easy to bat out there and that we are doing everything we possibly can. Sometimes a ball has got your name on it on a wicket like that. Sometimes, like I did today, you just play a bad shot.
“There is no doubt that these conditions were very difficult and very challenging, even for one of the greatest players ever to play the game. “Sachin Tendulkar struggled out there as well with the spin and the inconsistent spin and bounce. So I think that probably gives a few of us batsmen a little bit of encouragement that even one of the greats of the game struggled on that wicket.
When quizzed about his decision to change the batting-order, the captain said, “We knew how important it was to try and take on that new ball. It was always easiest to score when the ball was brand new. In those conditions, we knew how important it was to try and take the game on a little bit. Glenn Maxwell certainly has got the ability to do that. I thought it wasn’t going to mix up the batting-order too much and potentially could get the innings off to a flyer, to get us really going. Unfortunately it didn’t exactly work out to plan.”
Finally, on getting the taste of captaincy, Watson said, “I’ve absolutely loved it, to be totally honest. Of course, I’ll hand it back because Michael (Clarke) is the man, I’ve got no say in that. Even though I haven’t been able to contribute with run-scoring unfortunately, for the last three days I’ve had an absolute ball, being able to lead the guys. Whatever I asked of the team, everyone gave it absolutely everything. That’s all you can ask for.”