Dhoni batted unbelievably well to take the game away from us, says Watson
“We have to play aggressive cricket to be successful, especially since it is important to win this Test,” said Australian batsman Shane Watson, on Thursday, after the Aussies had their first training session ahead of the second Test against India at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here from March 2.
The 31-year-old disagrees with the opinion that Australia did not show the desired intensity in the Chennai Test. “It was very difficult at Chennai with the ball spinning so much,” he said.
“Dhoni batted unbelievably well to take the game away from us. The Indians showed us how to bat in such conditions, which are so alien to us. It is not possible to prepare by playing on spinning tracks for a month before a tour. There is so much of travelling to do now,” said Watson, who has played 39 Tests and scored 2,526 runs with two centuries.
Concerning the pitch at Hyderabad, Watson felt it was dry and should take turn as the match progresses. “It should be a good wicket with a lot of bounce and pace initially,” he said.
Referring to his batting slot, the flamboyant batsman said he had to open in Chennai (second innings) because David Warner had a few problems.
“I think No. 4 is my position in this team. But I love being an all-rounder — having the knowledge that you can make an impact on the game, especially when it is slipping away. We did have some plans before Dhoni changed the scenario as the wicket suited his batting technique,” he said.
Watson had an extended session, hitting the ball around, even as his teammates wound up training in the morning. “I was just trying to get that feel of what it can be against the spinners. The Indians set a specific field against me when I was batting in Chennai. I have to try different options here,” he remarked.
Watson stressed that an extra spinner could be a serious option for the Australians in the second Test. “There was a big contrast between India and Australia in Chennai in this regard. But a final call will be taken after a meeting with the captain, coach and selectors.”
On how the younger lot like Phillip Hughes and Matthew Wade are finding their feet against the spinners, Watson said there was talent and it was only a question of time and experience before they came good.
“There are times when you have to learn very quickly from your mistakes. Unfortunately, Hughes didn’t get much time in the middle.
However, there is no doubt that he would have learnt a lot from his brief innings in Chennai. He is a talented player and he knows how to score big runs,” said Watson.
Meanwhile, the Indians practised in the afternoon. Sachin Tendulkar, as usual, had a long session at the nets — first on the spin-friendly wicket and then on the adjacent fast strip, facing fast bowlers Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Dhoni, who had a chat with curator Y.L. Chandrasekhar and his team of groundstaff, looked pleased with the pitch. Tendulkar, too, had a close look at the wicket.