SYDNEY Australia all-rounder Shane Watson admitted his call up to the squad for a home Twenty20 series against India has come as a “pleasant surprise” after he was overlooked for the ongoing one-day international series against the same opponents.
Since his final appearance in September, Australia have preferred Mitchell Marsh to Watson, who retired from tests after last year’s Ashes series in England, for the all-rounder slot in the one-day team.
The 34-year-old, once the golden boy of Australian cricket, conceded that he may never be picked for the 50-over format again after he failed to earn selection for the five-match series against India that the hosts currently lead 3-0.
“It is a pleasant surprise,” Watson told reporters on Monday, indicating his form for Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League had contributed to the call up.
“It came down to me really wanting to play for the Thunder and doing well for them over this BBL, and whatever happened from there with the Aussie side of things I wasn’t worrying about it at all anymore.
“After being dropped from the one-day squad, I knew that my international days were probably nearly over. So it’s nice to get that surprise and get that call from (chief selector) Rod Marsh yesterday.”
Watson’s rise to prominence after a poor start in the BBL forced selectors to take notice and he could also be in line for a spot in Australia’s squad for the World Twent20 in India, starting in March.
Watson said he worked with former South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis, who also plays for Thunder, made a few adjustments and has felt good about his batting again.
“It’s very nice to still be one of the old guys even though I don’t feel that old. Thirty four didn’t seem that old when I was playing but it is nowadays with the amount of cricket that’s being played,” added Watson, who has been a regular feature in Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 tournament.
“That would be the goal (World T20) that’s for sure. It’s nice to know I’ve had a lot of experience over in India, playing a lot of IPL tournaments and having some success over there as well.”
(Writing by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by John O’Brien)