Australian all-rounder says his team expected India to attack with spinners and were prepared for it
Australia has been the most convincing team at the ICC World Twenty20 2012 so far, registering comprehensive victories in its first three matches and setting itself up as a genuine favourite for the title.
Shane Watson, the influential all-rounder, has been an integral part of Australia’s success, with man of the match awards in all three matches. He said it was essential for his team to win with the ruthlessness it has shown just to create an aura around it.
“There’s no doubt about that, especially being ranked where we were at the start of the tournament,” said Watson after pulverising India with ball and bat on Friday night. “We were No. 9 or No. 10 or something, very poorly ranked. The reason was that our T20 cricket was very inconsistent. We played some very good games and we played some poor games as well.
“We knew exactly what we had to do as individuals, but also within the team to fill our role and be at our best. We know that if we do that as a team, we are going to be very hard to beat on our day. We have started very well, but we have got to continue to play extremely well.
“We know how important Dave (Warner) and my role is at the top of the order to be able to set a platform for the rest of the batting unit and so far it has worked. We hope we continue to do that for a few more games anyway.”
India packed its side with three spinners but struggled with the ball, affected by a rain interruption that left the ball wet and hard to grip. “What I do know is that there was a bit of rain towards the end of our bowling innings,” said Watson. “We knew that the ball was going to get wet for us anyway, but in the end you have to make do with what conditions are given to you.
“India did go in with three frontline spinners and there was always a chance that there was going to be some rain around as there has been in the tournament so far, especially here in Colombo. In the end, you have to make the most of the situations and the conditions you have.
“We knew that India were going to hit us with quite a bit of spin. That is the competitive advantage they have over us but you can also never take for granted Zaheer Khan, especially. He is a very skilled new-ball bowler.
“I think I was lucky in a way that I have been able to play to play all their spinners through the IPL over the last few years so I know how they are going to bowl to me and how they are going to try to get me out. It was nice that it worked out well for me tonight, but those guys in the past have got me out quite a few times.”
Watson did point out that having to chase only 141 for victory had made things easier for him and Warner. “If you are chasing a lot bigger total than 140, you do have to take a lot more risks to the spinners and they are high quality, world-class spinners that we are playing against, especially Ashwin and Harbhajan who I have played a lot before,” he said. “We knew that that was going to be a really big challenge and it just worked out that we got a few boundaries away early.
“We were able to try and make the most of those five to six overs. It also helps having Dave, being the quality of player he is, but also a left-hander as well.”