Former Australia player Shane Watson has opened up on Australia’s poor show in the T20 World Cup match against New Zealand. He also suggested the team’s leaders look closely at how players have shuffled away from familiar roles as well.
Speaking around the launch of his book Winning The Inner Battle, released this week, Watson has also said that he held concerns for the tournament hosts as he saw their players being juggled around throughout the series against India and England before the marquee event.
While there were issues such as injuries, a demanding schedule and the need to make contingency plans around players like Cameron Green, Watson said that he doubted all players had clear ideas on their roles.
“You could put a broad brush and just say Australia was knocked off by the first over from Finn Allen, the way he took Mitch [Starc] down and go ‘New Zealand caught the Aussies by surprise and we weren’t good enough and got into a situation we couldn’t get out of because we lost so badly’,” Watson told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.
“But I was worried in the lead-up about our preparation because we were chopping and changing our batting order, chopping and changing our team. Yes, there was a lot of games of T20 cricket in the lead up and management of people’s workloads or keeping people fresh, I get that to a point. With a T20 World Cup coming up in your home country, so it’s front and centre with the Australian public, I was very disappointed they kept chopping and changing who was batting where because then people don’t fully and deeply understand their role. They’re not batting or bowling in those positions,” Shane Watson further added.
Shane Watson questions how Australia handled Mitchell Starc
He also gave the example of Mitchell Starc’s changing position in the bowling attack; Glenn Maxwell, who moved from the batting four in early games to No.6 in the all-important final match with Afghanistan, was another player who was shuffled around as well.
“Why does it come to the T20 World Cup where Mitch Starc all of a sudden after bowling the first over of the first game … moves to bowling at other times. There’s little things that they could have got on top of earlier. Even around Aaron Finch. Yes, it’s great that he scored runs against Ireland and he got into better positions more consistently in that game, then unfortunately strained his hamstring. But it took him a lot of games to find that. The selectors and coach committed to that so early,” Shane Watson concluded.