'I wanted to become like Flintoff': Watson

Published: Saturday, August 21, 2010, 15:17 [IST]
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Watson feels he has finally bloomed

Australia all-rounder Shane Watson feels he has finally proved his mettle in international cricket after trying too hard to become the Australian answer to Andrew Flintoff earlier in his career.

The Queenslander started out as a middle-order batsman and pace bowler, wanting to become like Andrew Flintoff but was frequently in and out of the side due to injuries in his quest to become like Flintoff for Australia.

But he has matured to be a regular Test opener for the Kangaroos and has been outstanding since last summer's Ashes series. He has flourished in the role, scoring 990 runs at 47.14 and adding 24 wickets at a cost of 21.95.

"I became obsessed with being Australia's Freddie Flintoff, I wanted to be that player so much I pushed myself but that actually held me back," Watson told September's edition of The Wisden Cricketer.

"No-one knew what was going wrong with my body. I had no answers and no-one could help me.

"Now I am having the time of my life. For so long people didn't know if I was good enough and the truth is I didn't know either but that's now over. I have proved I can do it."

The Australian side will get the chance to avenge England's 2009 Ashes success when Andrew Strauss' side return Down Under this winter and Watson is confident of a healthy competition during the series.

"The difference with England now is they have guys who are consistent performers, not who do it now and again, they have guys who can really turn it on," he said.

"Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad will be big, big players, and England know they can beat us.

"But we have the advantage of knowing our conditions and we are better cricketers than in 2009, hardened by that defeat. We know this could be the defining moment in our careers.

"I hope I have only scratched the surface of what I can do for Australia."


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