Freddie’s tips helps Watson to blossom

November 18th, 2008 - 4:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Nov 18 (IANS) Australian cricketer Shane Watson revealed that tips from Andrew Flintoff helped him blossom as an all-rounder.During the 2005 Ashes, Watson sat down to pick the brains of Flintoff on the art of the all-rounder. Watson said he was only starting to understand the knowledge Flintoff imparted.

Flintoff stressed to Watson the difficulty of excelling with both batting and bowling at any given time, urging him to accept the fickle nature of the tools of their trade.

“I always expected to be able to do both (bat and bowl) absolutely perfectly and contribute heavily with both aspects,” Watson was quoted as saying by The Age.

“But I remember in 2005 I sat down and had a chat with ‘Freddie’ Flintoff about being an all-rounder. (He said) it’s either your bowling’s going really well or your batting’s going really well. But when it comes together in one day or one game, you feel like you are just about invincible,” he said.

Watson, who is now pondering over his selection for the first Test against New Zealand starting in Brisbane Thursday, said that during the India series he remembered Flintoff’s words.

“Throughout that Test series in India, I understood exactly what he’s saying, being able to go through it. Sometimes I was able to contribute with the bat, at the start of the tour especially and then mentally had to make sure I was up for my bowling as well. And vice versa. It was a massive learning curve, especially on that aspect. It makes a lot of sense what ‘Freddie’ said,” he said.

With chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch keen to play a specialist spinner against New Zealand it could mean Andrew Symonds’ return to Test cricket and the axe will fall on Watson despite the good form.

But the overcast conditions in Brisbane could yet be the ace up Watson’s sleeve as the Gabba track will be destined to help fast bowlers.

“I still don’t know where I’m going to fit in, or if I am. If it’s overcast like this it definitely gives me an advantage because of the way I bowl. That does not mean I’m going to get picked either,” he said.

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