Shane Watson says Flintoffs advice in 2005 paid off during India tour

November 18th, 2008 - 3:09 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, Nov 18 (ANI): Australian all-rounder Shane Watson, who impressed with both bat and ball in the just concluded four-Test series against India which his side lost 0-2, has said that a chat he had with England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff during Ashes 2005, made him draw lessons about how to give an outstanding all-round performance.

He said lately he had started understanding the message which Flintoff gave him three years ago.

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 Freddy said, the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Watson as saying.

In his bid to emulate Flintoff’’s heroics, Watson spoke with him on the art of the all-rounder. Watson said he was only now starting to understand the knowledge Flintoff imparted, with the Indian tour the catalyst to unlocking the meaning within the message.

Flintoff stressed to Watson the difficulty of excelling at 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 said and added: But I remember in 2005 I sat down and had a chat to Freddy 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”re just about invincible.

As he continues to ponder his participation in the first Test against New Zealand, which starts in Brisbane on Thursday, Watson said his meeting with Flintoff, then cricket’’s most destructive player, was only now starting to pay dividends.

A day ago, Watson had said that he would welcome Andrew Symonds selection for the first of the two Tests starting in Babba on Thursday, saying he was a great team man and an experienced player.

But, today he said: If I get the opportunity I”d love to have a crack at it. There was three quicks in the last Test match and two spinners, and I felt I was able to hold up my end really well and get some wickets as well. (ANI)

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