Buchanan says Watson is a long-term bet - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Buchanan says Watson is a long-term bet

By Greg Buckle 30/10/2005 08:20:59 PM Comments (0)

Australian coach John Buchanan has leapt to the defence of Test all-rounder Shane Watson after the Queenslander struggled against the West Indies in the drawn tour match at Allan Border Field on Sunday.

Watson, 24, took 0-84 as the West Indies hit a massive first innings total of 612.

The former Tasmanian has taken one wicket at 98 and hit 65 runs at 21.66 in his two Tests, but in his favour is the several years it took England's Andrew Flintoff to become the game's leading all-rounder.

"Whether he missed out in this particular game, I'm not sure that's of great significance," Buchanan said.

"I think he'll come into this Test series (starting at the Gabba on Thursday) booming with confidence about what he has done over the recent couple of years."

Buchanan freely admits Australia would love to have a Flintoff-like presence in the side.

"Obviously from an English point of view, Flintoff had an outstanding series, in terms of the impact that he made with bat and ball against us (402 runs and 24 wickets)," Buchanan said of Australia's Ashes tormentor.

"If you look at him (Watson) over a little period of time now we can actually see the improvement in his all-round abilities.

"That's I think what the selectors are very keen to see.

"Most all-rounders will always say one part of your game seems to go well in one match, and the other part is not quite as good as what it should be. Sometimes it all comes together and you can have a blinder.

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