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Watson is grateful to Dravid

Bangalore: Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Watson on Monday said having former India skipper Rahul Dravid as team mentor has helped him develop as a cricketer quickly.

“To have Rahul as a mentor is unbelievable. My development is certainly continuing to evolve very quickly because of having him there. For me personally, I am extremely lucky to have him around,” Watson told reporters here.

“It was also an honour to have played with Dravid in the past, he added.

Talking about James Faulkner, who played a blinder of innings on Sunday against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Watson said the Tasmanian is continuing to evolve as a genuine all rounder for Australia.

“Faulkner has done it for Australia quite a few times — finishing off games against India for Australia in last one-day series here. He has been consistent for Australia and continues to do it. It is incredible how he is continuing to evolve as a genuine all rounder,” he said.

On Steven Smith, Watson said the Aussie all-rounder has incredible skills to hit the ball anywhere and hence for bowlers, he is a nightmare.

“Smith has got incredible skills to hit the ball in different areas. So, for bowlers it is very difficult to set the field for him — he is someone like AB de Villiers,” he said.

“Smith has the potential for handling pressure and is highly skilled batsman in all formats of the game and Royals are lucky to have in the team via auction.

“For Royals, James had a brilliant IPL last year with the ball. Smith is great addition.

“I know how well he handles pressure and is a highly skilled batsman in all formats of the game. So, we were glad to get him in the auction,” he said.

Watson also rated IPL as the best tournament he had played in, rating it above Big Bash.

“IPL is the best tournament that I ever played in. The calibre of players you play against certainly tests your skills,” he said.