The Telegraph
Thursday , April 17 , 2014
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‘Australia should follow the Rajasthan Royals model’

Mumbai: Australia have suffered mixed fortunes recently. While they have won the Ashes comprehensively and then defeated the top-ranked South Africa 2-1 in the latter’s backyard, they have failed to replicate the success in the World T20.

To put it bluntly, Australia’s form in the World T20 has been poor. And Shane Watson believes it will do them a world of good if they follow the Rajasthan Royals model.

“I think the biggest challenge for our Twenty20 team is to adapt to different conditions. We just haven’t been able to exactly adapt to the conditions,” the Rajasthan Royals captain said.

“And that’s something that I have certainly learnt through the Rajasthan Royals stint… How you are really able to maximise that talent and the skill set that you’ve got in and around the group. That’s something that the Australian team just haven’t been able to do.

“In Twenty20 cricket for Australia that’s primarily one of the reasons why we have faltered… If one or two players haven’t absolutely dominated a game, we’ve lost that one.

“On the other hand, what I’ve realised playing with Royals is that you don’t have to have one or two players to dominate a game. If everyone contributes to the team’s cause, you don’t need an outstanding player who will win you the game. So, I think that’s where Australia have faltered the most in Twenty20 cricket… It will do us a world of good if we can follow the Royals model,” he added.

Conceding his own poor form in the recently-concluded World T20 in Bangladesh, Watson hoped he could turn it around in the IPL.

“Well I was very poor in the last World T20. But the previous World T20 in Sri Lanka I got Player of the Series award. So I’m certainly hoping that I could turn that around in this IPL.”

Asked who would he choose — between his compatriot Mitchell Johnson and South Africa’s pace spearhead Dale Steyn — as the best pace bowler in the world currently, Watson said: “They are both very different bowlers, but they’re both incredible bowlers. Dale Steyn’s dominated for just about his whole career. His longevity as a fast bowler and what he’s been able to do is just incredible,” Watson said.

“And then you’ve got Mitchell who, especially in the last six months is as good as I’ve seen any fast bowler bowl. With how he’s been able to intimidate batsmen, how he’s just been able to bowl wicket-taking balls to those world class batsmen and also how he’s been able to sustain his speed and endurance throughout these Test matches he’s played as well is something that has been incredible to watch.”

Watson feels Australia have again turned into a formidable side and it would be hard to beat them when India tour Down Under. (PTI)