Watson on how Australia must counter India’s spinners

‘Find a method that’s going to not just survive but also score runs.’

Former all-rounder Shane Watson advised Australia’s batters to avoid using the cross-bat shots against India’s spinners in the upcoming four-Test series, while looking to not only survive but also score against spin.

“Using a straight bat to be able to hit off the back foot through the off side or the leg side. I wish I had got that through my head and then developed that instinct earlier because it’s much lower risk. All the good players, especially from India, very rarely do they use cross-bat shots, especially for a pull shot. They’ll hit it with a straight bat to be able to hit it through the leg side,” Watson, who scored 3731 runs and picked up 75 wickets in 59 Tests, told ESPNCricinfo.

“One thing I didn’t really do (in India) was just accept what I had at that moment in time, instead of trying to be someone else. I was thinking, ‘Should I use my feet this time to get out and cover the ball from spinning or should I sit deep in the crease’, instead of going, ‘Well this is what I’ve got right now, and this is the best way for me to try and have success,” he added.

Ahead of their departure from Australia and during their training camp in Bengaluru ahead of the first Test in Nagpu from February 9, Australia’s batters have prepared extensively for India’s spin attack comprising of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel.

Watson said Jadeja, with his accuracy, will be the one bowler to watch out for.

“Facing him when the ball is turning compared to when the ball is not turning is just chalk and cheese. It’s like you’re facing a different bowler when the ball is turning because he’s flatter, he’s faster, he’s accurate all the time. He’s always at the stumps,” he said.

“One will turn or one will skid through. He’s very hard to be able to work through as a right-hander, to find a method that’s going to not just survive but also score runs.”

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