No reason why India can't emulate Waugh's Australia: Shane Watson

TOI

TOI

Author 2019-10-15 13:18:00

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CHENNAI: The inaugural edition of the ICC World Test Championship is still in its early stages, but India have already rocketed to 200 points after four games and taken a handsome lead over their rivals. On Sunday, India completed their eleventh successive home series win when they thrashed South Africa by an innings and 137 runs in Pune.

With the Men in Blue seemingly ticking all the boxes at the moment, it will be intriguing to see whether Virat Kohli's boys can achieve the sort of dominance that the famed Australian team of the late 1990s and 2000s did. Kohli, of course, has spoken on many occasions of his keenness for the current bunch to leave behind a lasting legacy.

All-rounder Shane Watson, who shared the dressing room with many Australian greats during an illustrious career, believes that the Indian team has the tools to replicate the Aussies.

"There is no doubt that India have got the depth in all facets, whether it is batting, bowling or fielding. And there is further strength that is coming through as well. To have the luxury of someone like Rohit Sharma coming in and opening the batting in Tests indicates that the depth in Indian cricket is incredibly strong. They have shown that they can not only win at home but win away as well. Look, it is going to be hard to replicate what Australia did under Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting, but there is no reason why India can't. They have got an incredible team," Watson said during an event at the Velammal Vidyalaya school here on a hot and sultry Monday morning.

The 38-year-old also shared his thoughts on the uncertainty surrounding MS Dhoni's international future. The wicketkeeper-batsman hasn't played for India since the World Cup and is currently on a break that extends till November. What does Watson make of his CSK teammate's situation?

"Dhoni can do whatever he wants. He is still playing incredibly well and as we saw during the IPL, he has still got the skills. It comes down to whatever he wants to do. He is still very fit. He moves incredibly well and is really fast running between wickets. Whatever he wants to do is the right thing because he knows where he stands and what he wants to do. He has done it all," Watson opined.

On his own form with the bat in particular, Watson was equally forthcoming. While he had played a starring role in CSK's IPL triumph in 2018, his most recent campaign for the three-time champions wasn't as successful.

"It's great to be back here in Chennai. In the lead-up to the IPL, I have got the PSL, T10 league as well as club cricket among other things. There is plenty of cricket for me to play before the IPL next season. My form was up and down during the last IPL. The conditions were very different to the previous years that I have played in the IPL. But I am still hitting the ball really well. I am just getting back into it. I am taking a bit of time off and making myself ready to have the chance to play for Chennai again," the hard-hitting allrounder added.

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