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The Real Enigma

Shane Watson is an interesting, if not perplexing, component of the current cricketing landscape in Australia (read X’s thoughts on him). Unlike an Andrew Symonds, who is extroverted, flashy and a good humoured Aussie larrikin, Swatson (as he shall hereafter be known) is introverted, a worrier and doesn’t seem to have much of a personality.

I don’t, for one second, pretend to know either. My opinions are merely based on what I have witnessed and read through the media (of the non-tabloid variety). The aforementioned characteristics are definitely not a predictor of their current/future success (or lack thereof), but they may go some way to explaining whatever they may eventually achieve in cricket.

For mine, Symonds wears his heart on his sleeve, whereas Watson will brood away internally. We know he’s unhappy, but will never find out the reason why. In my view, players like Michael Clarke and Symonds have achieved some success in their careers thus far, because they are open to failure. They don’t beat themselves up over it. They will hurt for a moment, but move on just as quickly.

I haven’t seen the Top End series that X referred to, but I have seen Swatson play test matches and ODIs. He will never be a Chris Cairns, simply because Cairns is a legend and nobody hits the ball as hard or as far as him. Nor will he be a Flintoff. Unlike Freddie, Swatson has a decent technique, which at times hinders his ball swatting abilities. As far as bowling is concerned, unlike Freddie, Swatson doesn’t make use of his height and is a "skiddy character" rather than one that one that bangs it in to disconcert his opponent.

Swatson’s first goal should be to develop balls that move off the straight and narrow, for a pitch-up bowler this drawback is akin to a wasp without a sting and makes him cannon fodder for Test-class batsmen. He must also become a correct/reliable batsman (as opposed to a Flintoff), who is able to smack it around the park on the odd occasion, if and when the stars are in alignment.

Until then, I would rather play Symonds or Michael Clarke at number six. They are as, if not more, likely to get wickets as the fifth bowling option and their batting prowess will, unfortunately, never be matched by Swatson.

Assuming, he has made some of these technical enhancements to his game during the Top End Series, Swatson should focus on getting his brain in order. I agree with X that he definitely is a talent, but I fear that his own head is his worst enemy. IMHO, he will go a long way by relaxing and remembering that this really is just a game. I'm sorry X, from the evidence at hand Swatson is not the way forward. My Mom always implored me to voice my feelings, maybe Swatson will be the way forward if he heeds this advice.

Tags: The Match Referee

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