Australian all-rounder opens up over pain felt after disastrous trip.
Shane Watson has revealed that Australia’s controversial tour of India was the “lowest point in my cricket career”.
Not only did Australia suffer a 4-0 loss in a Test series concluded in March, team management axed four players, including then vice-captain Watson after the second Test for failing to complete “homework” set by coach Mickey Arthur.
“Whatever happened throughout India, certainly for me personally, was the lowest point in my cricket career, there’s no doubt about that,” all-rounder Watson said after making 135 in Australia’s four-wicket Champions Trophy warm-up win over the West Indies in Cardiff on Saturday.
“The decisions that were made were made for a reason and we certainly have to move forward as a team because we’ve got two series back-to-back of the biggest cricket we’ll ever play.”
Those two series are the Ashes campaign in England, starting in July, and the return contest in Australia later this year.
England hold the Ashes after a 3-1 triumph in Australia in 2010/11, with all three victories coming by margins of more than an innings.
“We’ve got a lot of big cricket coming up so we’ve got to put all the things that happened to us in India behind us,” said Watson, 32 later this month.
“We’ve got to find ways to get the best out of ourselves as individuals and as a team. If we don’t, then it could be a long 10 months. But if we’re able to bring it together then we could have a lot of fun.”
Meanwhile Watson refused to blame Arthur, much criticised for poor man-management at the time the four players were axed, for his temporary exile from the Australian side.
“If I had handed in my homework then I would have avoided it, that’s probably as simple as it was. I look back and I certainly would have done that and I wouldn’t have been in the situation that I was,” he said.
“There were certainly periods of time that things had been building up unbeknown to me, things that were really affecting certain people in the group but we’ve had to move because we’ve got so much big cricket coming up and it’s a dream to be part of back-to-back Ashes series.
“Whatever’s happened is certainly in the past. For me to be a part of hopefully this next little while of cricket continues to fuel my dream and also continue to realise the privilege I do have to play cricket for my country.”
Meanwhile Watson also ruled out any interest in captaining Australia in the Ashes.
“At this point in time, absolutely not.” he said.
“I stepped down as vice-captain for a number of different reasons but at this point in time, it was certainly the best thing for the team. I’m just here to get the best out of myself and help as much as I always do anyway.”
Australia, the defending champions, begin their Champions Trophy campaign against England in Birmingham on Saturday.