Shane Watson’s 101-run (61 balls) in Chennai could be likened to that mesmerising scene. A few years down the line when talking about the moments that made IPL 2013 special, Watson’s knock will be remembered with some mixed feelings.
It is not every day that such an innings is produced. And it is highly improbable that it ends up on the losing side. That’s the very thing that lends Watson’s first Twenty20 century its poetic quality.
After Rajasthan Royals’ heartbreaking five-wicket loss to the Chennai Super Kings, Watson was a bundle of mixed feelings. He was finally among the runs after a streak of low scores on Indian soil but those runs couldn’t help his team win. His brilliant innings was upstaged by an opposition batsman but he happened to be a man Watson so respects – Michael Hussey.
These mixed emotions came to the fore when Watson spoke to iplt20.com about his special innings, getting back to bowling after a gap of three months and a promise on behalf of his team to come back strong.
Do you finally feel at home in India now?
It’s nice to finally score some runs. I felt that I have been hitting the ball really well. In T20 you need a little luck as well to get your innings going. Unfortunately we weren’t able to finish well. It was an important game for us and we knew how crucial it was for us to be playing well against CSK.
Do you think a bit of support at the top order would’ve made a difference in the end?
I think 185 are a lot of runs on any ground. At the beginning of the match our mindset was probably 160-170 and we ended up with an above-par score. I thought Stuart Binny (36 off 22) was brilliant in the latter part of the innings to give us a further kick. We batted really well as a unit.
Not long ago you scored that stupendous 185 in an ODI. Today this whirlwind 101 – Do you feel differently on some days, do you just know that you’re going to do something special?
You do feel that way when you’re out there, more than anything else. At the end of the day you realise that when you woke up in the morning, things are going to be better than the last few games. But I think when you’re batting out there and a few things start falling your way, you just keep backing yourself. It’s amazing how certain days open up so beautifully for you and you actually have the day you dreamed about. These things don’t happen too often.
Is it a coincidence that this knock came a match after you started to bowl again?
It probably is! Look, I’m very excited to get back to bowling. It’s certainly something that I’ve missed in the last three months. It will probably take me another two games to fully find my feet and bowl exactly how I want to.
How’s the body holding up with the bowling?
I’m getting closer to being 100 per cent. A couple of more training sessions and games and my body will be absolutely ready to handle the rigours of bowling. It is holding up well generally but now it’s just the matter of it getting used to bowling again. On the whole I feel as good as I ever have. I’ve put in a lot of hard work during this period and hopefully, will reap the rewards for the coming 10 months or so. I was half-capacity without my bowling. It feels great to be bowling once again.
Mike Hussey stole your thunder?
Not at all! Any time you watch Michael Hussey bat, it’s a pleasure. To be able to see how much in control he is throughout the innings; it looks like he’s not taking any risks throughout his innings. We’re certainly going to miss him in the Australian team. One, he’s a great man but also the quality of his skills is amazing. Unfortunately he’s on the wrong side here but to watch him bat is always a great pleasure.