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Australia owe it to fans to restore pride: Watson

cricket Updated: Dec 28, 2010 14:28 IST

AFP
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Shane Watson says Australia owe it to their fans to restore damaged pride in the final Sydney Test with England expected to retain the Ashes in the fourth Test in Melbourne on Wednesday.

Australia are staring at their second defeat of the series some time on the fourth day, chasing down a massive 415 runs to make England bat again, yet reaching stumps on the third day at 169 for six.

Watson, who topscored with 54 in another flawed Australian batting performance, was candid about what Australia had to do in next week's fifth Sydney Test after being dominated by England in the Melbourne match.

"We have to try and restore some pride. It's been extremely disappointing to play the way we have in Adelaide (second Test) and here especially," Watson said.

"The Australian fans have come out to support us and we really haven't given them anything to support.

"We really have to go out there in Sydney and try to keep some of our supporters and fans on side, because unfortunately the way we've played we might have turned a few people off, so we are going to have to restore that."

Watson said it was a "horrendous" prospect failing at home to win back the Ashes off England, who have looked the better equipped and prepared team for much of the series.

The tourists are bidding to become the first England team since 1986-87 to win an Ashes series Down Under.

"It's horrendous to be totally honest. Going into this Ashes series we knew how important it was going to be to actually win the Ashes because Australia hasn't lost the Ashes in Australia for 24 years," he said.

"We knew that if we didn't win the Ashes it was going to be very disappointing for us personally to be involved in that type of history.

"It was also very disappointing for our fans to be a part of something like that."

Watson said he anticipated an inquest into the Australian performance in the series.

"There's no doubt there will be some thinking going on to find the reasons exactly why we've performed the way we have in certain Tests and finding ways to be able to improve because we don't want to continue the way we have," he said.

"It's extremely disappointing and you don't want to play in losing sides, so we've definitely got to find ways of turning it around... it's not great at the moment."

Watson also accepted the blame for the run out of his young opening partner Phillip Hughes after the pair had comfortably put on 53 for the first wicket.

Inexplicably Watson scurried off for a risky single to cover only for Jonathan Trott to swoop in and effect the run out.

Hughes, fighting for his Test career, looked a shattered figure as he trudged from the ground after scoring 23 off 30 balls.

Watson has been involved in six run outs in 26 Test innings and has been run out just once.

"I thought there was a run, but obviously there wasn't. The gap was closed down quite quickly, so it was my fault," Watson said.