Australia’s tour to India next month can’t be worse than the side’s 2013 campaign when he and three other players were suspended for a Test, former all-rounder Shane Watson said on Tuesday.
India dealt a 4-0 whitewash to the Aussies in 2013, a tour remembered for Watson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja being handed a one-Test ban for disciplinary breaches.
“It really can’t get any worse than what it was in 2013,” Watson told Cricket Australia’s website.
“So that’s a good starting point because that’s as bad as it can get, players getting suspended from a Test match. I’m sure that won’t happen this time.”
Australia have included three spinners in the squad to tour India, including uncapped leg-spinner Mitch Swepson. They also have all-rounders Ashton Agar and Glenn Maxwell.
“Obviously the way that you win over there is through spin bowling, but not necessarily just only spin bowling,” Watson said.
“The time the Aussie team won in 2004, they only had Shane Warne and three quick bowlers. It’s more so just playing to your absolute strengths, playing your best players, who’ve got the best chance of being able to play in those extreme conditions than what we’re used to.”
Watson recalled how the 2004-05 squad fed off the back of pace triumvirate Glenn McGrath, Michael Kasprowicz and Jason Gillespie working in tandem with leg-spinner Shane Warne.
Watson reserved rich praise for opener Matt Renshaw, saying he knows what to do and should just stick to his game plan.
“He knows his game incredibly well and I’m sure he’ll just stick to his game plan like he did in the Test matches he’s played. I’m sure he’ll have a lot of success,” Watson said.
“For a young guy to be able to have so much control over what he’s doing, shows he’s got what it takes to be successful in any conditions.”