He may have an athletic built, but Shane Watson had to overcome injuries before coming into the limelight. The Australia all-rounder, who has performed consistently in all formats, spoke to HT about the influence of IPL on his career and his preparation for the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean. Excerpts
You seem to be switching nicely between the three formats. What’s the secret behind the consistency?
The last 14 months have been terrific because I have been consistent without getting injured. I am working hard, be it bowling or batting, because when I was younger I didn’t play consistently due to injuries. The amount of cricket I have played over the last 14 months, there was a chance I could get a niggle. I have come through nicely and that shows I am physically fit.
Year 2008 was very important as you got noticed in IPL I.
I can never say enough about the influence IPL and (Shane Warne) Warnie have had on my international career. I used to be a defensive bowler and the mindset was not to get hit for runs. Warnie turned that thinking around. He taught me how I should concentrate on getting wickets and that’s most important in any format. I am lucky to have been around with him.
ICC has ruled out a window for IPL. Your thoughts.
There has to be a window for different reasons. First, considering the quality of the tournament, it is important that international players are available to all teams. Second, I would love to play in the IPL every year because I get an opportunity to play with a player like Shane Warne, who helps develop my game significantly. Finally, it’s a celebration of world cricket playing outside a World Cup.
There will be a fresh auction in IPL IV? Will you stick to the Rajasthan Royals?
Definitely. I have developed an attachment that will stay for the rest of my life. The Royals gave me an opportunity when I needed a break to kick off my international career. I owe a lot to them.
Are you happy with your preparations for the T20 World Cup?
Absolutely. T20 is a different set of skills. The best preparation for the T20 World Cup is to play in the IPL. Guys who are playing here have an advantage over those who have not played T20 recently.