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Watson can still be a great allrounder
Brett Lee
16:00 AEST Thu Feb 7 2013

Brett Lee is a former Australia pace bowler who was both feared and respected by batsmen around the world. He is now a regular member of Channel Nine's cricket commentary team.
Brett Lee

Shane Watson was outstanding against the West Indies in Canberra, leading from the front and being switched on right from the first ball of the match.

I spoke to Watto before the game and he was very excited and really keen to get out there and post a big score. Watson's future – whether he chooses to be an allrounder or a specialist batsman, should be up to him. He's good enough to be in the Aussie side purely as a batsman, but as an allrounder he would be Australia's greatest asset.

If Watto continues to get niggling injuries from his bowling I'm sure he'd much rather be in the team just as a batsman than not playing at all. But it's not for fans or selectors to judge this, it comes down to how much Watto wants to continue with his bowling. I know how much he enjoys bowling and he has a very good record in both Tests and one-day matches. I think he can do both successfully in the future.

Mitchell Starc has been very impressive in the first three games of the ODI series. When you have a left-armer bowling 145km/h, swinging the ball back into the right-hand batsmen it is a huge weapon. A left-armer's late inswing to the right-hander is one of the toughest balls to face in world cricket and that is when Starc creates the most trouble.

Mitch was always on the radar coming through the ranks at NSW. As soon as he came into the Blues set-up everyone knew he had something special and that he would be a huge talent. It was a matter of harnessing all that energy he had as a young guy. He was a little bit erratic to begin with, as we all were, but he has worked hard on his action and putting the ball in the right areas. He doesn't just float the ball up there and swing it, he is hitting the wicket hard and with late swing.

When Mitch started playing at NSW he was still learning about himself as a bowler, but he is a fast learner – he doesn't learn season by season, but game by game and that is now paying off for him.

I'm a little disappointed with the West Indies as I thought they would be more competitive than they have been. The Windies need their powerhouses of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Darren Sammy to fire and those guys just haven't done so thus far. When you have two or three superstars in your side and they haven't got a run between them it makes it hard to post a big score.

The West Indies bowling was too leg-side in Canberra. They need to bowl a more traditional Test match line to the Australian batsmen and set better fields. Too many balls drifted towards leg stump, which provided the likes of Watson with easy picking off his pads.

The Windies certainly have enough pace in their attack. Kemar Roach can get up to 150km/h and he could really come into play on the SCG and MCG pitches in the remaining games.

James Faulkner was rightly fined for his swearing and sending-off of Chris Gayle in Canberra. Players shouldn't be swearing on the field as there are children watching the game on television at home. Many players have been guilty of it and I don't condone it, however we have to remember that those guys are out there playing for their country and emotions can take over in the heat of the moment.

The send-off and swearing aren't the best things to see, I have been guilty of it in the past, but sometimes it is very hard to control your emotions, especially when you've been working so hard to get a wicket. I'm not saying what Faulkner did was right, but players still need that aggression and enthusiasm when competing at the highest level. Without that passion, players just become robots without any emotion. Fans want to see players get excited and fired up when playing for their country but players also need to know their limits.


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