Australian Shane Watson has been named as the Cricket World® Player Of The Week following a strong finish to the One Day International series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
Watson, playing as a batsman only following a spell on the sidelines due to a back injury, scored 85 not out and 116 not out in the final two matches, finishing the series with 271 runs at an average of 90.33.
Opening the innings, Watson's 85 in the fourth game in Abu Dhabi helped Australia bounce back from losing two early wickets to take an eight-wicket victory, which sealed the series. Two days later, Watson carried his bat in scoring his second One Day International century and although it wasn't enough to guide his side to a win, his performances stood out, particularly since Australia have struggled with opening combinations in the past 12 months.
That is partly due to the retirement of Matthew Hayden, who himself was on top form this week in South Africa, maintaining his place at the top of the Orange Cap standings in the Indian Premier League. He was also in contention for the award, as was his free-scoring team-mate Suresh Raina, who is in second place in the tournament run-scoring list.
Others to have impressed included Australian captain Michael Clarke, who scored an unbeaten century in the fourth game, and Doug Bollinger, who in the same game, his second One Day International, picked up five wickets.
The Player Of The Week award is decided by the Cricket World® Editorial Team following a review of the week's matches.
© Cricket World 2009