Shane Watson retaliates to Mark Wood's Ashes banter
Australian all-rounder Shane Watson has expressed total contempt to England pacer Mark Wood's short-ball threat during the upcoming Ashes series.
When asked about the net session during Australia's 2009 Ashes tour that Wood mentioned, Watson stated that he had scant memory of facing the England pacer.
With the numerous net sessions attended on tours over the years, Watson also added that it wasn’t easy to recollect such things.
"Up until this morning I couldn't remember it all," Watson said.
"It was quite some time ago and I've had quite a few net sessions since then.
“So it's not something that really stands out.”
However, Watson had words of appreciation for Wood’s performances against New Zealand, in the recently concluded Test series.
As Wood has signaled his intentions to pepper the Australian all-rounder with bouncers, Watson stated that he is raring to go for the challenge, provided he is selected for the first Test.
While Watson expressed admiration for Wood’s bowling, the Australian also said that the England pacer will be given a raw deal while batting.
"I've seen what he (Wood) has been able to do against New Zealand and how he bowls.
“If I manage to score a few runs in this next tour match with Essex, he might have the chance to have another go at me in the Tests.
"It will be interesting to see how he bats because we have a couple of guys who bowl at decent pace as well who bowl fast bouncers!”
Wood’s confidence has impressed Watson but the 33-year-old maintained that lack of experience will surely hurt the Durham lad.
The upcoming series will be Wood’s Ashes debut and Watson is backing his team to expose the young pacer on the big stage.
"He's obviously got a lot of confidence and is sure about himself.
“If he's talking about all this stuff it means he is certainly up for the challenge.
“He hasn't been involved in an Ashes series before so he will be tested like we all are."
Australia haven’t won an Ashes series in England since the 2001 tour but Watson isn’t too worried about the jinx.
Exuding confidence on his team’s chances this time around, Watson claimed that Australia are looking good to repeat their previous Ashes heroics.
“We are confident we can expose this England team as we did in Australia," he said
"We've not won a series here since 2001 and it's a burning ambition to put that record straight.
"It's too long for Australians because I guess we get used to winning the big ones.
"Seeing England raising the urn at the Oval on the last two occasions certainly burns very deeply in me and the other guys."
During his 10-year career thus far, Watson has been hit by injuries frequently limiting him to just 58 Test appearances.
While he compiled runs during Australia’s mammoth win over Kent in the four-day tour game, Watson didn’t bowl a single over during the entire match.
With Mitchell Marsh staking his claims for the all-rounder slot, Watson knows that the heat is on him to perform with the ball too during the second and final practice game before the first Ashes Test.
"I aim to bowl a good 12 or 15-over stint against Essex," he said.
"Having a rest from bowling in the first game allowed my body to regenerate but I know how important my bowling is to give myself the best chance of being picked for Cardiff."
Australia will face Essex in a four-day game starting from 1st July at the County Ground in Chelmsford.
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