Watson - I wanted to be Freddie
Shane Watson feels he has finally proved his worth after years of trying to become Australia's answer to Andrew Flintoff.
Last Updated: 20/08/10 11:52am
Shane Watson feels he has finally proved himself in international cricket after trying too hard to become the Australian answer to Andrew Flintoff earlier in his career.
The Queenslander started out as a middle-order batsman and pace bowler in the vein of England's Flintoff but frequently broke down with injury and looked set to be an unfulfilled talent.
But he was offered a lifeline as a makeshift Test opener during last summer's Ashes series and has since flourished in the role, scoring 990 runs at 47.14 and adding 24 wickets at a cost of 21.95.
"I became obsessed with being Australia's Freddie Flintoff, I wanted to be that player so much I pushed myself but that actually held me back," Watson told September's edition of The Wisden Cricketer.
"No-one knew what was going wrong with my body. I had no answers and no-one could help me.
"Now I am having the time of my life. For so long people didn't know if I was good enough and the truth is I didn't know either but that's now over. I have proved I can do it."
Watson will get the chance to avenge England's 2009 Ashes success when Andrew Strauss' side return Down Under this winter and he is confident of a worthy tussle.
"The difference with England now is they have guys who are consistent performers, not who do it now and again, they have guys who can really turn it on," he said.
"Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad will be big, big players, and England know they can beat us.
"But we have the advantage of knowing our conditions and we are better cricketers than in 2009, hardened by that defeat. We know this could be the defining moment in our careers.
"I hope I have only scratched the surface of what I can do for Australia."