Shane Watson must convert starts into big scores: Michael Slater

Brisbane: Former Australian Test opener Michael Slater said Thursday all-rounder Shane Watson must begin making big scores batting at the crucial No.3 position.

Michael Slater
Michael Slater 

Watson was dismissed for 25 runs on the second day of the second Test here Thursday, getting caught at mid-on by Shikhar Dhawan to spinner Ravichandran Ashwin while trying to force the pace.

It marked the 35th time in his career, the 33-year-old posted a score between 20 and 50, that highlights his inability to convert starts into big scores and questions his concentration skills.

"It was just a loss of concentration," Slater was quoted as saying

"I don't know if he was trying to get it up over the top or whether he was trying to hit the gap. It was a bit of a nothing stroke, even though he hit it crisply. You've got to get it away from the fielders."

Slater said Watson's poor form is not only a concern for the team but the batsman himself will be disappointed with his effort.

"He's going to be really disappointed with that. He's such a good striker of the ball that at times he can get a bit one-paced. And I thought what he was doing quite nicely today was working the singles.

"There was a bit of subtlety to his game, which I think he can keep introducing and it would make him a better player. That's a big miss, really, because he got himself going.

The former opener said it is imperative for someone who bats at the crucial No.3 position to perform. The right hander made 14 and 33 in the first Test at Adelaide.

"He's a quality player, but I think he's got to show at No.3 that he can get that big score soon," Slater said.

"That's just a fact of life that when you're in this position - you've got to perform. You can't do it every time but you've got to be able to convert starts and at least start to trouble the scorers more often than not.

But Slater felt that Watson hasn't lost his touch and is good enough to continue batting at the important position.

"I think he needs to do that soon to remind everyone of the quality player that he is. I don't think he's lost anything. He did bowl nicely, his catching was great and he has a good all-round ability," he said.

"He's not getting any younger, but at the same time but I think he should be able to cement this No.3 position."

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