Melbourne: World Cup winning former Australian captain Allan Border is extermely critical of senior cricketer Shane Watson's inconsistent performance and fears that time might just be running out for the 33-year-old all-rounder, rated as one of the best players of his time.
"I'm a Shane Watson fan but I've become an extremely frustrated fan. I am pulling my hair out, just like everyone else. When 'Watto' is at his best he is just so brilliant that you think 'wow', I want more of this please. But I must admit that maybe I have been a bit hoodwinked by those occasional flashes of brilliance," Border wrote in his column for the Australian daily 'Courier Mail'.
"Watto is 33 and if he isn't careful he is going to run out of time to show us what he can do. If he starts making big centuries, he will find it so much easier because, with the pressure off, he will be able to bat with much more freedom.
"At the end of the day, Test cricket is a performance-based game. If Watto doesn?t start really performing, he is going to find there are more and more players nipping at his heels for his spot in the side," Border wrote.
Border, who has more than 11,000 Test runs feels that only four centuries in a decade-long Test career doesn't justify his talent.
"Next week will be the 10-year anniversary of Watto's Test debut, way back in 2005. In a decade of Test cricket, he only has four centuries at a batting average of 35. There have been bursts of good form but the consistency of performance that you really want just hasn't been there."
"Unfortunately, Watto has teased us a lot with the bat and he did it again on Boxing Day. He looked set for a big century but was leg before again," Border was absolutely scathing in his criticism.
He also questioned the logic of Watson trying to sweep a Ravi Ashwin delivery when he was well settled having scored a half-century.
"I'm not quite sure why he (Watson) needed to be sweeping a ball that was hitting the stumps, when he could have been hitting straight down the ground and picking up ones and twos.
"The incredibly frustrating thing about Watto is that we all know the talent is there. And that is why he is still playing Test cricket for Australia. Plenty of other blokes might not have been afforded the opportunities that he has, because deep down you know he deserves to be in Australia?s top 11 players," assessed Border.
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