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The Ashes 2009: Shane Watson Ramps Up England pressure

By on August 12, 2009

The Ashes 2009: Shane Watson

Shane Watson has warned prospective England batsmen of the pressure they face gatecrashing an Ashes series.

Australian Watson has first-hand experience after being drafted in as a makeshift opener two Tests into a five-match campaign, which is now perfectly set up at 1-1 ahead of next week’s Brit Oval decider.

His response to replacing Phillip Hughes has been emphatic – three half-centuries in as many visits to the crease.

But with a host of names also mentioned as potential call-ups for next Thursday’s fifth npower Test, the 28-year-old said: “When you do come in halfway through a series you are expected to perform because someone has been dropped because they haven’t performed.

“There is extra pressure on you to put your hand up and fulfil the role they are looking for you to fulfil.”

Watson’s presence at the top of the order provided Australia with stability at Edgbaston and Headingley and having adapted to his new position – he had never previously batted above six in Tests – he is now looking to convert starts into a maiden hundred.

“My dream as a young kid was to get a Test hundred,” said Watson, who has fallen three times between 51 and 63.

“I have been lucky enough to get a one-day international hundred and the goal is the Test one now.

“My issue has been that once I have got to 50, I have started to get a bit too far ahead of myself instead of worrying about the next ball and concentrating every time. It is a mental barrier I have to get over.

“The most important thing is to get through the new ball because that is a period in which you can get knocked over.

“But I feel I have put my finger on what it is that is costing me – wanting it too much.

“When I have got big scores in the past I haven’t been thinking about scores at all, I have been thinking about batting time.

“When I am batting long periods of time I know I am going to get a big score.

“When I think about my score I get a bit too nervous and it all goes awry, unfortunately.”

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