Shane Watson was part of the Australia side that whitewashed England 5-0 in 2013-14 © AFP
Watson, who was among four Australia players axed for the third Test of that series in Mohali for ignoring team orders, admitted he was not entirely comfortable with his working conditions at the time, and had even pondered over his future. However, Watson’s “love” for the game ultimately made his decision an easy one.
“Absolutely [glad I went on]. That was a time when I certainly was considering my future within the Australian team. Because at that point of time, I certainly was not enjoying the environment at all. I wasn’t enjoying playing,” Watson, who will retire from all internationals after the ongoing World Twenty20, said.
“The thing that really shone through at that point of time was how much I loved the game, realising I was living the dream. I just had to get through that period of time knowing – or having faith – that there was light at the end of the tunnel.”
That light came in the form of Darren Lehmann, who was appointed as Australia’s head coach in June 2013 following the sacking of Mickey Arthur. Within six months, Watson was part of the squad that whitewashed England 5-0 during the home Ashes in 2013-14. Two years later, Watson would also get his second taste of World Cup success, as Australia lifted the trophy for the fifth time, at the MCG.
“There certainly was a change within two or three months, with Darren coming in and really changing things around. There’s no doubt like all situations in life when it doesn’t work out how you want to, or it’s not going on the same lines, if your’e able to stick it out for a period of time there is normally some light there. I’ve been very fortunate that there certainly was with an Ashes win at home and the World Cup at home.
“I think its’ a combination of everything. There’s no doubt when Darren took over from Micky, yeah, certainly we got back to playing the Australian way, which everyone certainly enjoys doing and you’re [increasing] the chance of having success.”
Watson, who has led Australia in all three formats, felt the team was safe in the hands of the current captain, Steven Smith: “He [Smith] is doing a great job. He’s learning on the job and learning quickly. It’s hard to realise he still is really a very young guy, even though he has achieved a lot of things in his career already.
“He is going to continue to get better as a leader as well. I know the guys who have grown up with Steve as well, they love how honest he is. How simplifiied he is with everything he does and how he talks to the group. The guys are certainly very relaxed in that regard.”
Melinda Farrell is a presenter with ESPNcricinfo
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo