Watson slammed an unbeaten 185 from 96 balls in Dhaka, including a world record 15 sixes & 15 fours. It is the highest score by an Australian in one-day cricket & the 150 runs they scored in boundaries is & a world record.
He has Allan Border Medals & now a one-day innings chock filled with world records to his name, but how nice is Australia all-rounder Shane Watson?
No matter the way you look at it, it was a outstanding work.
& before it is dismissed for 'only being against Bangladesh', it is important to acknowledge that his innings is the latest highlight for a man who has taken all before him historicallyin the past years.
Since his surprise move to the top of the order in both forms of the game, Watson has developed in to of the most risky batsmen in the world. While nowhere near as prolific as Sachin Tendulkar, Jacques Kallis or Kumar Sangakkara, the 29-year-old is a much better batsman than his world rankings recommend (No.15 in Check cricket, No.13 in one-day cricket).
As an opener, Watson has four international hundreds & 33 half-centuries at a combined average of under 50. Despite his inability to convert fifties in to gigantic hundreds, these numbers put him in the top echelon of the world's best batsmen.
& in case you have forgotten, Watson can bowl as well.
Since returning to Australia's Check setup in 2009 with a re-modelled bowling action, they has taken 29 wickets at an average of 29.41. This record, combined along with his one-day bowling record (131 wickets at 29.12), gives him a string to his bow that most of the world's leading batsmen don't have.
Not since Keith Miller, Richie Benaud & Allan Davidson dominated the middle part of last century has Australia had a actual all-rounder of Watson's quality. Early in their careers, Steve & Mark Waugh were thought about batsmen who bowled a tiny, but neither were as risky with the ball as Watson is today.
While it is early to compare Watson to legendary all-rounders like Gary Sobers, Imran Khan & Kapil Dev, they can lay claim to the mantle of being Australia's greatest all-rounder since \. well, since most of us can keep in mind.
& at the age of 29, they may yet surpass all of them.
& while not yet in the same match-winning league as Kallis & Andrew Flintoff, Watson must rank alongside the great all-rounders of the modern game.
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