Cook praises his bowlers for neutralising Watson
ENGLAND captain Alastair Cook says coming up with bowling plans for embattled Australian star Shane Watson isn’t as simple as his chronic susceptibility to getting out lbw would suggest.
Watson’s double surrender in Australia’s 169- run defeat in Cardiff made it 29 times in his career he’s been out lbw, and the 14th occasion it’s happened against England.
The 24- year- old all- rounder is now fighting to hold his place in Test cricket as a result of an inherent inability to get his front pad out of the way against quality seam bowling — with Stuart Broad and Mark Wood getting his number in the first Test.
Watson lbw was the story of the 2013 Ashes tour, but despite history now repeating itself, Cook said England’s bowlers deserved credit for executing so well against a worldclass batsman.
“Like all players, he has a weakness, but you can’t just go for the stumps,” said Cook.
“He’s too good a player for that. The skills of our four seamers, it’s not just about going gun barrel straight.
“But you know if you put the ball on or around off- stump, you might get the outside edge as well.
“The guys bowled their batters.”
Cook said the most crucial element of England’s emphatic outing in Cardiff was the fact any demons against Australia
at have been exorcised. The 2013- 14 whitewash in Australia now a distant memory.
“It’s important for this group of players to show we can compete with Australia,” he said.
“If we do the basics well we can put Australia under pressure.
We have guys who can express themselves, and we are a dangerous side.”