Shane Watson knows he’s more susceptible to injury than most, which is why he wants to strike whenever the iron’s hot and not cut back his cricketing duties.
Amid calls for Watson to scale down his shorter-form commitments to save his body for Tests, the injury-prone star instead wants to take every opportunity to play when he’s fit.
And central to his philosophy of making the most of the good times includes continuing on as Australian vice-captain.
Watson said he loves the leadership role and denies the extra responsibility is something he could do without as he continually fights to maintain fitness – starting with overcoming a calf strain in time to play as a batsman in the second Test against South Africa on Thursday.
Since taking over as skipper Michael Clarke’s deputy, Watson’s batting average has slipped significantly from what he averaged under Ricky Ponting (41.55 to 26.95).
However, his results with the ball have improved since the VC was put next to his name (31 to 23.76).
“Being vice-captain of the Australian team is no extra burden or pressure at all, it’s really just a pleasure to be able to work under Michael and support him in any way,” said Watson.
“Captaining (one-day games) last summer was as much fun as I’ve ever had playing.”
Watson was in sizzling form for Australia in the T20 World Cup and the Sydney Sixers in last month’s Champions League, but is facing the prospect of missing his eighth consecutive Test on home soil if he’s left out in Adelaide.
Cricket Australia ordered him home early from the Champions League tournament in South Africa, but that didn’t stop him pulling up lame before the first Test against the Proteas at the Gabba.
Watson says he wants to have his playing destiny in his hands and only “rest when I physically or mentally need a rest”.
“I haven’t thought about (scaling back) at all to be honest,” he said.
“In the end I just want to play whenever I’m fit. It’s just about as simple as that.”