Can Watson emulate Flintoff’s feat in Ashes?

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    England's Andrew Flintoff, on his knees, is congratulated by teammates after bowling the wicket of Australia's Peter Siddle. AAP Images

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    In times of need, supporters begin to wish. After the 2005 Ashes series, Australian cricket fans had a wish.

    They wished for a man who could bat with aggression and skill and make hundreds that would change games.

    They also wished that this man could bowl with skill and intimidate the opposition with pace and bounce.

    Fans had just seen an English equivalent, Andrew Flintoff. Flintoff had just taken England to an unlikely Ashes victory on the back of his aggressive batting and intimidatory bowling. Suddenly, a man appeared or probably, more accurately, was thrust forward.

    His name is Shane Watson. Those who had seen him play saw a young man who could bat with the fluency and aggression of a Ricky Ponting. They also saw a man who could bowl with genuine speed and skill.

    And importantly, they saw a character capable of getting into the head of the opposition.

    Near enough to eight years on, Australian cricket fans are currently being granted their wish. Watson is currently everything to Australia that Flintoff was to England. Watson displays a high level of skill with both the bat and ball, as did Flintoff. \

    Both players have the ability to dictate to an attack and change games quickly.

    However, that’s where the positive comparisons end. Like Flintoff, Watson has spent large amounts time on the sideline. Like Flintoff, Watson has become an enigma, a man full of skill and talent who is hardly ever seen using it correctly. And like Flintoff, he’s a character who on his day can inspire their team, but more often than not is seen sulking either on the field or in the dressing room.

    But unlike Flintoff, Watson still has time to change and live up to the judgements of his skills at the start of his career. He may finally be able to grant the cricket followers the wish of seeing a true all-rounder in their team.

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    The Crowd Says (30)

    • August 8th 2013 @ 6:06am
      brother mouzone said | August 8th 2013 @ 6:06am | ! Report

      should be a ‘ha’ in the heading of this article

    • Roar Guru

      August 8th 2013 @ 6:41am
      nick richardson said | August 8th 2013 @ 6:41am | ! Report

      Yah mate you are joking right?

    • August 8th 2013 @ 7:46am
      formeropenside said | August 8th 2013 @ 7:46am | ! Report

      Flintoff was a better player than his stats suggest. Watson is flattered by his.

    • August 8th 2013 @ 10:06am
      Chui said | August 8th 2013 @ 10:06am | ! Report

      Was is it with The Roar today.

      Is it a full moon or something?

    • August 8th 2013 @ 12:23pm
      Johnno said | August 8th 2013 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

      No chance. Flintoff is a much better batsmen than Watson, and a much faster and better bowler than Watson. He is bigger than Watson. If a rugby league or rugby union team was looking for talent, Flintoff would have much more talent than Watto, he is bigger and tougher, Watto is fragile gets out in the 30’s, i don’t think any rugby league or rugby union teams would look at watt as tough and the ideal package, where as Freddy is big and strong and aggressive 6’5, something Watto needs more off, aggression and toughness. Something Flintoff had in spades.

    • Columnist

      August 8th 2013 @ 12:35pm
      Ronan O'Connell said | August 8th 2013 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

      No he can’t. Watto is a better batsman than Flintoff but does not have the same penetration in his bowling. At his peak circa 2010 Watto was arguably as good as Flintoff in his peak. But he couldn’t maintain that standard.

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