The first was an article from when he was first picked, way back when he played for Tasmania. Replacing Steve Waugh for a tour of South Africa the headline rather uncharitably asked, ‘Who the hell is Shane Watson?’
The second was an ODI against England at the MCG in January 2011. In the days before chasing large totals was the norm, Watto cracked 161 not out off 150 balls as the Aussies chased 294.
Sitting in the crowd, I was in awe at a masterful display of hitting. It was a display that was largely forgotten in the aftermath, which mostly focused on the crowd booing captain Michael Clarke as he struggled to 36 off 57 balls.
These two moments were symptomatic of the wider reception Watson received as an Australian cricketer.
(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
There were those times he was criticised heavily for not turning 50s into centuries in Tests.
What his critics overlooked was that he was still making more runs than most of his colleagues.
His Test career might not have hit the heights, but his limited overs record will live on as testament to his quality.
It must seem like the ideal job. After all you see a lot of cricket. As a men’s team national selector you travel between Sheffield Shield games at the start of the season, beginning the process of deciding who will represent Australia in the coming Tests and one day series. Along the way you keep […]