What could have been the turning point of Shane Watson’s summer became another lost opportunity for the Australian allrounder.
Watson posted his highest Test cricket score in nearly a year on day one of the Boxing Day match against India.
While batting partner Chris Rogers praised Watson’s 52, it was also a case of another tease from the talented No.3.
Watson failed to capitalise after he was dropped a few minutes before lunch on 37.
When it was put to Watson that could have been a decisive moment for him in this series, Watson told Channel Nine: “I thought it was as well.
“It was nice to feel good out there.
“Unfortunately I just got out at the wrong time again.
“It’s a beautiful batting wicket and unfortunately I wasn’t able to go on with it again.”
In 54 Tests, Watson has scored 22 half-centuries and only four tons.
This was his first 50 since scoring 83no in the second innings of last year’s Boxing Day Test win over England.
Once again, he was dismissed when he had laid the foundations for a big innings – and done plenty of brickwork, too.
“I feel like I’ve still got a lot of improvement to go,” he said.
“I’m not really someone who talks about a lot of things, I work through it in my own mind.
“Today I felt like I was free in my mind with the way I batted, until I got out.”
He joined opener Chris Rogers at the crease on Friday with Australia in early trouble at 1-0.
They put on 115 for the second wicket and had steered Australia out of trouble.
But Rogers was dismissed for 57 and Watson went in the next over, judged lbw trying to sweep spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
While Watson’s wicket was frustrating, Rogers was impressed.
“I thought he played very well today – particularly soft hands on the off side,” Rogers said.
“That gave us a bit of momentum as well, so all credit to him.
“We enjoy being out there together (and) we have a bit of a laugh.
“Maybe the different styles as well – he goes at them pretty hard and I let them come at me a little bit.”
Three days ago, Watson sent a scare through the Australian team when he was hit on the helmet in a nets session.
He later felt off colour back in his hotel room, but Watson said he was never in doubt for the Test.
“A couple of hours after I was a little bit dizzy, but after that I had a decent sleep and I was fine,” he said.