Dubai, Feb 10: Australian all-rounder Shane Watson today said hosts India will be the toughest team to beat in next month’s World Twenty20 Championship due to their familiarity with the conditions. “I think India will be the toughest team because it’s in their home conditions,” Watson, who is in Dubai to play the inaugural Pakistan Super League, told ‘cricket.com.au’.
“They know their conditions better than anyone and have performed well in big events at home. India have a good all-round team, their batting has firepower all the way through, bowling-wise, their spinners are world-class and they have some good quicks. “Ashish Nehra is bowling really well and (Jasprit) Bumrah has been a great find for them. They have a really well balanced team so I think they will be a big challenge,” Watson, who emerged as the costliest player in the recent IPL auction, said. (ALSO READ: No country should feel insecure playing in India: Anurag Thakur)
Watson averages 35 with a strike-rate of 154 when opening the batting, compared to his average of 15 and strike-rate of 119 when he has batted elsewhere. However, Aaron Finch, David Warner and Usman Khawaja have also made strong cases to take on the new ball in the World T20. Khawaja has forced his way into the squad through superb performances while opening in the Big Bash League, striking two tons and two half-centuries in four innings for champions Sydney Thunder.
Finch is the No.2 ranked T20 batsman in the world, averaging 42 with a strike-rate of 151 in T20Is while Warner is the vice-captain and considered a lock for one of the opening positions. With all this in mind, Watson said he is willing to go with what the Australian selectors and captain Steve Smith consider is their best combination at the top of the order. “I’m not sure where I’m going to bat in the upcoming T20 World Cup. We have a number of world-class opening batsmen with Finch, Khawaja, and Warner. (Whatever) the makeup of the team, we’re going to be a very strong batting line-up, there’s no doubt about that. We’re just going to have to fit in with what works best for the team,” he said.