Dravid helped me evolve as a cricketer: Watson

Bangalore: Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Watson today said having former India skipper Rahul Dravid as team mentor has helped him develop as a cricketer quickly. “To have Rahul as a mentor is unbelievable. My development is certainly continuing to evolve very quickly because of having him there. For me personally, I am extremely lucky to have him around,” Watson told reporters here.
“It was also an honour to have played with Dravid in the past,” he added.
Talking about James Faulkner, who played a blinder of innings last night against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Watson said the Tasmanian is continuing to evolve as a genuine all rounder for Australia. “Faulkner has done it for Australia quite a few times – finishing off games against India for Australia in last one-day series here. He has done more consistently for Australia and continues to do it. It is incredible how he is continuing to evolve as a genuine all rounder,” he said.
On Steven Smith, Watson said the Aussie all-rounder has incredible skills to hit the ball anywhere and hence for bowlers, he is a nightmare.
“Smith has got incredible skills to hit the ball in different areas. So, for bowlers it is very difficult to set the field for him – he is someone like A B de Villiers,” he said. “And for Royals, they have done well, especially Faulkner who has been brilliant with the ball last year. Smith has the potential for handling pressure and is highly skilled batsman in all formats of the game and Royals are lucky to have in the team via auction.
“For Royals James had a brilliant IPL last year with the ball. Smith is great addition. I know how well he handles pressure and is a highly skilled batsman in all formats of the game. So, we were glad to get him in the auction,” he said.
On Australians hogging limelight in the current IPL, Watson said Glenn Maxwell and others are dominating the scene but sadly been performing poorly in ICC T20 events. “It seems to be that way at the moment. The Aussie guys are doing extremely well… but the saddest thing is we have always performed quite poorly in ICC 20-20 events, considering the quality of players we have,” he said.
On Karun Nair’s performance, Watson said he is one of the powerful Indian batsman and the positions he gets into while batting makes one feel he could play genuine fast bowlers. “He certainly is one of the powerful Indian batsman that I have seen. The positions he gets into makes one feel he can take on very good quick bowling. He also plays spin extremely well,” he said.
Comparing IPL with the Big Bash Down Under, Watson said the former is a very good tournament because it tests the skills of the players. “IPL is a good tournament that I ever played in. The calibre of players you play against certainly tests your skills,” he said.
The tournament not only benefits young Indian players but also international ones who do not get a chance to play against international stars, Watson said.