As a commentator, Watson was present both in the UAE for Australia’s triumph last year and also for their early elimination this time. He felt that more squad changes could have been made between events because not only were conditions different, but the circumstances of Australia’s win were unlikely to repeat.
“Last time in Dubai it clicked all of a sudden. Warner, Stoinis, Wade, just bang, it was a perfect storm,” Watson said. “But I think we got complacent. We got complacent to go, that was our team, we stuck with it, and when you stick with a team and people know their roles. But we mucked around with it a little bit as well.
“If their preparation was as good as it can be, then you can look back and go ‘well, we put everything in place we possibly could. We had the same team just about with people resting here and there. We gave ourselves the best chance and then we were hit hard by New Zealand.’ To me that would sit comfortably.”
Head coach Andrew McDonald, speaking as the Australian players and staff returned home for a few days ahead of a 50-over series against England, outlined why it had not been possible to field the same team all the way through.
“I think the lead-in actually gave us some positives,” he said. “We had some injured people coming back and they got some time. I look at the positives around those games, they allowed some people to get up to speed from injuries, and that was probably the tale of the lead-in, we had a few moving parts in terms of injuries.
“Hence why we had different structures at different times, you saw Cam Green go up the top of the order and that played out at the end of the World Cup. We felt we were trying to put plans in place for what potentially may happen.”
Shane Watson: Winning The Inner Battle is available for sale here.
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