Watson thrilled by Australia display
Shane Watson hailed a “really big performance” as Australia put themselves firmly on course to claim a series-levelling victory in the third Ashes Test at the WACA.
Mike Hussey continued his superb form with another hundred and Watson added a valuable 95 to help the hosts to 309 in their second innings, a lead of 390.
England then slumped to 81 for five in reply and face an enormous challenge to avoid defeat when play resumes on Sunday morning.
“It was a very good day today,” said Watson. “After yesterday we knew we had to put in a really big performance.
“It’s great that things went our way, especially with me and Mike Hussey getting us off to a good start, and then we bowled and caught very well this afternoon.
““It makes a difference when you take a few wickets and get on top. The first two Tests, especially after day three of the first Test, there’s been a lot of hard work so it’s always nice to get a few wickets and get the team together a little more.”
Watson was quick to pay tribute to Hussey, who has now scored over 500 runs in the series at an average of 103.
“He’s batting beautifully,” said the Queenslander. “To see him batting at the top of his game is brilliant to watch. Let’s hope it continues.”
On his own failure to reach three figures, Watson said: “I’m frustrated, no doubt about it, not to get a hundred.
“Of course I’d definitely take 90 any time I go out to bat but I’m disappointed I couldn’t go on with it. However, I’m really happy with the way I’m batting.
“It was pretty hard work out there last night so it was good to be able to get through that and get a few runs this morning.
Australia now appear almost certain to wrap up victory tomorrow, but Watson insists he and his team-mates will not get complacent following their recent run of poor form.
“We know how close we are to winning this Test, but we also know how easily it can slip away, like it has in recent times,” he said. “We have to have another good day tomorrow.”
Seamer Peter Siddle, meanwhile, believes his side have benefited from their decision to field a four-man pace attack.
Siddle was selected alongside Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris and Ben Hilfenhaus, with left-arm spinner Michael Beer missing out on an international debut.
“It probably eases the pressure,” said Siddle.
“You don’t have to bowl those big, long spells. We can have short, sharp cracks at it - and it gives us more chance to stay at top pace.”