Watson is eyeing Ashes ton
6:20am Thursday 13th August 2009 in Sport
SHANE Watson is revelling in his new role as a Test opener and is targeting a maiden hundred in the Ashes decider.
All-rounder Watson was something of a surprise choice to go in first for Australia when Phillip Hughes was axed after two of the five-match npower series.
But he has responded with half-centuries in each of his three innings since as the Australians clawed their way back to 1-1 with just the fifth Test at the Brit Oval remaining.
Watson had never previously batted above six in Test cricket but has adapted to the elevation seamlessly.
"I wouldn't say it has been easy but it has been a lot of fun to take on the new ball,’’ said Watson.
"I have really enjoyed the challenge of taking on the fresh English bowlers and hopefully I can turn one of my 50s into a bigger one.
"Being able to have another crack at Test cricket, in a different light, opening the batting, has been a good test.
"It has been different but different in a good way.
"The nervous energy you have, and you normally waste a bit batting four, five and six, waiting to go into bat, can be used up going straight out there and being on the ball straight away.’’ Australia have spent the past couple of days relaxing in Leeds after wrapping up a rapid innings victory over England at Headingley before they travel to Canterbury, where they will face England Lions in a two-day contest this weekend.