Watson relishing India challenge

The Aussie all-rounder, who will bow out from international cricket after the World Twenty20, is looking forward to beat India in a must-win encounter in Mohali.

Having announced his retirement at the international level, Shane Watson will be looking to win the World Twenty20 and finish on a high.   -  AP

Retiring Australian all-rounder Shane Watson said playing India in a knockout match before thousands of home fans Sunday would be the “ultimate challenge” for his side at the World Twenty20.

The Indians and the kangaroos are tied on four points each from three games, which means the winner of Sunday’s group encounter in Mohali will move to the semi-finals.

“It is the ultimate challenge to play India in any format here in India,” said Watson, 34, late Friday.

“If you can beat India on Indian soil in any format, it’s an incredible achievement. Everyone in the Australian team knows that.

“I certainly know that from plenty of experience here, so it’s just going to be a great challenge and we certainly are going to be up for it.”

An Australian victory would knock India out of the tournament and ensure Watson gets to play at least one more match at the highest level of the game.

The veteran player announced this week he would be ending his international career at the close of Australia's campaign in the tournament.

“From my personal perspective, to have the opportunity to be able to play in what could be my last game is, I suppose, as big a dream as you could imagine.

“So it’s going to be very exciting,” said Watson, who has 46 wickets and 1,444 runs from 57 T20 internationals so far.

Australia is the reigning 50-over world champions and the number one Test side, but have failed to win the World T20 in five previous attempts. India, winners of the inaugural 2007 edition, is eyeing its second title on home soil, having won the 50-over World Cup in Mumbai in 2011.

Although it has not been on top of its game in this tournament, it did manage to win against arch-rival Pakistan and a plucky Bangladesh.

Watson, however, said he felt India should not be underestimated, especially in home conditions, and the key for his team would be to put the host under pressure right from the first ball.

“One thing about India is they are such a dangerous side. They haven’t clicked so far in this tournament.

“(But) they have got world class players for all types of wickets. And with their world class players, when they click they are really unbeatable,” said Watson who looked in ominous form against Pakistan on Friday, making 44 from 21 balls.

“We know that we have to put them under pressure straight up to try and give them less chance of clicking as a team.”

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