Shane Robert Watson (born 17 June 1981) is an Australian professional cricketer. He plays as a right-handed batsman and a right-handed fast-mediumswing bowler. He is currently the world No. 1 all-rounder in T20I. As a fielder, he fields predominantly at first slip.
He debuted for the Australian cricket team in 2002, playing his first One Day International against South Africa. While he had become a regular member of the one-day squad, Watson played only 59 Test matches due to several injuries.
Watson holds several records in T20Is and ODIs. He was awarded the Allan Border Medal in 2010 and 2011, becoming the second player (after Ricky Ponting) to win back-to back Allan Border Medals. He won 6 awards in the Tests, ODI & T20I player of the year awards category, which is the most by any player. Also the only player to be "Player of the Year" in all formats.
He was declared man of the series in the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 for scoring a total of 249 with an average of 49.80, while taking 11 wickets with the ball. He is the only player to win four consecutive Player of the Match Awards in ICC event history. He has also been voted the man of the tournament in the IPL a record two times, and, according to Forbes, Watson is the highest-paid cricketer in the world, after Indians, for five consecutive years, 2011 to 2015.
Watson was selected for his first Australian team in early 2002, being selected to tour South Africa with the Test team after topping the Pura Cup wicket-taking charts for Tasmania, as well as steady middle-order batting performances. Australian captain at the time Steve Waugh stated that Watson would possibly be Australia's first genuine all rounder since Keith Miller and Alan Davidson in the 1950s. Watson expressed joy at being selected in an Australian team with Waugh, whom he cited as his idol. Watson scored an unbeaten century on his debut in a tour match, but did not play in the Tests as the selectors retained the same XI that had swept South Africa 3–0 in the Australian season. Watson did make his ODI debut on tour, ironically replacing Waugh, who was sacked after the team failed to make the ODI finals in the preceding Australian summer. Watson continued as a regular member of the ODI team until he suffered three stress fractures in his back, at the start of 2003, missing the 2003 Cricket World Cup. He was replaced by his Queensland teammate Andrew Symonds, who proceeded to establish his position as the all rounder after scoring 143* and 91* during the tournament.
Watson's injury sidelined him until the 2003–04 Australian season, and during his rehabilitation he played most of the season as a batsman, allowing himself to improve his batting skills while his back was still healing. During this time he smashed an unbeaten 300* for his club side, Lindisfarne.
Watson returned to regular ODI duty in the 2004–05 season, as a bowling all rounder. He also played in the Third Test against Pakistan as the fifth bowler, in order to allow Australia to play two spinners and three pace bowlers on a dry Sydney Cricket Ground pitch.
Following England's Ashes victory over Australia in 2005 with a five bowler strategy, Australia responded by including Watson as the fifth bowler and all rounder in all Test matches. Watson played against the ICC World XI in the role, but he dislocated his shoulder in just his second Test in that designated role against the West Indies, after diving to field a ball. Watson was again replaced by Symonds and was unable to represent Australia for the remainder of the summer.
He was recalled for the one day squad for the 2006 tour of South Africa but was dropped when all-rounder Andrew Symonds returned from injury. Watson was looking to establish a place in the Test side when he got injured, and Andrew Symonds stepped in to fill the gap.
Watson had been previously criticised for his relatively flat bowling trajectory and inability to move the ball, reflected in his relatively high bowling average. Jamie Cox, a former Tasmanian team-mate and future Australian selector, felt that Watson was being mis-used as a bowling allrounder, believing that he was better suited as a conventional batsman and part-timer bowler, rather than a bowler who engaged in power hitting in the latter part of an innings.
Shane Watson walks to the crease.
This changed when Watson opened the batting for Australia at the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy, alongside wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist, instead of Simon Katich. In the competition he impressed with both the ball and bat, as Australia moved to their first Champions Trophy victory. Critics and captain Ricky Ponting cited his better strike rate, straight hitting and the ability to bowl as the reasons why he was selected ahead of Katich. After failing in the first two matches against the West Indies and England, Watson made a 50 in Australia's victory over India, which sealed their place in the semi-finals, he then took 2 wickets and scored 57 not out in the finals to seal the win. In the 2009 ICC Champions Trophy held in South Africa, Watson again played a prominent role, making two consecutive 100s against England and New-Zealand in semi-final and final, helping Australia to defend their title.
Ponting suggested that Watson would bat at the number 6 position in the Ashes series against England in 2006–07, and he was named in the squad. However, he came off the ground in a one-day domestic game the week before the first Test with a suspected hamstring tear, which ruled him out for the first three Tests. Michael Clarke was called up in Watson's place, and responded with a half-century, and then a century to cement Clarke's place in the team.
Watson was expected to be fit for the fourth Test on Boxing Day and the MCG in Melbourne, and because of Damien Martyn's unexpected retirement, it looked likely that Watson would be included in the side. However, another injury setback in a match for Queensland ruled Watson out for the rest of the Ashes series. Watson eventually returned in February to the ODI side, replacing Cameron White in the all rounder position, However he again broke down with injury during the 29th match of 2007 Cricket World Cup and missed two matches of the Super 8's before returning in fine style smashing an unbeaten 65 off 32 balls against New Zealand. Injury again struck Watson in the early stages of the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 as he missed most of the tournament due to hamstring strain. He was then out of action for the 2007–08 Australian season.
After Symonds was omitted from the Australian team for disciplinary reasons, and Watson took the all rounder's position for the tour of India in late-2008, batting at No. 6. During the Third Test in Delhi, he was involved in a series of confrontations with Indian opener Gautam Gambhir, who scored a double century and reached his century by lofting Watson over midwicket for six. During the innings, Gambhir elbowed Watson while going for a run, and claimed that the incident was not intentional at a press conference, and claiming that Watson had no capacity to dismiss him. He later pleaded guilty and was banned for one match.
After returning to Australia, Symonds was recalled to the Test team and both all rounders played in the First Test against New Zealand in Brisbane. As the pitch was a green, rain-affected moist surface expected to favour seamers, spinner Jason Krejza was dropped to accommodate two seam bowling all rounders. After the match, which Australia won, Watson was dropped as spinner Nathan Hauritz was included and Symonds retained. Symonds continued to perform poorly, and there were calls for Watson to take his place, but both men then fell injured at the end of the year, Watson with a stress fracture. Watson returned to international duty in the ODI series against Pakistan in the UAE, scoring a century.
Shane Watson plays a cut shot
He returned to the Australian Test side for the 3rd Ashes Test match at Edgbaston on 30 July 2009 as a opener. In a rain interrupted match he made 62 and 53 batting alongside Simon Katich. He scored his second highest Test score of 96 against the West Indies in the Second Test in Adelaide in December 2009. He and Katich put on a century stand and he had reached 96 at stumps, only to inside edge his first ball of the next morning onto his stumps while attempting to hit a boundary to reach his century. In the Third Test, he made 89 in another century stand with Katich. In the second innings, he removed opposition captain Chris Gayle and then charged towards him, screaming in celebration directly in front of him. This earned him a fine from the match referee, and considerable criticism from much of the Australian public.
Shane Watson plays a straight drive
In the First Test against Pakistan, he made 93 runs on Boxing Day and featured in his third century stand in as many matches with Katich, but was run out after a mix-up with Katich in which both players ended up running towards the same end, again falling short of his debut Test hundred. On Day four, Watson finally made his first Test hundred, which came in interesting style, by hitting the ball hard to the fielder at point who put the catch down. When Ponting declared, he remained not out on 120. Watson was awarded man of the match on 30 December for his role in Australia's Test victory.
In the second innings of the Second Test at the SCG, Watson fell short of another century, dismissed for 97. During this Test, the Australian Cricket Media Association presented Watson with Australian Cricketer of the Year Award.
In the first test of Australia's 2010 tour of India, Watson opened his account with his second test century – an attritional 126 runs off 338 balls on a slow, low Mohali pitch. The innings capped an excellent start to the tour, as he also scored a century in each innings of the warm-up match, albeit at a much brisker pace. He topscored again in the second innings with a run-a-ball 56, which proved vital in setting a competitive target as Australia's middle order again collapsed in spectacular fashion following his dismissal. During this period as an opener, he had the highest Australian Testbatting average (50.40) for 2 calendar years.
On 30 March 2011, Watson was named test and ODI vice-captain. On 11 April 2011 he made 185 not out off 96 balls against Bangladesh. Watson made several records in this match, which include most sixes, highest score by an Australian batsman, fastest 150 and most runs from boundaries. Due to injuries in the home series against South Africa and Sri Lanka, he decided to become a top order batsman instead of an allrounder.
On 31 January 2016, Watson was named T20I captain and became one of the few Australians to captain in all formats, he opened the innings after a long gap and scored 124*, which made several records.
Before the tournament, there were no expectations on Australia as it was ranked only 10th in the world. After two stages of the tournament, Australia were placed at sixth, moving up four places and became one of the favourites to win the tournament. This is the only time a team's place in the rankings has changed so drastically in a short time, due to four straight wins against top-ranked teams. Much of this success was due to an in-form Shane Watson.
In the first match against Ireland at R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, Watson opened the bowling and took 3-26 (the wickets of opener-captain William Porterfield, keeper-batsman Niall O'Brien and all-rounder Kevin O'Brien); he then scored 51 from 30 balls to help his side win the match in 15.1 overs. He was subsequently named as Man of the Match. In the next match against the West Indies he again opened the bowling and batting, taking 2-29 from 4 overs (the wickets of Chris Gayle & Kieron Pollard). He then scored 41 not out from 24 balls to win the Man of the Match award as his side won by 17 runs (by the Duckworth-Lewis method). Against India, he was used as second change bowler and took 3-34. It was he who had changed the game by taking the wickets of Yuvraj Singh and opener Irfan Pathan in the 11th over. He also dismissed Suresh Raina in the last over. He followed it up with 72 from 42 balls (7 sixes and 2 fours) making a mockery of the target 141. Against South Africa he took 2-29 (the wickets of Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers), following it up with 70 from 47 balls to win his fourth consecutive Man of the Match award. At the completion of the group stages and Super Eight stages, Watson had the most runs, the most wickets, the most sixes and the most Man of the Match awards. His dominance with both bat and ball made him the unanimous choice of the experts to be named Player of the Tournament.
Shane Watson was named as one of the members of Australia's 15-man World Cup squad on 11 January 2015. He played in all but one of Australia's World Cup matches, as Australia went on to win the tournament.
Watson had a disappointing start to his World Cup campaign, dismissed for a first ball duck in Australia's first match of the tournament against England, and dismissed for 23 against New Zealand in a losing effort. As a result of his poor form, Watson was dropped for Australia's match against Afghanistan, and was replaced by James Faulkner. However, he was reinstated for Australia's next match against Sri Lanka , scoring 67 off 41 balls, and taking 1/71 off 7 overs as Australia prevailed by 64 runs. In Australia's final group stage match, against Scotland, Watson scored 24 runs from 23 balls and took 1/18 off three overs as Australia defeated Scotland by 7 wickets and qualified for the knockout stage.
In Australia's quarter final match against Pakistan, Watson was on the receiving end of a memorable fierce bowling spell from Wahab Riaz, a spell which won Riaz plaudits from numerous cricketers past and present , with Michael Clarke referring to Riaz's performance 'as good as I've faced in ODI cricket for a long time' and Kevin Pietersen describing the spell as the "Best spell of bowling by a foreigner on Aussie soil for years". After being dropped by Rahat Ali at square leg at 4 runs, Watson went on to score 64 not out from 66 balls as Australia recorded a 6 wicket victory with 97 balls to spare.
Watson played in Australia's 95 run semi-final victory over India, with Watson scoring 28 runs from 30 balls. Watson played in the 2015 Cricket World Cup Final, scoring 2 not out as Australia prevailed over New Zealand by 7 wickets, winning their fifth Cricket World Cup as a result
Watson is the only player to lead most runs, most wickets, highest score, highest batting average, most sixes, for a team in T20. Also the only player to win man of the tournament IPL twice.
Watson played in the Indian Premier League for the Rajasthan Royals in the inaugural IPL season in 2008. Signed for US $125,000, he performed well with both the bat and the ball scoring four half-centuries to anchor his team to victory in three matches of the tournament and in the semi-finals. He picked up 17 wickets, won four Man of the Match awards in his first twelve games and also the Man of the Series award.
On the back of his IPL performance, Watson was subsequently selected to replace Matthew Hayden in the one day series as part of Australia's tour to the West Indies, after Hayden was injured during the IPL season. Watson went on to establish himself as an ODI opener in the series.
Watson missed the second IPL season due to national duty and injury, and Rajasthan failed to reach the top four in the qualifying rounds. For the 2011 season, Rajasthan Royals successfully retained Shane Watson along with the skipper Shane Warne.
On 22 April 2013 Watson scored his first century in Twenty20 cricket, playing in the IPL against the Chennai Super Kings at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. He scored 101 runs off 61 balls, hitting six fours and six sixes. His strong performances continued and he subsequently went on to win the 2013 Man of the Tournament award.
For the 2014 IPL season, a fresh player auction was held; Watson was again retained by the Royals for US $2 million, making him one of a few international cricketers to play for the same IPL franchise from the inception of the tournament. He was also appointed captain of the team for the 2014 season.
In October 2015, Watson signed for Pakistan Super League to play in its inaugural 2016 season. He was named as a Icon player of the league and was the first overseas player picked in the draft. He was selected by the team Islamabad United.
Most wickets, sixes, consecutive fifties and best bowling figures, by an Australian.
Only player to post a half-century and take three wickets in the same match three times in T20I.
First and only player to score a hundred and take a wicket in the same T20I. He did so as captain.
Highest T20I score by a captain,  Only Player to score a ton on T20I captaincy debut. First player to score a T20I hundred in Australia.
Only player in history to have topped runs, wickets and sixes charts after 24 games of a tournament. At the completion of the Group and Super Eight stages of 2012 World T20, watson had the most runs, wickets and sixes.