Ready to bat in any position: Shane Watson
Sydney: Australian all-rounder Shane Watson, poised to return to the national team after a prolonged injury layoff, said Monday that he is willing to bat in any position to help his team bounce back from their poor performance against Pakistan in the ongoing Test series.
Australia trail the two-match Test series 0-1 after losing the first match at Dubai by 221 runs.
They are staring at another defeat in the second game, needing 459 more runs with only six wickets in hand going into the fifth day of the match Monday.
Watson said that he is ready to bat at the crucial No.3 batting slot and the long layoff has given him a new perspective on cricket.
"I just want an opportunity to be able to play again and wherever they want me in the batting order, I'm happy to be a part of the team," he was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Watson will play his first game for Australia since April, making a comeback from ankle and calf ailments in Wednesday's Twenty20 series opening match against South Africa at the Adelaide Oval.
"I am as fresh as I have been for a long, long time. I'm ready to play," he said.
"I love playing the game of cricket, and this break has really continued to make me realise how much I love the game and how much I love playing. So any game that is available, I want to be able to play."
The 33-year-old said he is closely watched Australia's poor performances against Pakistan.
"After everything that we have done over the last 18 months to build it up, things are never meant to go perfectly well. We have had an incredible run in the Ashes last summer and in South Africa as well.
"Things always pop up at times to give you a reality check when you need it. This, certainly from afar, it looks like it has been a really big reality check for everyone," he said.
Watson said his injury enforced break has helped improve his batting technique and physical training regimes.
"I didn't want it (the break) because I just want to play as much as I possibly can for my country.
"But out of any negative situation I have always tried to find the positives and there has certainly been some positives out of it," the Rajasthan Royals player said.
"To be able to just continue to be able to refine my batting, but also continue to look at where my physical preparation is as well ... that is also the most important thing to me, to be able to stay fit."