Faint Praise Be Damned

When I wrote about the sense of underachievement that attached itself to Shane Watson during the Test series, I didn't necessarily mean to damn him with faint praise. As part of the uncertain batting efforts of a poor side, his muscular if unconsummated fifties were valuable as far as they went.

More was needed though, and today he provided it, with a one-day innings for the ages.

Of course, facing a denuded England attack in the artificial environment of a one-day international on a benign MCG pitch isn't the same as doing the hard yards against Jimmy Anderson armed with a red ball, but you still have to make the runs.

In a changed Australian landscape this is a player of quality and high importance, somewhere near peak form, fitness and performance. The more complex and troubling demands of Test cricket can wait awhile.

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