x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Watson left bemused by bowling tactics

Australia will resume this morning against the West Indies in a commanding position after a dominant first day with the bat in Perth.

Australia will resume this morning against the West Indies in a commanding position after a dominant first day with the bat in Perth, with Shane Watson stating the visiting side have only themselves to blame for their plight. The opener hit a quickfire 89 as the hosts, who lead the three-match series 1-0, raced to a total of 339 for three at the close of play yesterday. Watson then said he was surprised the West Indian fast bowler Kemar Roach was predominantly bowled into the wind at the Waca ground.

Roach was expected to terrorise the Australian batsmen on a fast wicket with the sea breeze at his back, the bowler saying he expected to reach speeds of 155kmph. But aside from an impressive spell during the middle session, where Roach claimed the wicket of Watson and forced captain Ricky Ponting to retire hurt after being struck on the elbow, the 21-year-old was mainly used into the wind by captain Chris Gayle.

"It would be interesting to see what Chris Gayle's thinking was at that time," said Watson, who was beaten for pace by Roach when just 11 runs short of his century. "I was talking to Simon [Katich] after his first spell and I thought that he definitely would have bowled this end downwind with the breeze going across 'cause he does swing the ball into me and swing it away from Simon. "And I was surprised that he actually bowled into the wind with the second new ball as well. But the West Indies are very unpredictable at times."

Watson's opening partner Katich also made hay, scoring 99 before he was caught by Roach off the bowling of Sulieman Benn. Michael Hussey finished the day on 81 not out to complete a day of dominance with the bat, but West Indies coach David Williams coach defended his side's tactics. "Normally a strike bowler's going to get the end that he prefers and I think that was the case," he said. "I think Roach is right now the No 1 bowler, it's up to him to pick which end he's going to bowl. He chose that end, so that's just the way it goes."

* With agencies