Watson: Australia just warming up
BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS - Opener Shane Watson expects Australia to peak in their upcoming Test series despite an underwhelming start to their tour match in the Caribbean.
From 81 for two, Australia collapsed to 214 for nine in their first innings in reply to the West Indies Cricket Board President's XI's 201 at Bridgetown. It was Australia's first examination in the longer form of the game in the West Indies, and captain Michael Clarke's after his injury absence, with the top six stuttering on a bone-dry pitch.
However, Watson was far from alarmed, and said: "At the end of the day the tour matches are here for us to adjust to the conditions as well as we can and get some time in the middle. It's certainly better than training."
He added: "I think it's just a good challenge for the quicks and the spinners for us to be able to find ways to bat for long periods of time.
"I think we showed this [Australian] summer in the Test matches especially, how much in control we were in the majority of games.
"I think with the experience we've got, both batting and bowling, there is no doubt that has been one of our strengths in the summer so I'm pretty sure we'll make sure the things we didn't do right during the one-dayers (in the West Indies) we'll nail during these Tests."
On the differing wickets, Watson saw plenty of potential, especially for off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who adjusted seamlessly to the conditions as he tore through the hosts' second innings with four for 17.
"Even looking at the Twenty20 wicket at Kensington Oval it's a little bit similar to what we've seen here - a low, sort of skiddy, turning wicket," Watson said. "It's important to get used to these conditions because that's what we're going to get.
"With the quicks there is always a little bit of inconsistent bounce, especially lower. Spin wise - there is enough there. Nathan Lyon showed today there are plenty of footmarks in the pitch to work with. Even from his (Lyon's) first spell to his second spell yesterday, just to be able to find the pace he needs to bowl he did very well.
"There's going to be plenty in these wickets for him. It's definitely going to turn and I've heard Trinidad (Port of Spain - second Test) and Dominica (Roseau - third Test) the wickets there are going to be spinner-friendly as well."