Emotional Watson feeling the pressure to score
Australia all-rounder Shane Watson knows his batting efforts in the past year have not set the world alight, and is feeling the pressure to score significant runs at the top of the order or risk his place.
Watson has just one half ton in the three Tests against India so far, and last scored a Test century in the Ashes in Perth, so is hoping that his luck will turn at the SCG in the fourth Test.
Watson said: "So far in this series I've been very disappointed with my output. I've been working very hard on my game, to be able to put all the pieces together after breaking it down in the off-season.
"I feel I'm under pressure when I'm not scoring runs at any stage. If I'm not performing of course I'm under pressure.
"The thing I think about the most is to just being able to contribute to the team, not whether I'm playing or not.
"It's more so just being able to contribute to the team and feel like I'm not a passenger in the team.
"I do really want to be there to be able to contribute with bat and ball, that's what I think about the most."
The all-rounder was one of the players on the field when Phillip Hughes was struck by a bouncer in late November, and died two days later. Watson has not returned to the ground since then, and anticipates a difficult walk to the middle.
Watson said: "It's the first time I've been back here since just before Phil's funeral. It was always a time that I wasn't really looking forward to, coming back to the ground.
"But in the end, enough time has sort of passed to be able to find my own personal way to be able to deal with what happened to Phil. I'm sure once I get out into the middle and playing, those visions will be coming back.
"We've only really come together just now, so I'm sure we will (speak as a group) over the next couple of days, especially the guys who were on the field at that moment.
"I still haven't been out in the middle yet so I'm sure once I go out there all those memories will come flooding back very quickly."
Watson admitted that he'd been worried about facing shorter deliveries for most of the series, especially after being struck on the helmet in the nets, and only felt comfortable at the MCG in the third Test.
He said: "For the first couple of Test matches it was always in the my mind, the back of my mind obviously because of what I saw and trying to go through it and process what happened that day out here.
"Melbourne was the first time I really started to feel the confidence sort of grew back in myself and my game to know that my instincts are going to be hopefully good enough to play the short ball well and not get myself in too much trouble."
Stuart Broad double and freak dismissal helps put England on top at Headingley
New Zealand were 123 for five at tea on day one.
Lord Patel targeted by abusive letters in wake of Yorkshire racism scandal
Test cricket returned to Headingley on Thursday.
Stuart Broad leads England’s charge on first morning at Headingley
England responded brilliantly after losing the toss to leave the tourists uncomfortably set on 65 for three.
On this day in 2013: England suffer Champions Trophy final defeat to India
England suffered a huge batting collapse in the rain-affected one-day game.
Caribbean Premier League
The 6ixty – Chris Gayle ambassador for new white-ball format in the Caribbean
The tournament has branded itself as “Cricket’s Power Game”.
Jos Buttler gives his backing to Eoin Morgan amid England captain’s poor form
The stand-in led the side to victory over the Netherlands as the regular skipper missed the game with a groin issue.
Ben Stokes stresses England players have ‘a responsibility on and off field’
The Headingley Test, which at one point looked in danger due to racism allegations at Yorkshire, gets under way on Thursday.
Ben Stokes excited to unleash Jamie Overton’s pace against New Zealand
Overton is set to make his Test debut on Thursday.
Jason Roy hits century as England crush the Netherlands to seal clean sweep
Jos Buttler and Roy led England to an eight-wicket win.
Heather Knights insists there is room for Test cricket in the women’s game
England will play South Africa in a multi-format series consisting of one Test, three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches.