This week the much-improved opening batsman played a key role with the ball to all but end Pakistan’s hopes of saving the third Test at Bellerive.
Watson, who has been Australia’s leading run scorer this summer with his maiden Test century as well as four other scores of between 89 and 97 in the six Tests against West Indies and Pakistan, missed out with the bat in this game notching scores of just 29 and 1.
But instead he has had a key impact with the ball after snaring the key wickets of Pakistan’s two best batsmen in skipper Mohammad Yousuf and young gun Umar Akmal late on day four – both trapped plumb LBW as Watson got the ball to reverse swing in the overcast conditions.
Watson has now taken a more than handy 13 wickets for the summer in addition to his run-scoring heroics as his career averages with bat and ball begin to resemble those of a champion all-rounder.
After playing just 11 Tests in just over four and a half injury plagued years between 2005 and 2009 before this summer, Watson now finds himself having scored 1106 career runs at 39.5 with the bat as well as having taken 27 wickets at 32.18 with the ball in his Test career.
And with his body in the best shape it has ever been, the 28-year-old is confident this summer’s heroics are only the start of better things to come.
"I think I can definitely keep improving," he said.
"I feel like I am only really getting better because this summer has been a big learning curve for a number of different reasons, whether it’s with my bowling or my batting and continuing to challenge my game with the mental application required."
While Watson’s batting has won him high praise this summer, he believes it is his bowling which is in career-best shape.
"The more cricket I have played, the more resilient I feel and the better I feel with my bowling," he said.
"It’s been quite a long period of time now where I have been able to continue to bowl and your body does adapt and the more you are able to continue doing something then the more your body adapts and allows you to do it."
"So I think I am bowling the best I ever have because I have been able to string so many games together and when you do that, you are able to continue to work on little things and continue to improve."
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