Australia have only themselves to blame: Watson

Adelaide: Australia have only themselves to blame for their parlous position in the second Ashes Test against England in Adelaide, opener Shane Watson said on Sunday.

Australia face the gruelling prospect of having to bat out for a draw after England, led by Kevin Pietersen’s unbeaten double century, were 306 runs ahead with six second innings wickets intact with two days to play.

Ricky Ponting’s team have been decidedly second-best as England look to have only the weather to fear from going one-up in the Ashes series with three Tests to play.

Watson was refreshingly honest in summing up Australia’s dire position after being outplayed over the first three days of the Adelaide Test.

Australia gave themselves little chance of a result after being dismissed for a below-par 245 on Friday’s opening day after winning the toss.

“The way the game is panning out, there’s not doubt the situation of the game is when we bat second, we’re going to have bat unbelievably well over the next two days to save the game,” he said.

“We are way behind in the game, there’s no doubt about that. And we’ve only got ourselves to blame.

“There’s no doubt the English have bowled very well and battled very well and so far we have been totally outplayed.”

There was no indication after rain washed out play after tea on Sunday whether England skipper Andrew Strauss was contemplating declaring his team’s first innings at 551 for four and going after the Australians.

“All we can do is bat as well as we possibly can, we know it’s going to be a lot of hard work, because the ball is going to be turning and the English are going to use the new ball well and it’s going to reverse swing,” Watson said.

Watson said his team’s big problem so far in the series has been their inability to build and sustain pressure on the English batsmen.

“The wickets have been fairly flat, but that’s no excuse as well,” he said.

“We’re skilled enough to make the most of what’s out there, we just haven’t been able to sustain pressure for really long periods of time and that was the problem at the Gabba.

“It’s the same sort of problem again this time. It is unfortunate, it’s very disappointing we’re where we are, but there’s a couple of days for us to do everything we possibly can to draw the game.”

Bureau Report