Melbourne: Australia all-rounder Shane Watson is savouring his second chance at the World Cup after his omission from the side left him convinced he had played his last match at the tournament.
Struggling for runs, Watson was dropped before the pool match against Afghanistan but was a surprise recall for the co-hosts` win over Sri Lanka.
He scored a handy 67 in the match at the SCG when pushed down to the middle order after having previously struggled when batting at three in the earlier pool games.
"I wasn`t expecting to play after being dropped for the Afghanistan game for the rest of the tournament," Watson told reporters in Adelaide on Tuesday, where the team will play their quarter-final against Pakistan.
"(Selector) Rod Marsh at that time made it very clear what their intentions were.
"It was unbelievably disappointing.
"When it really sunk in I`d been dropped, it really hurt."
Watson`s place in the Australian squad has been questioned for a number of years, with injuries taking their toll and a modest output of runs.
A clutch of promising all-rounders in James Faulkner and Mitchell Marsh have also put pressure on the burly Queenslander.
But the 33-year-old remains a proven World Cup performer, and boasts an impressive average of 40.23 in the 50-over game with the bat and a handy bowling average of 31.45.
Watson was back at number three for the match against Scotland but, with only 130 to chase, the move appeared more for batting practice for he and captain Michael Clarke, who was elevated to open the batting.
Watson said he had made some "mental adjustments" after being dismissed softly by spinner Daniel Vettori in Australia`s narrow loss to New Zealand.
"It`s just amazing how quickly things can turn around," he added.
"I know (being dropped) is going to hold me in good stead over the next couple of years hopefully, because I don`t want to be feeling like that again.
"I`m going to be doing everything I can to make sure I make the most of this opportunity now."
Watson said he expected a tough game against Pakistan, who beat Australia by four wickets at the 2011 World Cup in Colombo.
"I try to forget that one because we lost it," he said.
"They can play some incredible cricket, as they have in times I`ve played against them, but they also can self-destruct quite quickly as well,
"That`s the reason why Pakistan are so dangerous especially in a knock-out game like this quarter-final."