Sydney: Australia`s new vice captain Shane Watson feels he will face his biggest cricketing challenge in the coming six months, starting with the tour of Sri Lanka in August.
Watson has become an integral part of the team with all-round capabilities and will play a major role in Australia`s progress in the coming years. The once invincible outfit has struggled in the recent past as they lost the Ashes on home soil after 24 years and crashed out from the World Cup in the quarterfinals.
"The next six to eight months is going to be the biggest challenge that I have ever faced in the Australian team," Watson said in an interview.
"Going to Sri Lanka and playing in their conditions is as tough a tour as there is, especially for an Australian team. Sri Lanka is very foreign, the conditions are, to what we are used to in Australia. Only having Ricky (Ponting) with the experience is going to provide a huge challenge.
"On the back of that, we go to South Africa and play Tests and one-dayers in South Africa. That in itself is a challenging tour as well, and one of the toughest ones you can go on. It will be a really interesting time for us as a team, over the next six months to see exactly where we are at, and see the continued improvement, because that`s really what we have to show."
Though Australia still hold the top spot in the one-day rankings, they have dropped to fifth in Tests.