Watson says ‘stress’ deterring ability to score big tons in Tests

Sydney: Australia vice-captain Shane Watson has claimed stress is the major reason behind his inability to convert good starts into big centuries as the all-rounder attempts to end a century drought spanning more than two years in the first Test against Sri Lanka on Friday. Watson is under pressure to deliver in his new role as a replacement for Australia`s greatest Test run-scorer Ricky Ponting in the No. 4 slot.

While Watson is rarely troubled getting out of the blocks, he has found it difficult converting the starts into tons, and has just two centuries from 66 Test innings at 36.92. Watson faces the Sri Lankans having gone 30 innings without a Test ton since blasting 126 on Australia`s tour of India in October 2010. Watson has fallen just shy of a Test century six times with scores of 96, 89, 93, 97, 95 and 88, and attributes his near misses to his mental application in the heat of battle. “My conversion rate has to be better, there is no doubt about that.

For me to contribute how I want to the Test team, it has to be better. But that is part of my development mentally,” News.com.au quoted Watson, as saying. “I have to de-stress a bit. It`s a big challenge for me to go to the next level in Test matches. It`s something I need to improve to contribute to the team the way I know I can,” he added. “It`s definitely a mental thing with me. Whether that``s anxiety or fatigue ... it is totally mental being able to keep your mind clear and not let thoughts or anything get in the way of what you are trying to do,” he said.