Watson still optimistic
Shane Watson remains convinced Australia can win the Sydney Test against Pakistan.
Last Updated: 05/01/10 2:03pm
Shane Watson remains convinced Australia can win the Sydney Test against Pakistan, despite finishing the third day in an unpromising situation.
Australia closed on 286-8 in their second innings, a lead of just 80 with tailender Peter Siddle (10no) at the crease alongside Mike Hussey (73no).
But Watson believes his side, who trailed by 206 runs after the first innings, can still conjure up a win if Siddle, Hussey and last man Doug Bollinger are able to push the lead to around 150.
Pointing to South Africa's remarkable victory at the SCG back in January 1994 when the Proteas bowled Australia out for 111 chasing 117, the optimistic Watson can sense an escape route.
"I definitely think we're still in it," he said. "It's obviously not the day that we were hoping for - it would have been nice to get at least 200 in front - but while Mike Hussey and Peter Siddle are there we still have a chance.
"Best case scenario I reckon 150 would be a target, and if everything goes well and we bowl well there's a chance we could give ourselves an opportunity to win the game.
"The South African game in '94, South Africa bowled us out us out for around 120 or less so we've got to still give ourselves a chance to be able to try and have a decent enough target to bowl at.
"The wicket is still doing a bit. The new ball's still seaming and bouncing and some are keeping a bit low, so there's still enough there for the bowlers."
Watson's aggressive innings of 97 saw him once more stand out for Australia on a day when many around him fell cheaply.
He was philosophical about falling in the 90s for the third time in his short Test career, the opener gloving a rearing delivery from Umar Gul to Faisal Iqbal at second slip.
"I'm not really worried about it. I was really happy with the way I batted today," he added.
"Of course it's always nice to try and break that 100 barrier but I suppose I'm lucky I didn't get that ball earlier in the innings otherwise I would have been out.
"There was always a chance I could get a ball like that and unfortunately I got one when I was in my late 90s.
"It's just one of those things."
Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, who has four second-innings wickets, acknowledges the game is far from over.
Kaneria helped reduce the hosts to 286 for eight at stumps on day three, before limping off the field with severe cramp in his left leg.
He said: "Australians play hard cricket and positive cricket.
"Tomorrow's a new day and let's see how it goes. No matter if they get 120 or 130 we need to chase it down.
"We have a whole day and I am and our team is very confident of our batting line-up. We will come and play very hard cricket tomorrow."