There were many elements of Australia’s victory in the recent Test series decider against South Africa that excited T20 captain George Bailey.
While the heroics of Ryan Harris were among them, so was an unsung two-over spell from Shane Watson that preceded Harris’ two wickets at the death.
Watson wound the clock back and had the speed radar ticking over, challenging Dale Steyn by switching his lengths up and drawing an edge that didn’t carry.
It was a more aggressive display than the stump-to-stump containment role Watson has recently performed for the Test side.
With Twenty20 being a format that requires versatility, Bailey believes Australia will boast a major trump card at the upcoming World Cup in Watson’s bowling.
“With about six overs to go in the Test, he really opened it up,” Bailey told AAP.
“There was an over where he bowled a couple of balls around 138 km/h.
“It’s pleasing to see he still has that up his sleeve.
“His value has always been that he can bowl at most stages of the game.
“He’s taken the new ball for us at times, he’s bowled the 20th over for us in other games and everything in between.”
Watson was a clear standout for Australia in the 2012 T20 World Cup, scoring 249 runs at an average of 49.8 and taking 11 wickets at an average of 16.
Bailey suggested the 32-year-old now had a better support cast with the ball.
“It’s something that I feel is the one area where we were probably a little bit weak on in the last World Cup,” he said.
“We just didn’t have the extra bowlers who could bust out one or two-over spells.
“In Bangladesh, we’ve got Cameron White who can bowl a few overs. Glenn Maxwell and Aaron Finch can bowl, as can Brad Hodge.
“It just gives you so many options and that’s always a handy thing to have.”
Australia’s T20 World Cup campaign starts next Sunday against Pakistan in Dhaka, Bangladesh.