Miller heroics inspire Australia's Watson

Updated: 15 July 2010 16:33 IST

Shane Watson said Australia great Keith Miller was still an inspiration after he emulated the legendary all-rounder by taking five wickets in an innings.

Miller heroics inspire Australia's Watson

London:

Shane Watson said Australia great Keith Miller was still an inspiration after he emulated the legendary all-rounder by taking five wickets in an innings of a Lord's Test.

Watson, himself an all-rounder, marked his Lord's Test debut by taking five wickets for 40 runs as Pakistan were dismissed for 148 in reply to Australia's first innings 253 on the second day of the series opener here Wednesday.

Before stumps, opening batsman Watson had contributed a breezy 31 in a second innings total of 100 for four that left Australia with an overall lead of 205 and six wickets still standing.

The 29-year-old Queenslander became the first man to win a place on the newly-created bowling honours board for 'neutral' Tests at Lord's, with Australia batsmen Warren Bardsley and Charlie Kelleway on the batting equivalent for their hundreds against South Africa back in 1912.

Miller, a former fighter pilot, was one of cricket's most charismatic figures in the years after the Second World War.

A dashing middle-order batsman and fast bowler, Miller scored 109 against England at Lord's during the 1953 Ashes Test and in the corresponding Lord's clash three years later took 10 wickets in the match, made up of five for 72 and five for 86.

Miller died aged 84 in 2004 but Watson, speaking to reporters after Wednesday's play, said: "It's my first Test here and looking at the board, seeing that Keith Miller got 10 wickets in a Test match here a number of years ago, he's someone who continues to inspire me.

"To get my name up on the honours board, unfortunately it wasn't against England, but it's still pretty hard to imagine," added Watson, whose name will be inscribed in the visitors' dressing room near a similar board recording those players who've taken five wickets in an innings (or 10 in a match) and scored a century in a Test against England at the 'home of cricket'.

Remarkably, now retired Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne, one of cricket's greatest bowlers never took five wickets in a Test innings at Lord's.

Meanwhile, Australia captain Ricky Ponting's exit for a duck on Wednesday, in what could be his final innings on the ground, meant one of the outstanding batsmen of his generation had still to score a Test century at Lord's.

"To do it as a bowler, it's going to take me a while to get my head round it," said medium-pacer Watson, who exploited the overcast conditions with a series of swinging deliveries.

"The last three or four months, my bowling hasn't been where I wanted it to be, so for it to come together today was brilliant," said Watson.

"The conditions were absolutely perfect today, the ball swung all day and there was a bit of seam movement too."

Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi threatened to spoil Watson's figures with a blistering assault that included two sixes, as well as several boundaries, in a whirlwind innings of 31 off 15 balls that was the free-scoring skipper's first in Test cricket for four years.

But Watson had the last laugh when he had Afridi caught at mid-off.

"It's just the way Shahid plays -- probably the only way he knows how to play is to come out and take the attack to the opposition," Watson said.

"That's the reason why people love him but also the reason why people can get a bit frustrated with him as well.

"I had no answers for a couple of overs. It was nice he shanked one of my inswingers because he can do some damage. If it really is his day, he can take the game away from you pretty quickly."



Topics : Cricket Keith Miller
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