If you want to be taken seriously as a batsman, one of the worst things you can do is bowl. Every team is desperate for all-rounders, but the label gets misapplied so much it tars those who actually warrant it.
Shane Watson probably just about qualifies as an all-rounder – maybe not in Tests where you wouldn’t really want him as a key part of your bowling attack, but certainly in one-day cricket.
However, calling him an all-rounder partially masks the fact that he’s got a strong case to be regarded as Australia’s best batsman at the moment. Being Australia’s best batsman in 2011 is a bit like being the world’s most attractive deep sea fish, but it’s still an achievement of sorts.
Even if no-one cares about a Bangladesh v Australia one-day series that’s come hot on the heels of the World Cup, Watson’s 185 off 96 balls was some innings.
185 off 96 balls against a bowling machine set to ‘friendly’ and without any stumps to defend would actually be pretty decent, so don’t everybody start belittling Watson’s performance simply because he’s a titanic knobhead.