Qantas T20 Tour of South Africa 2016
Watson's natural mentoring traits emerging
Australia's most experienced T20 player has been more than simply an allrounder in South Africa
Sam Ferris Cape Town
9 March 2016, 01:46 PM AEST
Shane Watson says it is his "duty" to pass the wisdom he's acquired on to his younger teammates in green and gold as the last remaining member of Australia's golden era.
On Tuesday, Watson said he will make a decision on his international career following the conclusion of the World T20 in April, but based on recent evidence from Australia's training sessions in South Africa, the dual World-Cup winning allrounder could seamlessly slip into a coaching role under Darren Lehmann.
Since arriving in the country, Watson has tutored wicketkeeper-batsman Peter Nevill in his range hitting and fellow allrounder James Faulkner on the intricacies of playing a deft lap shot.
The 34-year-old is the only player in the squad to have played alongside the likes of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden during the glory years shortly after the turn of the millennium, and says it's now his turn to pass on the secrets Australia's legends taught him.
"I do love coaching, I love the game of cricket," Watson told reporters. "To try and give back to the younger guys or the people coming through with all the experiences I've been incredibly fortunate to have throughout my career, and all the incredibly good players who have passed on their knowledge to me – that’s what I see as something that excites me.
Quick Single: Stop talking about Amir already: Rohit
"Part of my duty, I suppose, with being able to come through an incredible time in Australian cricket, is to give back to the guys who are still working on their game, as we all are.
"I'd love to be able to coach in the future. I'm not sure (in) what capacity exactly.
"Being an allrounder, I know I'm very fortunate to have worked on a couple of aspects of game and I enjoy giving back."
It's not the first time Watson has flagged his interest in taking up the clipboard post-playing career, revealing to cricket.com.au in late 2014 that it was an avenue he'd love to travel down.
"(Coaching) is something that I’m very passionate about,” he said. “I’m very lucky to have had some great coaches and some of the best coaches that have been in and around world cricket, and Darren (Lehmann) has been a perfect example of that – to see how someone has been able to come in and change things around very quickly.
“Now there’s executive coaching that provides a bit of a framework around the things you’re naturally involved in within a team environment, so I’m starting to look into doing that as well, trying to provide an all-round package for my coaching in the future."
Watson could follow in the footsteps of current Bupa Support Team head coach Lehmann, fielding coach Greg Blewett and departing bowling coach Craig McDermott as ex-players who returned to the national team as mentors.
Current batting coach Michael Di Venuto is set to leave his post following Wednesday's series-deciding third T20 international against South Africa in Cape Town to take up the head coaching role at county club Surrey.
Blewett, who played 46 Tests for Australia, will act as interim batting coach while Di Venuto's replacement is found.
McDermott will finish with Australia at the conclusion of the World T20, with former paceman Ryan Harris signalling his interest in the role.
"I think deep down if they asked me to do it tomorrow, I'd jump at it," Harris told cricket.com.au.
"But that's something Darren and Pat Howard and the guys (at Cricket Australia) have to decide.
"There are obviously other guys who are doing a great job in state cricket as well who could get the opportunity.
"It's definitely a goal for me to take over that position at some stage. It's definitely something I want to do.
"I see (coaching) as similar to your playing career; you want to coach the best teams at the top level and that's something I'm definitely aiming to do, absolutely."