Watson is fully aware that he hadn’t scored enough runs so far in the Ashes Series that sees Australia three-nil down entering the Fifth and final Test at The Oval, but is his own harshest personal critic and doesn’t need to be told of his struggles by anyone else.
The 32-year-old averaged just 26 having scored 216 runs in the first four Tests of the series, but he knew that he had a technique problem by getting trapped LBW and also did plenty of soul searching over the past month.
He knew full and well that he hadn’t scored enough runs and even though he wishes his brilliant and courageous 176 on Day 1 at The Oval came earlier, it is a good reward for the hard work he has put in.
"I would give anything to have been able to score runs at the start of the series and this is only consolation more than anything because the most important time was in those first three Test matches and I wasn’t able to score the runs then," Watson said.
"I had a lot of soul searching to do because I knew how important it was for me to score runs to set up the series as a senior player in this team, and I wasn’t able to do it.
"I have certainly been asking myself a lot of different questions over the last five Test matches about where I'm at with my cricket, and it is nice that I have been able to put it together but it's not so nice that it has taken so long."
Remarkably, it had been 47 innings and 24 Test matches since Watson had scored a century for Australia in the long form of the game, but he felt a tremendous sense of relief when he reached his third Test ton on Thursday.
It was a dominant innings from Watson who scored at a tremendous strike rate and he was particularly savage on English debutants Simon Kerridge and Chris Woakes.
It was a tremendous innings to watch, but Watson showed great heart by bouncing back after being hit on the neck by a Stuart Broad short ball when on 91. He still cruised to his century and then went on with it making 176 before falling late on the first day.
"Of course it was a big relief to be able to get 100 there's no doubt about, but for me the most important thing is being able to bat for a long period of time," he said.
"I have worked very hard and have had some very good people helping me out over the last six weeks to be able to get myself into a place where I can give myself a chance to bat for a long period like that.
"It was a very good wicket so for us to win the toss was important and if we can put on a really big total in this first innings it will give us a good chance of winning this Test match.
"To be able to bat for a long period of time in an Ashes Test match like that is something I have been working hard to be able to do, and it's nice that I was able to do it."
Watson has been fully aware of his troubles in the Ashes so far particularly by continually getting trapped leg before wicket. Watson opened the first two and-a-half Tests before dropping down to sixth in the Fourth Test and now back up to No. 3 at The Oval.
Quite simply, Watson sees benefits in batting anywhere from No. 1 to 6 and is happy to go wherever asked, but his focus is on making sure he has his own game in order well enough where he can score runs and bat for long periods of time at the crease.
"I know I have had a lot of things to work on especially one thing in particular with my batting so I have done a lot of soul searching more than anything through this last month especially more than any other stage through my whole cricket career to be able to give myself a chance to bat long periods," he said.
"I am very critical of myself naturally. I have been one of the top six batters throughout this whole series and I certainly haven’t scored the runs anywhere near that I wanted to be able to score to help the team perform.
"I knew that opening the batting was going to be important for me to score runs and I wasn’t able to do that, and I knew that I had to score runs and that is why I have been working so hard over the last month to give myself the best chance to put an innings like that together. Cricket is a performance-based game and I know if I'm not scoring runs or taking wickets then I can't expect to be picked."
As for the nasty blow he took to his neck, it looked scary for a moment when Broad's delivery first struck him but luckily it missed his jaw, cheekbone and skull and caught the fleshy part of his neck. While it hurt, if anything it helped take the pressure of scoring his century.
"It's more I just have a bit of a cork in my neck more than anything. It certainly got me thinking of something apart from the nervous 90s and trying to get through that," Watson said.
"I was just trying to think about getting my neck around so I could see the ball and it probably worked out well in the end. Now I just have a stiff neck more than anything. I was lucky that it got me in a muscle and not anywhere else so it's just a bit of a cork."