Australia news December 8, 2012

New No.4 Watson wants more bowling

ESPNcricinfo staff

Shane Watson hopes his move to No.4 in the Test batting order will allow him to take on a greater bowling workload. At the WACA last week, in his first match back from a calf injury, Watson sent down nine overs in each innings, and while there was no set limit on the amount he was able to bowl, Watson said he felt the captain Michael Clarke had held him back.

"Mickey Arthur talked to me at the end of the last Test to say the way it was looking, they were going to move me down to four," Watson told reporters on Friday. "It's taken me a few days to get my head around that, but it means I can bowl a few more overs.

"In the last Test match, I know Michael in the second innings was a bit hesitant to bowl me a few times towards the latter part of their innings, just to give me the chance to be as fresh as I could going into bat. The ultimate is to be able to contribute with both bat and ball throughout the whole Test match and not be held back. Batting at four will give me that extra time to freshen up."

Watson will move down the order for Australia's first Test against Sri Lanka in Hobart to accommodate Phillip Hughes at No.3 in what will be one of at least two changes to Australia's side. The selectors must also decide on the make-up of the attack, with Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus having sat out of the Perth match due to niggles after their heavy workload in the previous game in Adelaide.

John Hastings, who played in Perth, won't be part of the side in Hobart but both Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson will be fighting to retain their positions. Clarke said the Australians were yet to decide on what attack would work at Bellerive Oval.

"When somebody doesn't play in a match, it gives someone else an opportunity and that's what has happened," Clarke said of Siddle and Hilfenhaus. "Now we've got to work out what's our best XI."