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Watson won't play before India squad chosen

Daniel Brettig

January 21, 2013

Comments: 61 | Text size: A | A

Shane Watson keeps his eyes on the ball, Australia v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Hobart, 1st day, December 14, 2012
Shane Watson will take his first steps as a non-bowling batsman for NSW © AFP
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Australia's selectors will have their trust in Shane Watson tested by the revelation he will not play a match in his redefined role as a non-bowling batsman before the India Test touring squad is chosen.

Watson is in the latter stages of recovering from a calf strain that was aggravated during the Melbourne Test against Sri Lanka, and ESPNcricinfo understands that he is expected make his return to the game in a domestic limited-overs fixture for New South Wales on January 30.

The national selector John Inverarity has said that the squad for India is due to be announced before the end of this month, meaning Watson's inclusion in the touring party would have to be made on faith rather than form and fitness.

Watson trained in front of Inverarity and Andy Bichel in Sydney on Sunday and batted in the nets on Monday, but he was ruled out of Australia's Twenty20 matches against Sri Lanka and a Sheffield Shield match for the Blues against Western Australia, due to begin on Thursday.

"He had a good running work-out. Andy Bichel and I were there when he did his running drills . . . but he didn't bat," Inverarity said. "When we left it yesterday it was uncertain, but he'll certainly play before the end of this month."

This means that neither Watson nor the man he has effectively nominated to displace in the Test side, Ed Cowan, will play a first-class match before the announcement.

NSW's next Shield fixture is due to take place against Tasmania in Hobart from February 6-9.

Inverarity said that his panel would not be swayed by Watson's public airing of his preference to open the batting. "Not really, no. We'll consider all players on their merits, in a dispassionate way," Inverarity said.

"The captain always determines the batting order. We've had many discussions with Shane. One of the basic points is he's always willing to play and bat where he's asked to bat."

Another player of interest to the selectors is Moises Henriques, who is likely to be slotted into the NSW Shield team to play against WA even if his Australian duties with the ODI team in Hobart on Wednesday means he makes a delayed entry to the match.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by   on (January 24, 2013, 1:16 GMT)

As much as I love to see Watto play Test Cricket, Maybe its time to re-think his prioritys? Australia Cricket needs him for up coming T20 and World Cup as a Opener and Go to Bowler, A a Cricketer he needs to start thinking about how much longer he wants to play, A Fit and inform Watson is Invaluable to Aussie Team

Posted by Tumbarumbar on (January 23, 2013, 11:59 GMT)

Keith Miller once asked the selectors to consider him as a batsman rather than an all rounder and as a result wasn't selected for a tour to Sth Africa. There is no doubt that as good as Miller was as a batsman he would have been even better if he hadn't been an opening bowler but the simple fact was that his greatest value to his team was as an all rounder and if he didn't fill that role the selectors preferred to look at other options. I firmly believe that also has to happen in this case. Watson has to prove he is worth being picked as a batsman alone rather than him simply announcing the fact and expecting to be selected. If that means he stays home from India and goes and plays County Cricket then so be it.

Posted by Simoc on (January 22, 2013, 11:21 GMT)

I can't see Watson getting picked. His injury record is second to everyone elses'. And though excellent when in batting form, he has nothing to go on. Mind you given our batting assets he is a better bet than Khawaja, Smith,Ferguson and probably Hughes. Since India doesn't try to hard to win tests, we should win and hand them the ODIs as a thank-you gesture.

Posted by goodhoot on (January 22, 2013, 10:44 GMT)

Brad Hodge!He's put up he's available for the ashes tour.Please pick him,I want to see him humiliated one last time.Coulter-Nile showed how Hodge can't play a short rising ball,this is the reason he was dropped in the first place,but maybe the poms won't bowl there to cos he's 38

Posted by Sushrutdhakal on (January 22, 2013, 10:43 GMT)

If Watto cannot bowl then he might not be that useful in subcontinent condition. His aggressive batting style is not quite suited some indian turfs with slow and low bounce.

Posted by DylanBrah on (January 22, 2013, 10:08 GMT)

1. Rogers 2. Warner 3. Hughes 4. Clarke 5. Khawaja 6. Wade 7. O'Keefe 8. Starc 9. Pattinson 10. Siddle 11. Lyon 12th. Bird

Watson only gets a look if he scores a couple of big hundreds in the shield.

Posted by takenaback on (January 22, 2013, 9:25 GMT)

popcorn I don't know whether you have heard the news but Shane Watson intends not to bowl any more so his clever medium pacers aren't going to be doing us any good. As far as I am concerned he is an all-rounder and was always an all-rounder. If he can't perform that role he shouldn't be in the side unless his batting becomes magnificent, which at the moment it isn't and doesn't deserve selection. I really get sick and tired of these professional sportsmen deciding that they can't perform a required task. Such as Clark not being able to bowl because of a bad back and Watson not being able to bowl because of a calf injury. You don't hear professional tennis players say they can't do the backhand any more and if they can't they are out of the game. Michael Clarke is going to be needed in India and has the potential for some success so to all the precious players you must be capable of performing the skills of the game, harden up.

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (January 22, 2013, 5:12 GMT)

Simple solution, take Khawaja as's replacement and get Ferguson as backup, for spinners focus on Lyon and O'keefe.

Posted by SloppyJoe on (January 22, 2013, 3:34 GMT)

Great picture. Eye on the ball Watto!

Posted by zenboomerang on (January 22, 2013, 1:55 GMT)

I'd have Voges in Watto's place at no.4 & a useful lao bowler... Watto isn't any better as a bat than the current top 3 so he seems destined to be a no.4 which isn't a position for someone who fails to get big scores... 2 seamers with Lyon & Beer, then either Voges for Watto or Maxwell/O'Keefe at no.7 - the seamers need to be picked for the conditions & their form...

Posted by zenboomerang on (January 22, 2013, 1:50 GMT)

@satish619chandar... Watson is very average against spin - if he opened against India he will be up against spin before he has made 30 runs in the 1st innings & much earlier in the 2nd innings... Your bowling selection is weak - only 2 seamers are needed with Lyon & Beer - England made the 3 seamer mistake in their 1st Test, but came home strongly with 2 full time spinners later in that series - Clarke isn't able to bowl long spells due to permanent back problems & is more important as the no.1 batsman in the team...

Posted by ThemanID on (January 22, 2013, 1:32 GMT)

marcus north, anyone? did pretty well on india tour. and really, if watson aint bowling, than his batting average aint something you would want as an batsman. its going to be a tough tour for oz. i think warner will score a hundred and just defuse, cowan will do a bell except he wont even score a ton, hughes will struggle obviously. its all upto clarke. really cant say anything about nathan lyon.

Posted by Mad_Hamish on (January 22, 2013, 1:07 GMT)

@clarke501 in India he averages over 40 with 1 100 and 3 50s from 11 innings. In Sri Lanka he had a poor series in 2011.

Posted by Kolpak1989 on (January 22, 2013, 0:46 GMT)

I think he needs to open because whenever he bats in any other position he isn't worth his spot. Seems like Watto needs the new ball to score freely and he is reliable enough to make at least 30 most days so you can count on him to take the shine off. I've always been a Cowan fan but the bloke just looks a little bit out of his depth opening for Australia.

Team for India:

1. Watson 2. Warner 3. Hughes 4. Khawaja 5. Clarke 6. Doolan (Classical batsman, deserves a chance with no Mike Hussey) 7. Haddin (better glovework, better against spin, but I know they will pick Wade) 8. Johnson (bowls the wicket ball more often than Starc) 9. Pattinson (Assuming he is fit) 10. Lyon 11. Bird

Posted by popcorn on (January 22, 2013, 0:20 GMT)

Shane Watson is a MUST in the Test Side. Just leave him alone. Tampering with hs batting position is doing us no good. Ideally,now that Ed Cowan and David Warner are STEADILY building up a good Opening partnership, and Phil Hughes is at Number 3, Watson is best at Number 4 -- which gives him adequate rest like Jacque Kallis to bowl his clever medium pacers too. Let us not dish out the same shabby treatment of shuffling him around like the Selectors are doing to Usman Khawaja.

Posted by Meety on (January 21, 2013, 23:34 GMT)

@pull_shot on (January 21 2013, 12:13 PM GMT) - playing in India prior to an Ashes series is big gripe of mine.Oz needs to break that cycle for the next home & away Ashes. @bobagorof on (January 21 2013, 14:02 PM GMT) - re: Watto - correct. The problem with those scores you quoted is, that they were just about his only FC innings this summer. That is his problem. I think he is a btter batsmen than those numbers, but he just doesn't play enuff fc cricket to mount good scores. Watto looked a lot better by the time he was scoring 83, than he did at the WACA (even allowing for conditions & quality of bowlers). @Jediroya on (January 21 2013, 21:33 PM GMT) - I agree, but his output lately has not been good enuff. IMO this is due to him going from injury to Test match, or injury-T20-ODI-Test match without enuff time to play in the Shield.

Posted by MinusZero on (January 21, 2013, 22:41 GMT)

He should not be selected without match fitness. Whats the point of taking him if he breaks down in the first game. Surely since Marsh is back in the good books, he would be a far better batsman only player. Give Watson a series rest

Posted by Jediroya on (January 21, 2013, 21:33 GMT)

Watson is easily in Australia's best 6 batsmen, the question is where to play him. I've never had a problem with him opening, he has the technique to cope with the new ball, although personally I always thought his best position would be 4. However in recent times we have seen that his problems are not technical but mental. He has already said publicly he doesn't know how to approach his innings when batting first in ODIs, he prefers to know what the target/plan is when he bats. For this reason he should bat 6, as this gives him the most mental certainty, i.e. bat sensibly with the other batsmen then accelerate with the tail. He is one player who definitely has the ability to increase his scoring rate midway through an innings and could do that batting with the tail. But when he bats higher up he looks lost, as though he doesn't know what he is supposed to do.

Posted by Wally67 on (January 21, 2013, 21:32 GMT)

Blink is spot on. Aussie selectors must decide on the top six batsmen then Wade at 7. Obviously, Warner, Hughes, Clarke, Kawaja, Cowan and Watson are the main contenders, with Marsh and Haddin in the mix. The problem is the fact that Watson and Cowan have limited or no opportunities to play first class cricket in the next few weeks. The solution is simple, play all of the above mentioned in the one day series against WI, in some form of rotation. No doubt some will be against Cowan playing one day cricket, but he has had success in this format, and he is almost a certainy to go to India and the Ashes.My one day suad for the first game would be, Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Kawaja, Marsh, Wade, Johnson, Starc, Pattinson, McKay and a spinner, either Doherty or Beer.A competitive team and a preparation for the future Tests.

Posted by shillingsworth on (January 21, 2013, 21:11 GMT)

@satish619chandar - I've seen very little evidence that Watson can dominate spin bowling, rather the reverse. His record in the subcontinent is poor (average 33) and his one score of note (126 in Mohali in 2010) took 338 balls, hardly evidence of dominance. To bracket him with Pietersen is ridiculous.

Posted by wellrounded87 on (January 21, 2013, 21:02 GMT)

Pattinson should be healthy for this tour right? hopefully he can string a few series together without breaking down. Can anyone tell me when Cummins is expected to return to health seems like a lifetime ago since his debut 6for against SA

Posted by Mervo on (January 21, 2013, 20:50 GMT)

Drop him! Save the $500K contract too. Too many injuries and he wont play the Shield. Next!

Posted by bemUSed2 on (January 21, 2013, 20:37 GMT)

@Mitty2 i have not seen enough of khawaja to make a judgement call, but how can you say Watson has no obvious technical flaws??? at least you do mention his propensity for planting his front foot and playing around his pad... it's fine in T20 where he can plant his foot and swing across the line like a woodchopper but missing straight balls and being plumb lbw in Test matches is an obvious technical flaw and one that will continue to cost him runs and possibly his spot in the Australian line-up

Posted by hhillbumper on (January 21, 2013, 19:10 GMT)

Wow a non batting and now bowling all rounder.Australia continue to set trends. All he needs to do is stop fielding and you have a good chance he won't get injured.

Posted by blink182alex on (January 21, 2013, 18:56 GMT)

Moises Henriques should be knowhere near the test squad for India. Australia have to select the best 6 batsmen we have, then Wade, and the 4 best bowlers for the wicket. Specialist players should all be selected not bit-part players with modest records and no overseas experience like Glenn Maxwell and Henriques.

Posted by 200ondebut on (January 21, 2013, 18:37 GMT)

Well the cupboard is pretty bare - so not a surprise and one that can be taken given the choices available. Indian conditons will though expose the technical deficiencies of the Oz line up and their batsmen will cruelly highlight the gulf in class between Ozzy spinners and the world class duo of Swann and Panesar. Clarke will do well, again, but he will be a lone figure.

Posted by tententen on (January 21, 2013, 18:30 GMT)

watson himself should reassess his worth as only a batsman

Posted by Mitty2 on (January 21, 2013, 16:48 GMT)

Does anyone know when hilfenhaus and Harris are back? Our plethora in fast bowling depth will easily cover them for the Indian series but I'm hoping that these two could get some serious 'pre season' training in before the ashes. Hilf was overworked and had played too much cricket before the SA series, and he probably had some niggles which both are the probable reasons for his 5-10 km/h loss in pace and his wicket taking ability. Nevertheless, his ability to be economical and tie a batsmen down was still there. (this is why bird + hilf can't be in the same attack). But, he had a huge 'pre season' before the india series and had a very light game schedule, and this is why, in my mind, he could play all those four consecutive games and still have an astounding average of under 20. Hilf is suited to England and he is needed. Same goes with Harris, imo, he is one of our best bowlers and is a workhorse, akin to siddle. With Harris + hilf at full strength, our chances improve drastically.

Posted by Big_Maxy_Walker on (January 21, 2013, 16:11 GMT)

i have always supported watson through his many injuries because of his sheer game winning talent, but its time now for him to earn his place back in the team through shield cricket and maybe some country cricket as well. Make warner or wade the vice captain, promote khawaja into number 3 with hughes opening with warner. And bring in shaun marsh or dave hussey for the other spot with cowan dropped.

Posted by OzWally on (January 21, 2013, 15:46 GMT)

I think you'll find that the selectors see Haddin and/or Wade as the extra bat if any of the top 6 fail (Cowan, Warner, Hughes, Watson, Clarke, Khawaja) meaning both play, with Haddin being handed the gloves. Beer is your 2nd spinner behind Lyon, and pacemen being Johnson, Starc, Siddle & Bird. That leaves Maxwell/Henriques/Ferguson (1 of the 3) as your all-rounder, but doubt they get a game.

Posted by Charlie101 on (January 21, 2013, 15:13 GMT)

I have always thought that Watson was a stand in opener picked on the Ashes tour of England when Hughes had his problems against the short ball . He performed well enough to keep his place but now Warner and Cowen are establishing a good opening partnership it must be time to play Watson at number 6 and to fulfill his potential to be one of the best all rounders in the world . Rather than go to India he might be better getting some conditoning so that he is 100% fit for the Ashes as he does not look as fit as some of his team mates . Most Internationaql teams would love to have a player like Watson in their squad / team and I am sure he would be batting at 6 and bowling his share of overs.

Posted by Beertjie on (January 21, 2013, 14:43 GMT)

@mattboosa on (January 21 2013, 12:03 PM GMT), agree with you about Maxwell,but having Warner and Watson attacking at the top is better than having Cowan there. As bthe ball gets older it brecomes harder to score so a fast start is imperative. Ferguson deserves a shot at 6 although Hodge might be a bolter. Haddin in place of Wade for Delhi and no Johnson there either. The low bounce favours a second spinner and someone like Starc or Bird (Pattinson and Johnson [assuming Harris will be left at home to build himself up as possible injury replacement] would be better rotated for the bouncier Mohali second test venue). I'd like Hussey in the squad too but his form in SS is poor. If India keep Oz in the field for long, or if a bowler broke down, he'd be useful to bowl some overs together with Watson (say, around 20 between them). Of course Hodge could also do this.

Posted by landl47 on (January 21, 2013, 14:41 GMT)

Selecting Watson for India isn't really a headache. The selectors aren't exactly overwhelmed with batsmen who have stellar first-class records to back their claims unless Aus brings in one or more of the over-35 group. The problem is where to play him. Cowan is an opener or nothing, he doesn't have the skill set or the experience to play down the order. His job in this side is to stick in long enough to take the shine off the new ball and let the hitters do their thing. If Watson opens, either Warner moves down the order (might not be a bad idea to consider that) or Cowan is out and that leaves two batting spots to fill. Khawaja comes in, but who is the other? Maybe David Hussey, but his recent form has been poor. Bailey? Ferguson? Forrest? Quiney? Doolan? None of them really stand out as test class. Perhaps Burns as the best prospect, though it's not the ideal way to introduce him to test cricket.

Mike Hussey's retirement has left a huge hole.

Posted by bobagorof on (January 21, 2013, 14:02 GMT)

I'm going to be controversial, perhaps, and suggest that Watson's recent form doesn't warrant his selection on batting alone. His last 5 long-form innings have been 10, 25, 30, 5 and 83. Hardly compelling. If he was to come back, it shouldn't be as an opener. Australia has finally managed a stable opening partnership (not the stature of Langer-Hayden, but stable and with complimentary styles) and it would be silly to change that just as it's developing. On the other hand, there are two spots in the middle order. The first series is in India, and Watson is not a noted player of spin, averaging 24 batting at 6 (in fairness, he did average 67 in his last 2 Tests as an opener there). Perhaps it would be better for him to play out the rest of the Australian domestic season and get some match conditioning prior to the Ashes.

Posted by Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (January 21, 2013, 13:48 GMT)

Shows the parlous state of Australia's batting stocks that Watson can make this sort of announcement knowing he wont get called on it. Can you imagine a proper batsman like a M Hussey , Ponting or Steve Waugh saying this sort of thing? Watson with his starts and no real ability to turn it into big Test scores should have to be making runs in the Shield to fight his way in. In an ideal world of course. In these dog days a man with a Test average under 30 since Clarke took over can do what he likes. Sad. While he is out perhaps he can use the rehab to lose the weight that means he isnt fit enough to concentrate for 6 hrs in the middle & causes his calf to ping every 5 mins.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (January 21, 2013, 13:45 GMT)

@pull_shot They did the same last time (played india before ashes) and lost both series. But i really want the Aus series this time because i want to see how our young fast bowlers would fare against Aussie team(rebuilding ) before going to SA.

Posted by spiritwithin on (January 21, 2013, 12:33 GMT)

lol at all aus fans showing concern at their team selection,at present the way our team india is playing it will be an easy outing for aus,only concern is aus's spinner but aus has terrific pace bowlers for backup

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (January 21, 2013, 12:27 GMT)

Mr Ed may be in danger but luckily for him Mrs Watson is expecting and they love his doughty heart. Khawaja deserves selection and should use this tour to get him ready for the ashes,anyway I reckon Khawaja is a near certainty not to play a test in India. I would also take beer as second spinner as maxwells bowling is not up to test level. The non scoring, non wicket taking allrounders will waste time and space as part of the Wade at six strategy but i am sure we will end up with 6 speicalist batsman, 1 keeper and 4 bowlers as that's what's needed to beat the POMs.

Posted by ganirules on (January 21, 2013, 12:18 GMT)

Guess MSD wont ask for rank turners this time if he ask then Clarke will become manager as Cook become chef, Nathon Lyon did bowl against SL and SA, clarke will enjoy his form as David warner, just like Eng Cook and KP all the best Aussie and best of luck for India.

Posted by pull_shot on (January 21, 2013, 12:13 GMT)

i dont know why Australia r playing in India before ashes( next test match for aus is ashes ) which r completely alien conditions to England. watson is never match winner in test matches there wont be much he can offer as only batsman to Australia team.

Posted by V-Man_ on (January 21, 2013, 12:09 GMT)

these selcectors are not doing much better than their predecessors. why are they even bothering with watson. if he can't bowl then he shouldnt be in the team. hodge will do a better much job than him. khawaja deserves another chance. and for people who are saying watson is "technically" very good batsman, are you guys blind. the two words "technically" and "good" should not be used in the same sentence when talking about watsons batting in test cricket. he is not even an average test batsman. if cant bowl then get a proper batsman.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2013, 12:05 GMT)

Cowan, Warner, Hughes, Clarke, Watson, Khawaja, Wade, Starc, Pattinson, Siddle, Lyon. 12th Johnson. If Pattinson gets injured, Bird.

Posted by mattboosa on (January 21, 2013, 12:03 GMT)

@IMJUSTANOTHERGUY- I tend to think anyone who thinks Maxwell should be in the team needs to get their head checked but I definitely agree with Hartley as at least the back up keeper. My squad is 1. Warner 2. Cowan 3. Hughes 4.Clarke 5. Khawaja 6.Watson 7. Hartley 8. Johnson 9.Siddle 10. Pattinson 11. Lyon 12. Starc 13. Wade (back up keeper and batsman) 14. Bird/Cutting (Will Harris be fit?)15. O'Keefe/Another batsmen i.e Hussey/Doolan/Burns The problem for Australia is that no one is really pushing Watson out of the team. I don't think he really deserves his place however he does bring experience and is the Vice Captain. I think he needs to bat down the order. There is just a lack of genuine replacements. Cowan has done enough to be selected for the first test and it would be silly to go with two really attacking batsmen up top (W & W).

Posted by   on (January 21, 2013, 12:01 GMT)

@Elvin Zammit. Perfect side in my opinion

Posted by   on (January 21, 2013, 11:32 GMT)

i have 2 options for the selectors for my test team

Option 1: Warner, Watson, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, (Wade or Nevill), Cutting, Zampa, Siddle, Pattinson, Bird.

Option 2: Warner, Watson, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, (Burns or Lynn), (Wade or Nevill), Zampa, Siddle, Pattinson, Bird

Posted by IMJUSTANOTHERGUY on (January 21, 2013, 11:22 GMT)

The side should be: Warner, Watson, Hughes/Cowan, Clarke, Khawahaja/Hodge(could be a possibility), Wade/Hartly(hartly is the best keeper in australia atm), Maxwell(bowls spin and india's wickets spin a lot, so a spinnning all rounder not a bad choice), Johnson, Siddle, Pattinson(if fit, if not Starc), Lyon

Posted by   on (January 21, 2013, 11:07 GMT)

my team for the first test vs india comprises of ( provided everyone is fit ) 1. Warner 2. Cowan 3. Hughes 4. Clarke 5. Watson 6. Khawaja 7. Wade 8. Starc 9. Pattinson 10. Siddle 11. Beer Lyon has proved that he is not the best spinner and in the bbl beer excelled with his varying lengths. Warner and clarke can bowl some spin in india if required.

Posted by bemUSed2 on (January 21, 2013, 10:47 GMT)

@Mitty2 i have not seen enough of khawaja to make a judgement call, but how can you say Watson has no obvious technical flaws??? at least you do mention his propensity for planting his front foot and playing around his pad... it's fine in T20 where he can plant his foot and swing across the line like a woodchopper but missing straight balls and being plumb lbw in Test matches is an obvious technical flaw and one that will continue to cost him runs and possibly his spot in the Australian line-up

Posted by trex1981 on (January 21, 2013, 10:42 GMT)

"Tasmania's next Shield fixture is due to take place against Tasmania in Hobart from February 6-9." You might want to fix that line, Mr. Brettig ;)

Posted by Selassie-I on (January 21, 2013, 10:39 GMT)

The problem with Watson is he doesn't make BIG mathwinning scores, he makes 50s and the odd 100 but he doesn't go on to take the game away from the opposition by making 150/200+, if he can't make these scores then he's not a test quality, top order, batsman i'm afraid. His bowling option makes him viable in the team with this flaw in his batting, I don't think he can suddenly change to having a big score mentality.

Posted by SherjilIslam on (January 21, 2013, 10:39 GMT)

Watson or no Watson doesn't make much of the difference on the series outcome as India are clearly the favorites.Only Clarke seems to have some class and Warner is a lottery like Sehwag. For their Bowling, i can only fear of Starc as he is a genuine left arm swing bowler and India has a history playing poorly against genuine left arm swingers.Their spinner whoever they choose to play and Mitchell Johnson are just an ordinary lot and have been humiliated here in 2010.

Posted by hycIass on (January 21, 2013, 10:32 GMT)

In form Hughes and Khawaja is great for our team, both need to be in the team long term in order for us to rebuild. If we can get Watto bowling a few overs it will help alot but without his bowling i am not so sure he can hold his spot over Cowan as a opener. My team would be. Warner, Cowan(on his last chance otherise replaced by Watson), Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke(c), Watson, Wade, Siddle, Pattinson, Lyon, Beer 12th Starc 13th Bird

Posted by Mary_786 on (January 21, 2013, 10:04 GMT)

Khawaja is the batsman with the best technique and second best record in shield cricket this year. His treatment by the selectors is not entirely fair but i am hoping his one game in the ODI's was because they have him down as the test player for India. I know selectors watch each of the shield games so they know he has scored on some real mine fields this year? But the Adelaide ODI was just an example of muddled thinking. Smith and Maxwell in the same team? Plus Doherty and Hussey to bowl spin didn't work out well. My gut feel is that Watson will be left out for the Indian series(his wife is giving birth during that time) to give Cowan one last chance to cement his spot before the ashes.

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (January 21, 2013, 9:52 GMT)

@Mitty i agree with you mate, both Khawaja and Watson are technically very good batsman though Khawaja has alot more domestic runs to this credit this season. Khawaja has improved his conversion rate significantly under boof and I think he will be a key batsman for the upcomng Indian series and the ashes. What i didn't know what that Khawaja attended the same school as Clarke (Westfield sports), must be a very good cricket team there. I like Mitty's X1 for the Indian series.

Posted by JoeySpiggs on (January 21, 2013, 9:49 GMT)

i think watson is needed in the side, but is a weak link at #3. his allround capabilities make him a must at 6, with his seamers very handy in subcontinental wickets that promote reverse swing. with watto in the side it allows us to play two spinners, so it gives another bloke like beer or holland a shot. with watto jumping down, i think usman must play at 4 with clarke at 5. hughes is a good young batsman who i think will thrive at 3. as for my XI in India, Warner, Cowan(needing runs though), Hughes, Khwaja, Clarke(c), Watson, Wade, Siddle, Pattinson, Lyon, Beer 12th Bird

Posted by Narbavi on (January 21, 2013, 9:45 GMT)

@Mitty2: Watson should certainly be preferred if he can bowl at some point of time in the series, he is a good exponent of reverse swing which will be very much handy in indian conditions, he was your best bowler when your side toured us in 2008

Posted by Surajdon9 on (January 21, 2013, 9:44 GMT)

Brad Hogde shoulde be selected for India series No one is better player of spin except him in current Oz Line up so Hodge should be selected.My Line up Warner, Hughes, Watson, Clarke, Hodge, Khawaja, Haddin, Johnson, Siddle, Starc,Lyon.Clarke and Hodge along with Warner need to play 2nd spinner role.Beer can be consider as 2nd spin otion if so then Khawaja shoulde be replaced coz starc, johnson all can play big inning via bat...all the best Oz we need to thrash Indians...

Posted by Mitty2 on (January 21, 2013, 9:08 GMT)

(continuing) but on the contrary, the both of them could really compliment the sometimes shaky starters, but good converters in warner, Hughes and wade. Thinis why I'm all for Cowan opening, to support, settle and combine with Warner. The both of Watson and usman most likely would stop the chances of te reigniting collapses, but kind of add some more emphasis on te likes to Clarke, Hughes and Warner to score all the runs. Anyway, here's to Watson to reinvent himself as a specialist.. And hopefully we'll see those convincing starts converted. Best XI (for india): cowan Warner Hughes watson Clarke khawaja wade starc siddle Lyon beer/o'keefe

Posted by Mitty2 on (January 21, 2013, 9:02 GMT)

Although I have continuously disparaged the selectors for not choosing khawaja, is it just me or do him and Watson both seem the same types of batters? Both technically sound with no obvious flaws, almost textbook technique's and aesthetically pleasing shots. Both have a tendency to plant that front foot out as if in pre meditation, this can lead to LBW's, and the main problem with that is that this mode of dismissal can happen at anytime during the innings, not just at the start, so optimum focus is required, even a bit more than other batsmen. This could be shown with the amount of times Watson has got out once he's made a start, or the times he's got out to spinners once he's made a start. The same goes with khawaja, he's conversion rate is not flash aswell and he is incredibly reminscent of Watson in their ability to handle the swinging bowl. My point: two specialist batsmen who are likely to get out in between 30-50 shouldn't be in the same team, especially in India.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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