Australia news March 26, 2013

Inverarity offers no guarantees for Watson

63

Shane Watson's place as Australia's vice-captain and even as a member of the Test team is far from guaranteed, after national selector John Inverarity indicated that the sometime-allrounder's future would be a major topic for discussion between now and the Ashes tour.

Having gone to India as a non-bowling batsman and as a player with an enormous amount of experience on the subcontinent in a squad largely ignorant of its challenges, Watson produced nothing of substance with the bat and blotted his off-field leadership copybook by being among the four players suspended from the Mohali Test for failing to follow instructions.

Nonetheless, Watson was then appointed captain in Michael Clarke's stead for the dead final Test, in which he was twice out cheaply while leading the team to a fourth consecutive heavy defeat. Inverarity revealed there had been discussions around whether or not Watson should be interim captain in the circumstances, and that the national selection panel will deliberate further about his place in coming days.

"I won't go into details there but it was all carefully considered," Inverarity told reporters of the captaincy choice for Delhi. "There were a couple of other options and that was the preferred option. He was tour vice-captain and he was the one who had captaincy experience at international level, and from all quarters that was the preferred option.

"The national selection panel will have discussions later this week and through April and every player will be discussed. Things will always be discussed. Every aspect of the team will be discussed. Players in leadership roles. That is absolutely normal.''

Watson's habit of flattering to deceive as a Test batsman was summed up by Inverarity in the gap between his often commanding appearance at the batting crease and his mediocre record, which has now been devoid of a Test century for two and a half years.

"We're concerned about his performances," Inverarity said. "In those ODI matches back in Australia [against the West Indies] his form looked to be outstanding, and in the first couple of Test matches when I was there he was playing well until the ball of his dismissal.

"But we need him, he is one of those senior players, and talented players and experienced players, and we need him performing. All I know is that when I see him play well I think, 'Wow, this guy can play'. He is a wonderful talent. It is just crazy he has not been able to perform at Test level in recent years.''

Watson's place as Clarke's deputy has also been placed at the forefront of the selectors' minds by the captain's injury struggles. Clarke is now set to spend the next two months recovering from the back and hamstring problems he accumulated over the home summer and then in India. The need for a reliable back-up leadership option has increased.

"All those things are under consideration," Inverarity said. "The facts are, at the moment, there is a team in transition. In terms of experience and strong consistent performances over a period of time, we're a little bit short on those things, the options we have at the moment are a little less than in previous years.

"We've got to do the best we can with what's available and we'll be doing all we can in terms of trying to get leadership qualities coming through and a good back-up plan. Michael, who has trouble with his back and hamstring, I haven't known anyone [to] prepare better and treat that adversity better than he does, and we just hope he can stay on the park."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ravi_hari on March 26, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    This is the problem with the selectors. When a player is down and is already under pressure for non-performance, he should be couselled and should be given all possible support to bounce back. By making such statements, Inverarity is pushing Watson into a deeper crisis. Every player has a lean patch. You need to give him enough time and opportunity to come back. The reason why Watson was successful in the ODIs before this series is because he batted as as opener and was playing at home. The selectors should have allowed Watson to open in India when they saw both Warner and Cowan struggling to tackle early spin. Watson is too good a player to be dumped. He is a match winner and has served Australian cricket very well in the past 3 to 4 years. So why dont you give him time to allow the failures to sink in and make an attempt to come back to peak form. Ashes could be the turning point as it was in England where Watson took test opening baptism. I am sure he has it in him to succeed again

  • popcorn on March 29, 2013, 4:37 GMT

    Shane Watson is no great shakes.Like Michael Bevan, he is good only for ODIs and T20s. I would have selected Brad Haddin as Captain for the Delhi Test and later as deputy to Michael Clarke. Haddin has leadership qualities. Shane Watson has flattered to deceive. Enough of him. There are better PURE batsmen and Batting All Rounders in the country than this delicate,injury-prone man.

  • on March 28, 2013, 11:09 GMT

    Watson and Warners agressive batting approach is always likely to lead to inconsistent performances. They look fantastic on a given day but just useless the next. There is an inability or an unwillingness to graft an innings in difficult conditions. This is not generally appreciated by the viewing public who are enamoured by the swashbuckling. Guys like Greame Smith never get a mention in the greatness stakes but average over 50 opening in treacherous conditions in SA. Yes, Im SA but thats not the point. Watson and Warner are one day players playing test cricket. Aussie test wickets have become flatter to accomodate these players. Hence the number of draws in aussie tests are on the up. If thats how u want to play test cricket then be willing to accept erratic performances when the going gets tough.

  • Chris_P on March 27, 2013, 20:23 GMT

    @Tigg. Agree with your points although Watson's average with the bat in the past 3 years makes for very sorry reading. MoHen should be persevered with as he has shown solid form in fc, showed enough in the test series to keep. Smith I agree, but Wade's work behind the stumps were an embarrassment. Far too many sloppy takes, missed chances galore, the error factor far exceeded anything he showed with the bat. That experiment should be concluded, that is, don't pick the best batsman of the available keepers. Not sure if Hilfy deserves a place as their are a stack of young bowlers who would perform as well & develop for the future Faulkner, Copeland come to mind). Khawaja is someone who has the technique to excel in England, hopefully he improves his work ethic & make that transition to successful test player.

  • Tigg on March 27, 2013, 13:30 GMT

    Averaging 35 with the bat and 30 with the ball makes for good reading as an all-rounder. The bowling average is somewhat flattering however as, looking to the ashes, in the last two series vs England he's been milked for runs.

    If he can bowl he should make the XI in the classic AR slot of no.6. If he can't, well, I'd give his spot to Henriques.

    As an Englishman I think this is probably the best side Aus could field:

    Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke*, Smith, Watson/Henriques, Wade+, Three from Siddle/Hilfenhaus/Harris/Starc/Pattinson/Bird, Lyon

    ...and Smith only because he played responsibly in his india tests.

  • Thefakebook on March 27, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    Watto deserves at least a couple more test before he is dropped!Now or never.

  • on March 27, 2013, 7:30 GMT

    Interesting article but i don't think the chairman of selectors is helping the player or team by making those comments. I'd like to see the selectors instead select the best wicketkeeper irrespective of his batting ability. Both Haddin and Wade are decent batsmen but drop too many catches miss too many stumpings let through too many byes. Time to try someone else Tim Paine or Chris Hartley(though i bet the selectors think he's too old-like David Hussey ) As for another Batsman George Bailey should be tried (after Usman Khawaja)

  • Insult_2_Injury on March 27, 2013, 2:44 GMT

    Every time I hear Watson speak, or discussed by others, I can't help thinking of the fictional cricketer - Warwick Todd. I'm/he's hitting the ball well - just can't make a score. Even though he has a mediocre record littered by more off field headlines than on field exploits the selectors/he believes he's indispensable to Oz cricket. Will he bowl, won't he bowl, when will he be fit to bowl, I want to bowl, I felt I bowled OK, he should be opening, batting at 4, batting at 6 & 1st change bowler. What a sad state Oz cricket is in if this guy is vital.

  • on March 27, 2013, 2:32 GMT

    For What its worth my ashes team Watson, Warner, Cowan, Clarke, Smith, Wade, Faulkner, Bird, Harris, Pattinson, O'Keefe Reserves Kwahja, Cutting, Starc, Lyon, Hughes, a BIG in if citizenship comes through is Ahmed

  • satishchandar on March 27, 2013, 2:03 GMT

    Would anyone have gaurantee of place in the team when not in form unless that guy is of status of Sachin or Punter? Absolutely no.. And, for a chief selector to declare it in public doesn't look that good.. If you think he is not performing, drop him as simple as that.. He is not in average form too.. And not bowling,. You have the rights to drop him and no one is going to complain on that John.. Provided he will be bowling for Ashes, If you guys feel he can offer something to the team, bring him back to no.6 slot and look in.. Warner, Hughes(have him opening and hope for quick start), Cowan(damage control and he will last more than 100 balls more often than not), Bailey(yes.. bring him in.. he adds more stability than the current corp of batsmen), Clarke, Watson/Khawaja, Haddin(Wade need to wait even more. not yet top keeper/bat), Starc, Pattinson, Starc, Lyon.

  • ravi_hari on March 26, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    This is the problem with the selectors. When a player is down and is already under pressure for non-performance, he should be couselled and should be given all possible support to bounce back. By making such statements, Inverarity is pushing Watson into a deeper crisis. Every player has a lean patch. You need to give him enough time and opportunity to come back. The reason why Watson was successful in the ODIs before this series is because he batted as as opener and was playing at home. The selectors should have allowed Watson to open in India when they saw both Warner and Cowan struggling to tackle early spin. Watson is too good a player to be dumped. He is a match winner and has served Australian cricket very well in the past 3 to 4 years. So why dont you give him time to allow the failures to sink in and make an attempt to come back to peak form. Ashes could be the turning point as it was in England where Watson took test opening baptism. I am sure he has it in him to succeed again

  • popcorn on March 29, 2013, 4:37 GMT

    Shane Watson is no great shakes.Like Michael Bevan, he is good only for ODIs and T20s. I would have selected Brad Haddin as Captain for the Delhi Test and later as deputy to Michael Clarke. Haddin has leadership qualities. Shane Watson has flattered to deceive. Enough of him. There are better PURE batsmen and Batting All Rounders in the country than this delicate,injury-prone man.

  • on March 28, 2013, 11:09 GMT

    Watson and Warners agressive batting approach is always likely to lead to inconsistent performances. They look fantastic on a given day but just useless the next. There is an inability or an unwillingness to graft an innings in difficult conditions. This is not generally appreciated by the viewing public who are enamoured by the swashbuckling. Guys like Greame Smith never get a mention in the greatness stakes but average over 50 opening in treacherous conditions in SA. Yes, Im SA but thats not the point. Watson and Warner are one day players playing test cricket. Aussie test wickets have become flatter to accomodate these players. Hence the number of draws in aussie tests are on the up. If thats how u want to play test cricket then be willing to accept erratic performances when the going gets tough.

  • Chris_P on March 27, 2013, 20:23 GMT

    @Tigg. Agree with your points although Watson's average with the bat in the past 3 years makes for very sorry reading. MoHen should be persevered with as he has shown solid form in fc, showed enough in the test series to keep. Smith I agree, but Wade's work behind the stumps were an embarrassment. Far too many sloppy takes, missed chances galore, the error factor far exceeded anything he showed with the bat. That experiment should be concluded, that is, don't pick the best batsman of the available keepers. Not sure if Hilfy deserves a place as their are a stack of young bowlers who would perform as well & develop for the future Faulkner, Copeland come to mind). Khawaja is someone who has the technique to excel in England, hopefully he improves his work ethic & make that transition to successful test player.

  • Tigg on March 27, 2013, 13:30 GMT

    Averaging 35 with the bat and 30 with the ball makes for good reading as an all-rounder. The bowling average is somewhat flattering however as, looking to the ashes, in the last two series vs England he's been milked for runs.

    If he can bowl he should make the XI in the classic AR slot of no.6. If he can't, well, I'd give his spot to Henriques.

    As an Englishman I think this is probably the best side Aus could field:

    Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke*, Smith, Watson/Henriques, Wade+, Three from Siddle/Hilfenhaus/Harris/Starc/Pattinson/Bird, Lyon

    ...and Smith only because he played responsibly in his india tests.

  • Thefakebook on March 27, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    Watto deserves at least a couple more test before he is dropped!Now or never.

  • on March 27, 2013, 7:30 GMT

    Interesting article but i don't think the chairman of selectors is helping the player or team by making those comments. I'd like to see the selectors instead select the best wicketkeeper irrespective of his batting ability. Both Haddin and Wade are decent batsmen but drop too many catches miss too many stumpings let through too many byes. Time to try someone else Tim Paine or Chris Hartley(though i bet the selectors think he's too old-like David Hussey ) As for another Batsman George Bailey should be tried (after Usman Khawaja)

  • Insult_2_Injury on March 27, 2013, 2:44 GMT

    Every time I hear Watson speak, or discussed by others, I can't help thinking of the fictional cricketer - Warwick Todd. I'm/he's hitting the ball well - just can't make a score. Even though he has a mediocre record littered by more off field headlines than on field exploits the selectors/he believes he's indispensable to Oz cricket. Will he bowl, won't he bowl, when will he be fit to bowl, I want to bowl, I felt I bowled OK, he should be opening, batting at 4, batting at 6 & 1st change bowler. What a sad state Oz cricket is in if this guy is vital.

  • on March 27, 2013, 2:32 GMT

    For What its worth my ashes team Watson, Warner, Cowan, Clarke, Smith, Wade, Faulkner, Bird, Harris, Pattinson, O'Keefe Reserves Kwahja, Cutting, Starc, Lyon, Hughes, a BIG in if citizenship comes through is Ahmed

  • satishchandar on March 27, 2013, 2:03 GMT

    Would anyone have gaurantee of place in the team when not in form unless that guy is of status of Sachin or Punter? Absolutely no.. And, for a chief selector to declare it in public doesn't look that good.. If you think he is not performing, drop him as simple as that.. He is not in average form too.. And not bowling,. You have the rights to drop him and no one is going to complain on that John.. Provided he will be bowling for Ashes, If you guys feel he can offer something to the team, bring him back to no.6 slot and look in.. Warner, Hughes(have him opening and hope for quick start), Cowan(damage control and he will last more than 100 balls more often than not), Bailey(yes.. bring him in.. he adds more stability than the current corp of batsmen), Clarke, Watson/Khawaja, Haddin(Wade need to wait even more. not yet top keeper/bat), Starc, Pattinson, Starc, Lyon.

  • SRK666 on March 27, 2013, 2:00 GMT

    Some people are suggesting that Inverarity "singled out" Watson for special criticism. This article does paint that picture, but it is misleading. Other articles suggest that happened here is that reporters specifically asked Inverarity about Watson's form and leadership role. Inverarity for the most part replied with a straight bat, saying that of course that the position of all players is always under consideration (Watson included), and that the leadership of the team (Clarke aside) is a matter of ongoing discussion. The only thing Inverarity specifically said about Watson---when prodded by questioning about Watson---is that they are concerned about his current form, they wish it were better, and they regard him as massively talented and very valuable to the team. There's nothing overly negative about Watson here.

  • nareshgb1 on March 27, 2013, 1:56 GMT

    Watson should tell the selectors not to make him vice captain. if despite being Vice Captain, the selector says "There were a couple of other options and that was the preferred option" then, well, just s-d it. IPL is always there no!?! welcome Watto - you will be the Mega-Watts-on in IPL.

  • Meety on March 27, 2013, 1:12 GMT

    @cricmypassion on (March 26, 2013, 10:04 GMT) - IMO, the 2nd & 3rd Test strips proved that India were the better side in Indian conditions. That said, the 1st pitch WAS doctored - the curator admitted it, & the 4th Test pitch was a poor strip that was a lottery for either side to win (which obviously to their credit was India). Jayzuz was correct to use the word specific. Bishan Bedi (you know him? one of the greatest spinners India has ever produced), claimed that the pitches produced in India these days are NOT typical Indian pitches. They NEVER use to turn on the 1st day. Yes, playing on those types of pitches require genuine skill. In recent times the term flat track bully has been used to describe Indian batsmen - which IMO is laughable as clearly Indian pitches cannot be described as flat. If Indian pitches were easy, everyone would have great batting stats. However, by providing the pitches you do, Team India become a "niche" team, incapable of great deeds elsewhere!

  • spindizzy on March 27, 2013, 0:54 GMT

    Why does anyone think that Hughes will do better this time against the English? His technique is still as flawed and the Indian spinners highlighted his mental vulnerability. The only reason his average was better in the Shield this year was he moved to the home of the docile pitch, SA.

  • crankypete on March 27, 2013, 0:08 GMT

    These are the things n Watson's defence: loss of momentum due to repeated injury; loss of opening partner in Katich; loss of opening position.

    But he has seemed out of form and unsure of his role since he came back this time. Hence his call for the simple clarity of facing he new ball (which I supported).

    Done and dusted now, he ca be dropped on results if they want. But no more of this Cowansim vs Watsonism. Maybe drop them both and go Hughes Warner Khawaja.

    Should only be picked if they let him open. And shouldn't bowl more than 5 overs an n inns, we have decent bowlers now, hopefully.

  • OneEyedAussie on March 26, 2013, 23:32 GMT

    I think it's reasonable to assume that the NSP will send the same squad to England as went to India - with Harris in for Doherty being the only change I see them likely to make. Watson will almost certainly tour and play a few games - and almost certainly he will not score a century all series. Stating the obvious, but really not worth the selection if he can't bowl.

  • VivGilchrist on March 26, 2013, 22:07 GMT

    Every player has a bad patch. Clarke had one not too long ago. Hussey as well. Mark Taylors was legendary. Watto is essential in England, especially as the 5th bowler allowing Wade to go back to 7. This NSP and management seem to polarize themselves from the players. I don't like the vibe. No support. Actually if we talk performance, who's idea was it to select Doherty over OKeefe? Look in the mirror Invers!

  • Mappi on March 26, 2013, 21:49 GMT

    Watson should be selected as an opener with Warner / Cowan depending on their form as well or put him back on #6, hopefully by June he shouldr start bowling, Ashes will be quite intesting series as england also struggle against kiwis, you cant write off Watson totally as Australia are badly struggling to cope without Ponting & Hussey, in the recent series against India unfortunately the balance of the team was very weak the lack in batting plus fast bowling on those spinning wickets didnt make any in roads , with No spinner like Shane Warne who also struggle badly againts Indian on Indian pitches in the past has no answers and every cricket pundit knew well the y are going to struggle bigtime may be not badly as 0-4

  • Nerk on March 26, 2013, 21:18 GMT

    Oh, so Watson had a poor series of India. Him and every other batsmen! Laughing at people's suggestion that Maxwell should replace him. If anything, this series proved that Maxwell needed a year or two in the Shield before he was given the baggy green. He has great potential, I grant you, but he has neither experience nor temperament for the longer format. One thing I don't like about the current Australian management is their need to discuss everything before the press. Its ridiculous. Like the captain of the Titanic going "everything is fine, no need to panic" as the band plays abide with me. Perhaps by putting the blame on the players, the selectors and coach won't get the blame for poor selection.

  • Baundele on March 26, 2013, 19:24 GMT

    As an allrounder Inverarity has already found Maxwell to replace Watson. 2 M$ man Jadeja just became the man of the final test and Maxwell has all the potential to become the man of the series in the Ashes. Watson is not needed.

  • stormy16 on March 26, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    I must agree I am bitterly dissappointed at Wattos failures and constant injuries. I was happy when he gave up bowling (yes not idea but he needed to be on the park) to become a rock in the batting order to support Clark. Unfortunately that just hasnt happened and with Aus limited choices things are looking desperate for both Aus and Watto. He just needs to deliver in Eng.

  • USIndianFan on March 26, 2013, 18:44 GMT

    If I was Watson, I would pull the plug on Test cricket and focus on the IPL. Clarke was a failure as a captain, totally unable to lead his team or meld into a team (as opposed to being a batsman), while it looked like in Delhi, the team liked to play for Watson. I think Autralia is in for a long churn and Watson will not be happy there for a while. There is no leadership in the team management and the coaching/ selection process.

  • Chris_P on March 26, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    What have we come to offerong no guarantees? You are kidding Invers. Never ever has there. or ever shoudl be guarantees. Bradman was dropped, as was Waugh, Ponting, Ian Chappell, guys who have far greater ability than Watson would ever dream to have. Why is he being singled out. Recent form (3 years of it) suggested he wasn't good enough to hold as place as a specialist batsman, so why was he even considered? When you average less than 30 for 3 years (average 25 for tests_ why is it even being discussed? As a batsman, he doesn't rate form wise for fc cricket, simple. Hang on, didn't the Argus report suggest picking players on form? Hope that report made for a good fish & chip wrapper.

  • desiboy454 on March 26, 2013, 17:50 GMT

    Why punch a player when he is down. They need watson the all rounder in England, I remember when he played against pakistan in england in tests, he bowled brilliantly. He is a very good all rounder and needs to get his bowling back.

    If he can bowl again, and his workload is managed then I think it will be great asset to Aus, because they dont really have a good all rounder waiting.

    My XI for the Ashes in England: 1. Warner 2. Cowan 3. Hughes 4. Clarke 5. Bailey/ Khawaja 6. Watson 7. Wade 8. Siddle 9. Starc/Hillfenhaus/Ryan Harris 10. Pattinson 11. Lyon

    If Ryan harris is Fit enough, he would be my first choice to support Siddle/Pattinson

    XI has balance to play in England, Warner better than in Asia, Cowan the anchor, Hughes will play much better in Seam conditions, Clarke at 4 not 5. Reason I choice bailey is because he is a hard working player. Watson at 6, to ease workload.

    England XI: cook, compton, trott, KP, bell, Root, prior, Swann, Finn, Anderson, Broad/Bresnan/Tremlet

  • BnH1985Fan on March 26, 2013, 16:20 GMT

    I think the Aussie way is to tell it like it is .. I can't imagine the likes of Chappell brothers, Lille, Marsh, Boone, Border, Waugh brothers etc. trying to sugar coat failures. The modern day professional cricket player makes a lot of money. And with it comes the responsibility to play well or get out of the way. Watto averaged in the 40s after his first 26 matches, while he is averaging in the mid-twenties in the last 2 years. It is time he felt pressure for his place in the team, and I can't really argue with Inverarity. Like CA, I believe Watto is too good to continue to fail, and I am hoping he turns things around quickly if Oz is to put up a fight for the Ashes!

  • on March 26, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    I think its starting to sink in in Invariety's head. What makes you believe Watson will ever make a big sore as a test batsman against oponents like India, England, SA, PAK. He's just not test material - belongs to one day squad. If Australia retains the same team for the Ashes, they might as well tell England just retain the Ashes. These batsmen have no discipline, do not know when to go forward or back. The ball will pitch in their toes and still play back. Do not know when to attack, impatient and irresponsible. Why not give Steve Smith a shot at vice captain. I think he showed patience and is an emerging batsman.

  • on March 26, 2013, 14:30 GMT

    australia need to make couple of changes to the batting lineup for england. 1.warner 2.hughes 3.khawaja 4.clarke 5.burns 6.watson 7.wade i think hughes will make a big differrence to australia as opener in england. he is the best opener in first class cricket. khawaja has the best technique of all the top order batsmen in australia. burns is the best young batsmen in australia. i will give watson a chance to bat at no 6 with bowling as well.

  • on March 26, 2013, 14:04 GMT

    @bigskyrocket Warner has got cred on green seaming wickets. His first ever century was on a Bellerive greentop where the ball was jagging around everywhere and swinging. He showed that getting forward, meeting the ball before it swings and playing in an attacking fashion can work on wickets such as that. If Warner gets 2 boundaries away early on then he is impossible to stop on any wicket. I'm confident his average will improve beyond 40 in the 10 Ashes tests. He just hates spin!

  • on March 26, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    it's simple. watson is a threat to clark. so clark will gang up with selectors to have him dumped. that's what clark has done all along. symonds, katich, now watson..the list goes on

  • on March 26, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    australia showed the best fighting spirit in the fourth test when watson was captain. clarke should play only as a batsman. because he's shown that he's not a good leader. watson should be captain. australians should be more concerned about the abysmal form of warner, cowan, hughes in this series. watson as a player just cannot be jettisoned. but australian selectors led by the idiot inveratity (whatever his name) have shown that they have no clue about picking a team.

  • hycIass on March 26, 2013, 12:59 GMT

    Good analysis Fleming_mitch…Watson will be in the ashes and his bowling in those conditions will be important for us. Just thinkin about all this "lack of next in line batsman" stuff , why does CA not have an Australia A team in the shield. Or just play a match between Shield winners vs The Rest…then we can have a pool\group of the potential players ready and playing as a group anyways…. I also have no doubt Khawaja should be there and like you really glad to see Inevarity talk positively about his ashes prospects given his talent in handling swing bowling. Can i also say that the usage of technolgy by umpries has been very good, they have gone up when there has been a need and i am a big fan of that as DRS is not being used as a tactical tool .

  • jumblebum on March 26, 2013, 12:54 GMT

    Ashes 2013 - David Hussey for Vice Captain, number 6 batter, part time spinner.

  • Flemo_Gilly on March 26, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    @Edward you are correct mate, Watson needs to bowl, if he does then he is one of our more valuable players, without it he will be dropped.Peter Siddle is a work-horse but took two Tests coming into his own. James Pattinson did well in the first game but did not have anything to show for in the others. Phil Hughes failed too many times but his 69 was good. Khawaja should have played this series and don't think most folks will argue against that as he is one of our best prospects especially for the ashes against the moving ball. Ed Cowan has split opinions but his inability to go on after 30 is worrying but he fought which i can't say for some other batsman. I will back Nathan Lyon too and he will do well for us in the ashes.

  • Ms.Cricket on March 26, 2013, 12:22 GMT

    Seriously John I, get off your high horse! Give Watson the captaincy full time, he showed lots of ticker on the field as captain and the team showed most fight under his command than at any other point on the tour.

  • Nightwing32 on March 26, 2013, 12:17 GMT

    Yeah Watto isn't offering much. My squad would be Clarke (C), Cowan (VC), Wade (WK), Haddin (WK), Warner, Hughes, Khawaja, Smith, Bailey, Siddle, Pattinson, Harris, Bird, Starc and Lyon. I can't leave out Rhino, Smith has done well, Bailey has cred.

    Hughes, Cowan, Starc and Khawaja have County Experience, Johnson misses out because Harris just better, Haddin is the 2nd keeper and has great experience in England and the rest speaks of itself really.

  • tfjones1978 on March 26, 2013, 12:15 GMT

    Cowan reminds me of Steve Waugh, the player that took the crown off the West Indies and made us the number one team in the world for over a decade. Steve Waugh got battered and brused during his time in WI in 1995 when we beat the west indies in a series for the first time in decades. Cowan showed in the series against India that he is the player of the future for Australia. To me a batsmen isnt about going out there and scoring quick runs, its about hanging around. Cowan would often see off the opening bowlers and get the shine off the ball and give the batsmen coming in after him a chance to bat as a middle order player and not as an opener. We have an opener in Cowan, but Warner shouldnt be an opener, he wants quick runs, he is perfect for number six or seven where he can bat with the tail. Warner could score quick runs and run quick singles with the tail. I agree about Bailey, Watson should be part of the rotation as a bowler. Bailey should be the vice-captain and next captain.

  • Jayzuz on March 26, 2013, 11:35 GMT

    @cricmypassion, the AUS team IS inexperienced and is learning - AND what I have to say has nothing to do with that. Maybe you didn't listen to what the curator said after the first test, or the curator for the final test vs ENG? What more evidence do you want? Now that's what I call head in the sand. Perhaps you think that India can pull off this kind of stuff and receive no criticism from fans of the teams they play? I'd say that's rather wishful thinking. Speaking of learning, how much do you think India learned from playing in these conditions? I'm looking forward to finding out the answer shortly. Please feel free quote this post if I am wrong about the three huge series losses coming up overseas. I'll be bookmarking it myself for future reference.

  • Bigskyrocket on March 26, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    I agree with some of the pundits views, watson is over rated. A match winner in the shorter form but never in tests. Wade must go also, he was third choice before paine was injured and haddin became unavailable due to personal reasons and he is still third choice in my mind. Johnson also is below par, he only likes nice bouncy wickets like in perth therefore not worth taking on ashes tour. My squad (presuming they will take 17 to England, 5 tests, like they did for India, 4 tests): Warner, Hughes, Cowan, Khawaja, Clarke, Bailey, Smith, Henriques, Haddin, Paine, Pattinson, Starc, Siddle, Harris, Faulkner, Lyon, O'Keefe. Presuming Bird and Cummins are unfit. Back ups Rogers, Ferguson, Cutting. Mike Coward's call for Bailey to be made captain flies in the face of Clarke form since being made captain. There is still a question mark over Warner's and Hughes's credentials at test level on wickets other than Aussie ones. We will see how they will go against the swinging ball.

  • GreenDeviln on March 26, 2013, 11:20 GMT

    Absolute Stupidity. Shane Watson can be one of the greatest all-rounders cricket has ever produced if handled properly, and CA is thinking to drop him, what a joke they are making of themselves.

  • SamRoy on March 26, 2013, 11:10 GMT

    @Jayzuz On these type of pitches (low and slow ones) people like Malcolm Marshall, Joe Garner, Andy Roberts, Imran Khan, Allan Donald, Shoaib Akhtar and Glenn McGrath have pulverized India. Even a decent paceman like Kasprowicz has caused India a lot of grief. Either raw pace and accuracy or a lot of bowling intelligence is required to get wickets for fast bowlers in India. The current pace bowling lot of Australia did have that missing from them (except Pattinson).

  • on March 26, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    Watson has always been a firebrand. It is one of the reasons that he performs well as a bowler - he doesn`t like to be dominated by anybody. But this same quality is his downfall as a top order test batsmen. There are times in test cricket where you have to accept that the pitch conditions and the bowler means that the opposition is on top - you have to be patient and grind out an innings. He doesn`t have that sort of temperament. Dominating on the placid one day pitches is not the same as grafting a 100 in the test arena.

  • KingKongIn on March 26, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    @Jayzuz, do you really think so ? after 99 from Starc, 2 50+ score by Siddle, More deleivery played by Lyon than Watson, and you are blamming pitches for the Aussies debacle. Sir you need to think about it when your bowler can score in Inidan Pithces then why your Batsman couldn't (apart from Clarke, S smith). becaus reason was simple they didn't apply themselves on the pitches. they didn't played well due to less skill\temprament\inexprience as test batsman. Watson is good for any team if he is bowling too alongwith Batting. He can not be selected in any team only one of his skill. I admit we are not good on bouncy pitches and we criticize our team, I think you should also admit that your players were not good in spin pithces and should criticize your player instead of pitches. Pitches were good your players weren't. enough said !!

  • Mitty2 on March 26, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    Oh and the ashes squad must not have watson; a perenial underachiever. Potential and supposed unfulfilled talent is nothing if you can't ever score runs. Same goes with maxwell. Choose players over recent form, and/or proven records.

    If we want to persist with a rotation policy of tthe pacers then the squad should be 17. Covering all bases which is what we didn't do in the indian squad. (This is for this english tour, and i'm assuming that both of cummings and cutting are unavailable)

    Warner Cowan Hughes Khawaja Clarke Burns Rogers Paine Wade Siddle pattinson Harris Bird Starc Faulkner Lyon O'keefe.

    Prefered 11: Warner Cowan Khawaja Hughes Clarke Wade Faulkner Pattinson Harris Lyon Bird

    Sorry siddle, you're truly my favorite, but i feel that soft pitches don't really suit you, despite you recently having found more swing, but still, i can't imagine bird not prospering in England. There must be a reason he has a FC and test average of under 20 anyway?

  • Mitty2 on March 26, 2013, 10:39 GMT

    Absolutely shocking inverarity. If he's struggling, why publically single him out? As ravi_haris states, work with him closely, counsil him, do whatever, just don't take this to the flipping media. John, the selection panel that you run has been downright terrible. Why pick khawaja in the squad if you're not going to play him? How can he be worse than hughes or watson's performances? Why drop lyon, our best available spinner? Trying to conveniently ruin his confidence? Why persist with wade, the worst keeper in australia? Why chose maxwell, doherty and henriques? Ever even had a look at the stats of O'Keefe and faulkner? Why choose 20/20 bits and pieces players?

    At least i can agree with one thing, the persistance with cowan and warner. Cowan faced the most bowls of ANY batsmen in the indian-aus series behind vijay. He was unlucky with his erreneous decisions twice, but he still fought back and displayed the necessary ability to graft and adapt. Unlike watson, warner and hughes.

  • handyandy on March 26, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    Someone should ask Inverarity whether or not his spot is safe. The selectors need to accept that they have a lot of the responsibility for the Indian debacle.

  • Wefinishthis on March 26, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    So Inverarity admits just how clueless he is. He can't even understand why Watson isn't performing at test level. I'll tell him why, because he's NOT a test batsman! The NSP need to get it out of their heads that ODI performances are not a better indicator of test success than Shield performances. According to the NSP's logic, Philander should be dropped from the test side for Tsotsobe. They should have been picking players from their shield performances like Rogers, Cosgrove, D.Hussey, O'Keefe, Bird, Faulkner, Harris and look after Silk and Burns. Secondly, we're NOT in transition. It's been 6 years since McGrath/Warne/Gilchrist retired. We just need start rewarding good performances and dropping poor ones and pick our best 4 bowlers which are obviously O'Keefe, Pattinson, Harris and Bird. Drop Micky Mouse Arthur as well and with our batsman facing the quality of those 4 bowlers in the nets and with Tim Coyle supporting them as coach, you'll see their performances magically improve.

  • RDLikesCricket on March 26, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    Rather than talking about a specific player, I would guess that the Aussie selectors would look at the kind of player profiles/roles that would give them better success in the Ashes and then staff the team with the players who are Physically FIT and InForm at that point of time. Talking about Watson's inabilities is bound to demoralize the fellow who not so long ago was enroute to being one of the best all-rounders. Guessing that the situation in England will be far different from the one in India... But then John Inv and co are known to do some out-of-this-world stuff whilst selecting the teams... Good luck gents...

  • cricmypassion on March 26, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    @Jayzuz - clutching at straws, aren't we? None of the tracks were doctored to a state where it was impossible to bat on, as you seem to believe. Yes, they were all dry and broken, but it was a test of batsmanship. Just as seaming tracks are. And Just as India were found wanting in Australia on tracks that held something for pacers, Australia came a cropper against the spinners. Australian cricket will go nowhere if it continues to be in a state of denial like you are. The truth is that the batsmen lacked experience and skills, the bowlers just weren't steady enough. Fortunately, I believe that Inverarity and his group will learn some lessons and the ashes will be very competitive. Get your head out of the sand and see how your team can learn!

  • Edwards_Anderson on March 26, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    Its really simple, Watson has to bowl otherwise he can't hold his spot as batsman on his figures alone. My suggested lineup would be as follows: Openers: Hughes and Warner. These are our best 2 openers. I think Warner needs some time to develop his game further. Hughes is an opener (not a # 3), improved as the Indian tour went on and was in fine Sheffield Shield form this year.Number 3: Khawaja. He needs to be told he will have 10 consecutive tests in the team (both Ashes series) to give him some confidence of not being dropped, and I am confident he will flourish. Number 4: Clarke. Our best batsman needs to come in early. Number 5 Watson assuming he is bowing. Number 6 Smith and if he fails then Cowan comes in. Paine would be my keeper(87 in shield final). Number 8: Siddle. I think the bowlers almost pick themselves.Number 9: Pattinson.Number 10: Harris. In great form after his latest comeback, could be very dangerous in English conditions.Number 11: Lyon.

  • PrasPunter on March 26, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    Will be a horrible thing if Watson is chosen just as a batsman for the Ashes. And Warner should not make it at all, given his poor temperament. Cowan-Clarke-Khawaja-Doolan-Hughes-Bailey-Haddin-Siddle-Pattinson-Starc-Lyon for test 1. Harris and Bird shall be our reserves. Paine shall be the reserve wicket-keeper. Just don't like to see Wade dropping KP or Cook.

  • on March 26, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    Sack Watson - Useless, overated, underachieving player. He wants to bowl, doesnt want to bowl, wants to open the batting, and then promotes maxwell to opener. Sack Inverarity as well - He says he knows the best 11, but he clearly has no clue, and sack Arthur - I just cant believe he said australia is on track for the ashes and they have the upper hand, WHAT??

  • moBlue on March 26, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    as an IND fan, i have to say the oz selectors are just as crazy as the IND selectors! ...and that is saying something, consider how corrupt the IND selectors are, beholden to regional influences, and incalculable "calculations" involving power and money exchanging hands at every level!

    for instance, the oz selectors ruined michael hussey's career! if he were born in IND, he would have ended his career recently having been the #1 or #2 batter in the world of all time, bradman excluded! ...and now, inverarity and gang have put some strange guys out on the test team in the spinning minefield of IND, no less! not to mention the batPoopCrazy "discipline debacle" where a few of the best players of a weak team were benched for some presumed long-term gain! more long-term pain is what that whole debacle ensured...

    clarke is world class!!! oz fans, make some noise and get a grip over your selectors, and get your manager fired and replaced, and build yourselves a strong team once again...

  • Jayzuz on March 26, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    @rohanbala, conditions in India are very specific, and you saw what the Indians did to the tracks, I'm sure. You can't drop either pace bowlers or batsmen who were doing well before the series based on what happened in India. The Indians killed the tracks dead for pacers, and turned them into dusty, glassless spinners' paradises - including doctoring specific sections of the pitches according to best fit for their team. It's utterly beyond me why they can get away with it, but that's for the ICC to handle. The AUS team will not encounter conditions like that anywhere else in the world, not that relentlessly, not to that degree. The English series will be totally different. The English will not be in India's position to doctor tracks (not that they would, not to that degree anyway), because the strengths and weaknesses of the teams are not mirror opposites as are AUS/IND. If they go green, AUS pacers might have field day.

  • atpoint on March 26, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    Some tough work ahead for all concerned with cricket in Australia and all fans should hope smart decisions are made. First test v England there will be no shocks : Cowan, Warner, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Watson, Wade, Siddle, Pattinson, Starc, Lyon. Hopefully, Burns, Doolan, Paine, Faulkner, Harris and Bird will make up the rest of the squad.Tricky calls for selectors on Haddin, Khuwaja and Johnson. Let's hope Maxwell gets told to have a couple of seasons getting experience and performance in Shield.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 26, 2013, 9:25 GMT

    "A top order in disorder" reads the headline of the Sydney Morning Hearld. "The cupboard is bare and there isn't a single batsman knocking on the door" says another. Admittedly, Australia need to drop all their top 6, but so close to the Ashes, the historic B2B Ashes, would be self-destruction. So lessons learnt from this Whitewash? Apparently none, so bring on the next one, this time in England.

  • valvolux on March 26, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    I can tell you one thing Inverarity - your selection on the selection panel is anything but guaranteed going into the ashes. Your merrigoround selections are hurting the team more than any individual player. A merrigoround of poor selections. Haddin is our second best player of spin, perhaps the 3rd best batsman in the country and a hell of a better glovesman than Wade - and he gets one game. Doherty and Maxwell have never even looked capable in first class cricket - and they play several. Hussey and Ponting quit because you never gave them the public support they needed and they disappeared under the impression that YOU had guys biting at their heals - like Steve Smith and Phil Hughes? Now you come out in public and say that one of our best player's position is up for grabs? No wonder no one wants to play under this regime any more.

  • Dangertroy on March 26, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    It's telling the inverarity refer to him as the 'tour vice-captain'. I read that as the decision to drop him has been made, but some bizarre 'honour' obligated them to make him captain. If Watson tours for the ashes, and I think he will, I don't think it will be as vc. He is surely on notice now, but he will play in the first test unless he shows absolutely no form in the tour matches, or if he doesn't return to bowling. I actually think we want a bowling all-rounder in England anyway, either Faulkner or Butterworth at 7 if Wade is staying at 6. Starc, pattinson, siddle have all shown resistance with the bat, where as an extra quality bowler can help us take the 20 wickets we need to win test matches.

  • grizzle on March 26, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    Don't know if I would classify the Delhi test as a `heavy' defeat. Had a couple of (wrong) umpiring decisions gone Australia's way, they may have set India a target of over 200, which might have tested India's mettle a little more. (A couple more wickets in the fourth innings for the Aussies and who knows what would have happened?) In any case, I am glad they didn't :), but the 4th test wasn't the one-sided battle that many articles are making it out to be.

  • on March 26, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    we are rebuilding and it takes time first of all we have to make shaw we have the right capt. because being capt. of a test team in cricket is so important , and unfortunetly we are bare for front line players to me the ones that are their are only state players not test players.

  • rohanbala on March 26, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    The OZ selectors need to take a bold decision not just about Shane Watson alone but a few other players like Warner, Wade, Doherty, Maxwell, Johnson etc. Unless mass changes are effected, the Ashes series will be one-sided.

  • Ozcricketwriter on March 26, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    The two Tasmanian all rounders James Faulkner and Luke Butterworth could do a similar job to Watson. They may not bat quite as well but they are okay and they will bowl just as well but without breaking down.

  • Jayzuz on March 26, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    I know this is going to be a very common remark, but why should Inverarity's place on the selection panel go unquestioned in light of the selection fiasco for this tour - and the disastrous rotation nonsense? Glen Maxwell and Xavier Doherty? Why didn't Khuwaja get a shot, when his playing style is as suited to Indian conditions as anyone? And you expected to compete in India!? Stand down Johnson and Pattinson for the only half-decent pace-bowler's track of the series (doctored beyond beleif as it was). The incompetence is mind boggling. Clearly Inverarity is a child of the 60s, and is still on some of the good stuff. Love and peace, man!

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on March 26, 2013, 8:36 GMT

    All players will be discussed? Even Steve O'Keefe? Maybe the selectors who decided that Glenn Maxwell & Xavier Doherty were Test players and that Nathan Lyon should be dropped after 1 Test should be discussed too. If anything has been learned from the India debacle (and there is LOTS to learn) is that Test cricket requires proper 5 day batsmen and bowlers not fill ins and bits and pieces cricketers. Agree that Watson must be on extremely thin ice. Its only the paucity of other options that has kept someone so manifestly unfit in the team while he averages about 20 since Clarke took over. Watson should cancel his IPL contract and spend the next two months with his new baby while he works on his fitness and batting against a red ball.

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on March 26, 2013, 8:36 GMT

    All players will be discussed? Even Steve O'Keefe? Maybe the selectors who decided that Glenn Maxwell & Xavier Doherty were Test players and that Nathan Lyon should be dropped after 1 Test should be discussed too. If anything has been learned from the India debacle (and there is LOTS to learn) is that Test cricket requires proper 5 day batsmen and bowlers not fill ins and bits and pieces cricketers. Agree that Watson must be on extremely thin ice. Its only the paucity of other options that has kept someone so manifestly unfit in the team while he averages about 20 since Clarke took over. Watson should cancel his IPL contract and spend the next two months with his new baby while he works on his fitness and batting against a red ball.

  • Jayzuz on March 26, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    I know this is going to be a very common remark, but why should Inverarity's place on the selection panel go unquestioned in light of the selection fiasco for this tour - and the disastrous rotation nonsense? Glen Maxwell and Xavier Doherty? Why didn't Khuwaja get a shot, when his playing style is as suited to Indian conditions as anyone? And you expected to compete in India!? Stand down Johnson and Pattinson for the only half-decent pace-bowler's track of the series (doctored beyond beleif as it was). The incompetence is mind boggling. Clearly Inverarity is a child of the 60s, and is still on some of the good stuff. Love and peace, man!

  • Ozcricketwriter on March 26, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    The two Tasmanian all rounders James Faulkner and Luke Butterworth could do a similar job to Watson. They may not bat quite as well but they are okay and they will bowl just as well but without breaking down.

  • rohanbala on March 26, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    The OZ selectors need to take a bold decision not just about Shane Watson alone but a few other players like Warner, Wade, Doherty, Maxwell, Johnson etc. Unless mass changes are effected, the Ashes series will be one-sided.

  • on March 26, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    we are rebuilding and it takes time first of all we have to make shaw we have the right capt. because being capt. of a test team in cricket is so important , and unfortunetly we are bare for front line players to me the ones that are their are only state players not test players.

  • grizzle on March 26, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    Don't know if I would classify the Delhi test as a `heavy' defeat. Had a couple of (wrong) umpiring decisions gone Australia's way, they may have set India a target of over 200, which might have tested India's mettle a little more. (A couple more wickets in the fourth innings for the Aussies and who knows what would have happened?) In any case, I am glad they didn't :), but the 4th test wasn't the one-sided battle that many articles are making it out to be.

  • Dangertroy on March 26, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    It's telling the inverarity refer to him as the 'tour vice-captain'. I read that as the decision to drop him has been made, but some bizarre 'honour' obligated them to make him captain. If Watson tours for the ashes, and I think he will, I don't think it will be as vc. He is surely on notice now, but he will play in the first test unless he shows absolutely no form in the tour matches, or if he doesn't return to bowling. I actually think we want a bowling all-rounder in England anyway, either Faulkner or Butterworth at 7 if Wade is staying at 6. Starc, pattinson, siddle have all shown resistance with the bat, where as an extra quality bowler can help us take the 20 wickets we need to win test matches.

  • valvolux on March 26, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    I can tell you one thing Inverarity - your selection on the selection panel is anything but guaranteed going into the ashes. Your merrigoround selections are hurting the team more than any individual player. A merrigoround of poor selections. Haddin is our second best player of spin, perhaps the 3rd best batsman in the country and a hell of a better glovesman than Wade - and he gets one game. Doherty and Maxwell have never even looked capable in first class cricket - and they play several. Hussey and Ponting quit because you never gave them the public support they needed and they disappeared under the impression that YOU had guys biting at their heals - like Steve Smith and Phil Hughes? Now you come out in public and say that one of our best player's position is up for grabs? No wonder no one wants to play under this regime any more.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 26, 2013, 9:25 GMT

    "A top order in disorder" reads the headline of the Sydney Morning Hearld. "The cupboard is bare and there isn't a single batsman knocking on the door" says another. Admittedly, Australia need to drop all their top 6, but so close to the Ashes, the historic B2B Ashes, would be self-destruction. So lessons learnt from this Whitewash? Apparently none, so bring on the next one, this time in England.

  • atpoint on March 26, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    Some tough work ahead for all concerned with cricket in Australia and all fans should hope smart decisions are made. First test v England there will be no shocks : Cowan, Warner, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Watson, Wade, Siddle, Pattinson, Starc, Lyon. Hopefully, Burns, Doolan, Paine, Faulkner, Harris and Bird will make up the rest of the squad.Tricky calls for selectors on Haddin, Khuwaja and Johnson. Let's hope Maxwell gets told to have a couple of seasons getting experience and performance in Shield.