Watson looks ahead to 'exciting' new era
Shane Watson, the newly appointed Australian vice-captain, has said he is looking forward to an "exciting" new era as his team shifts focus from a disappointing World Cup campaign to the one-day series against Bangladesh.
"It's very disappointing not to get through further than what we did in the World Cup. Unfortunately, that's been done with and we have got to move on," Watson said on Wednesday. "We have got three games in Bangladesh with a new captain (Michael Clarke) that will add a slightly new dynamic to our team. I think it's really an exciting phase in Australian cricket. It's a changing time in Australian cricket."
This will be Ricky Ponting's first ODI series as a rank-and-file player since 2002, after leading Australia in a record 228 one-dayers. He stepped down as leader after Australia's campaign for a fourth straight World Cup ended in a quarter-final defeat to India last month.
Watson said the continued presence of Ponting in the side will help Australia's attempts to arrest their slide from dominance. "I think it is absolutely brilliant that Ricky still continues to play on. Having his experience around the group is very important for our development moving forward."
Australian coach Tim Nielsen agreed Ponting will be an influential player during the transitional phase. "Michael had done a little bit of captaincy before but Shane hadn't necessarily been involved in the leadership group at all. So it will be excellent for both of them to have Ricky's experience, cricket knowledge and his competitiveness."
Australia play a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI on Thursday in Fatullah, before taking on Bangladesh in three one-dayers starting April 9.