Australia in India 2012-13 March 19, 2013

Watson return creates selection headache

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Shane Watson's return to India ahead of the fourth Test in Delhi will create a selection conundrum if the captain Michael Clarke is passed fit after suffering back pain in Mohali.

Although Watson remains the vice-captain and is almost certain to lead the side if Clarke is ruled out, his batting form has been disappointing for some time and strong performances from Steven Smith and Phillip Hughes in Mohali would make either of them unlucky to be dropped.

These are the questions faced by Clarke, the coach Mickey Arthur and on-duty selector Rod Marsh when the team begins training in Delhi on Wednesday, ahead of the fourth Test, which starts on Friday. Watson will be back with the group having flown home for the birth of his first child, but his trip home was also controversial because of his comments about being one of four players axed for the third Test for disciplinary reasons.

When he left Chandigarh, Watson said he considered the punishment "very harsh" and he would use his time at home to weigh up his cricket future. But after the birth of his son Will, Watson has reconciled with Cricket Australia and decided to rejoin the tour. Despite all of Cricket Australia's assurances that everybody is now on the same page, Watson's return could lead to some tension given his emotional comments on leaving India.

"I am very comfortable that Shane has accepted the punishment," Arthur said on Tuesday. "We have had a lot of conversations over the last week and they have all been very good. He didn't agree with the penalty but he agreed that they had done wrong. We have pretty much got that sorted and we have had numerous conversations and I am really comfortable with where it sits with Watto, we are really happy to have him back.

"I've spoken to Watto a lot, he has been incredibly supportive of where this team is moving to and really wants to be part of it. Once the emotion went away from Watto, he was very, very supportive of what we want to do with the team."

The main question now is how Australia can squeeze Watson into the batting line-up, given the success of Smith and the way Hughes fought through his spin demons in the second innings in Mohali. By contrast, Watson has averaged only 25.20 since taking over the Test vice-captaincy, which Arthur conceded was a concern.

If Clarke is ruled out the likely scenario is a straight swap with Watson, but if Clarke plays then the possible combinations become harder to determine. There are also decisions to be made around the bowling attack after the decision to send Mitchell Starc home for ankle surgery, but given Watson is not bowling on this tour his place can only be considered in the context of the top six.

"We haven't given it a thought yet," Arthur said. "We are really happy to get Shane back. It is really important he came back. Shane's been exceptional over the last week we've had numerous conversations with him. In terms of selection there are a couple of variables right now, Pup's back and Starcy going home. We'll sit down once we have a look at conditions and we'll get it pretty much sorted tomorrow.

"Watson's form is a concern. He looks like he's going to get runs every time he goes to the wicket, he just hasn't kicked on. Watto is the first one to admit that he needs a big score, there's no doubt about that. I'm backing him in to get one pretty soon and then hopefully when he gets it, that just opens the floodgates for more and more runs."

Arthur confirmed that despite the events of the past week Watson remained the vice-captain and likely candidate to lead if Clarke does not play in Delhi. He said that would be a decision for the selectors on duty. Arthur is one of those three selectors while another is Clarke, who said after the Mohali Test he expected Watson would lead if he could not play.

"I am comfortable that if Pup doesn't come up he could do the job," Arthur said. "That could be a discussion with the other on-duty selectors as to what we did but Shane at the moment is vice-captain. You would have to assume that because he is still the vice-captain that we probably wouldn't go past him, but again that would be a discussion."

Arthur said it was impossible to rule Clarke out given the way he has managed his ongoing back injury in the past - he has never missed a Test because of it - but he said Clarke's place in the team would not be decided until closer to the match.

"He is in a bit of pain," Arthur said. "With Michael Clarke you never say never. He will give himself every opportunity to get himself ready for the Test. That will pan out closer to the time and will give him every opportunity to get up for it because he is such a vital cog in our team."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Yuji9 on March 19, 2013, 22:42 GMT

    This series has shown that specialist batsmen are essential in India and bits and pieces all-rounders do not cut the mustard. Australia will probably pick SPD. Smith, GJ. Maxwell and MC. Henriques ahead of specialist UT. Khawaja - In the recent India v England series the English chose all-rounder Samit Patel for the first 3 Tests and he took 1-120 and averaged 13.00 with the bat so they brought in specialist batsman Joe Root for the final Test. The English worked out that all-rounders are not what wins Test matches in Indian conditions - somehow Aus think they can get away with playing 3 all-rounders ahead of a specialist when down 3 nil?

    Would an AUS 'A' side have just as much chance in 4th Test?

    Rogers, Maddinson, Doolan, S.Marsh, Voges(c.), M.Marsh, +Hartley/Paine, O'Keefe, Butterworth, Faulkner, Bird/Sayers

    At this point, Aus could do entire swap of squad and not do much worse than current form!

  • Go_F.Alonso on March 21, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    @Dazako Interesting to see 'your' team does not include Watson. And your argument that he hasn't scored a century in 2 years doesn't hold with us Indians I'm afraid ... cos guess what, we have a 'master' who's in the same boat having scored only 2 50s and 0 100s in his last 19 innings. At least Watto is a better fielder and is considering bowling (which he's very valuable at) in the future. But, I do agree with you on the Khawaja inclusion, just as Rahane should be included on the Indian side. Hughes has had 3 opportunities and dropping him is not a reflection on his performance but providing chances to an equally deserving player. It's not like Hughes commands his position in the team, much like Raina doesn't. Hopefully it'll be an even contest and a clean sweep for India.

  • Naresh28 on March 21, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    India has its own problems. Ishant is not taking wickets and is supposed to be the leading pace bowler. Somehow Ishant just cannot find his right length to bowl.The other problem they have is that Dhawan the star of the last game is out injured. Raina into the team would help fielding standards. Remember dropped catches can prove costly - India had quite a few versus England.

  • US_Indian on March 20, 2013, 23:43 GMT

    bring in watson for dougherty..period or moises henriques if clark is fit if not exchange clark for watto. pattinson in for starc.

  • disco_bob on March 20, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    If Hughes had another painful spin dismissal then I could understand the hate but I find it a bit perplexing that his decent turnaround from a horror run as well as finally being lbw by a ball that was missing by a good 6 inches, is now being said to be not deserving of a place in the next match. Well if that is the case what was the point of playing him in the last match. After persevering with Hughes it would be bizarre in the extreme to drop him as soon as he puts in a worthy knock. What message does that send out.

  • Kane_Williamson_Is_The_Best_Batsman on March 20, 2013, 20:02 GMT

    If both Clarke & Watson play than Hughes has to go but if Clarke remains unfit than it should be a straight swap b/w him & Watson. Khawaja should replace Henriques coz I can't see Moises troubling the Indian batsman on the FerozShah Kotla track, also his batting has fallen after the Chennai Test.

  • on March 20, 2013, 18:58 GMT

    As an Indian fan, I would be happy if Aussie selectors decide to keep Shane Watson out in favor of Hughes.. Hughes was clueless against spin all through the series and even his 60+ in the last test was a "shot-a-minute" flirting with danger innings. Bulk of his runs come from deep square and Dhoni will not hesitate to plug that gap the moment he sees Hughes walking in. On the other hand, Watson looked like scoring runs every time and appeared to be the most dangerous next to Clarke and Henriques (only in the 1st test. What happened to him after that?) My Aussie XI for 4th test would be, (assuming Clarke is fit), Warner, Cowan, Smith, Clarke, Watson, Wade, Henriques, Pattinson, Siddle, Doherty, Lyons

  • gogoldengreens on March 20, 2013, 18:33 GMT

    why would Hughes be given a chance after one innings of note.... Like to see the breakdown of runs off spin in the innings - he still got out to a spinner

  • Ubaidaleem on March 20, 2013, 17:07 GMT

    I always thought CA had it covered, they have a strong first class set-up that means a strong bench. I was absolutely wrong....Where the hell is that domestic talent depth.. they can not find 2 technically correct batsmen...... and this guy Hughes ... he is mediocre at best ...

  • disco_bob on March 20, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    What with Clarke feeling hard done by concerning his 'punishment' and Arthur satisfied that the 'punishment' was accepted (excepted [!]) it would be easy to conclude that some sort of punishment had actually taken place. But in fact being suspended for a match that one was had already excused oneself from...

  • Yuji9 on March 19, 2013, 22:42 GMT

    This series has shown that specialist batsmen are essential in India and bits and pieces all-rounders do not cut the mustard. Australia will probably pick SPD. Smith, GJ. Maxwell and MC. Henriques ahead of specialist UT. Khawaja - In the recent India v England series the English chose all-rounder Samit Patel for the first 3 Tests and he took 1-120 and averaged 13.00 with the bat so they brought in specialist batsman Joe Root for the final Test. The English worked out that all-rounders are not what wins Test matches in Indian conditions - somehow Aus think they can get away with playing 3 all-rounders ahead of a specialist when down 3 nil?

    Would an AUS 'A' side have just as much chance in 4th Test?

    Rogers, Maddinson, Doolan, S.Marsh, Voges(c.), M.Marsh, +Hartley/Paine, O'Keefe, Butterworth, Faulkner, Bird/Sayers

    At this point, Aus could do entire swap of squad and not do much worse than current form!

  • Go_F.Alonso on March 21, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    @Dazako Interesting to see 'your' team does not include Watson. And your argument that he hasn't scored a century in 2 years doesn't hold with us Indians I'm afraid ... cos guess what, we have a 'master' who's in the same boat having scored only 2 50s and 0 100s in his last 19 innings. At least Watto is a better fielder and is considering bowling (which he's very valuable at) in the future. But, I do agree with you on the Khawaja inclusion, just as Rahane should be included on the Indian side. Hughes has had 3 opportunities and dropping him is not a reflection on his performance but providing chances to an equally deserving player. It's not like Hughes commands his position in the team, much like Raina doesn't. Hopefully it'll be an even contest and a clean sweep for India.

  • Naresh28 on March 21, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    India has its own problems. Ishant is not taking wickets and is supposed to be the leading pace bowler. Somehow Ishant just cannot find his right length to bowl.The other problem they have is that Dhawan the star of the last game is out injured. Raina into the team would help fielding standards. Remember dropped catches can prove costly - India had quite a few versus England.

  • US_Indian on March 20, 2013, 23:43 GMT

    bring in watson for dougherty..period or moises henriques if clark is fit if not exchange clark for watto. pattinson in for starc.

  • disco_bob on March 20, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    If Hughes had another painful spin dismissal then I could understand the hate but I find it a bit perplexing that his decent turnaround from a horror run as well as finally being lbw by a ball that was missing by a good 6 inches, is now being said to be not deserving of a place in the next match. Well if that is the case what was the point of playing him in the last match. After persevering with Hughes it would be bizarre in the extreme to drop him as soon as he puts in a worthy knock. What message does that send out.

  • Kane_Williamson_Is_The_Best_Batsman on March 20, 2013, 20:02 GMT

    If both Clarke & Watson play than Hughes has to go but if Clarke remains unfit than it should be a straight swap b/w him & Watson. Khawaja should replace Henriques coz I can't see Moises troubling the Indian batsman on the FerozShah Kotla track, also his batting has fallen after the Chennai Test.

  • on March 20, 2013, 18:58 GMT

    As an Indian fan, I would be happy if Aussie selectors decide to keep Shane Watson out in favor of Hughes.. Hughes was clueless against spin all through the series and even his 60+ in the last test was a "shot-a-minute" flirting with danger innings. Bulk of his runs come from deep square and Dhoni will not hesitate to plug that gap the moment he sees Hughes walking in. On the other hand, Watson looked like scoring runs every time and appeared to be the most dangerous next to Clarke and Henriques (only in the 1st test. What happened to him after that?) My Aussie XI for 4th test would be, (assuming Clarke is fit), Warner, Cowan, Smith, Clarke, Watson, Wade, Henriques, Pattinson, Siddle, Doherty, Lyons

  • gogoldengreens on March 20, 2013, 18:33 GMT

    why would Hughes be given a chance after one innings of note.... Like to see the breakdown of runs off spin in the innings - he still got out to a spinner

  • Ubaidaleem on March 20, 2013, 17:07 GMT

    I always thought CA had it covered, they have a strong first class set-up that means a strong bench. I was absolutely wrong....Where the hell is that domestic talent depth.. they can not find 2 technically correct batsmen...... and this guy Hughes ... he is mediocre at best ...

  • disco_bob on March 20, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    What with Clarke feeling hard done by concerning his 'punishment' and Arthur satisfied that the 'punishment' was accepted (excepted [!]) it would be easy to conclude that some sort of punishment had actually taken place. But in fact being suspended for a match that one was had already excused oneself from...

  • RandyOZ on March 20, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    You know a coach isn't respected when he has to delete his twitter account because of the torrent of abuse from fans. Cya mickey!

  • Hammond on March 20, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    Sorry to be captain obvious, but Australia have a serious problem. The "homework gate" affected side actually performed better than the "strongest" Aussie side. If Clarke aint fit and can't contribute with the bat (and the sharpest cricket mind currently within Australian cricket) then India have this one, Watto or no Watto. 4-0 against India after all the big talk before hand. Bangladesh could perform against this Indian side on more equal terms.

  • on March 20, 2013, 12:13 GMT

    @Joseph Langford

    Thanks Bro for calling us Pro...!! Indians certainly ARE on the subcontinent..

  • Dazako on March 20, 2013, 11:20 GMT

    @crashdog, I couldnt agree more, 6 batsmen, 1 wicketkeeper and 4 bowlers. The best ones we have available would be a good start. Khawaja should at least be given a chance to play and Watson should consider himself lucky to be in the team and only if Clarke cant play. @Rahul_78 no one in the Australian hierachy is afraid Watson might get a century, he hasnt made one in over 2 years and has a batting average lower than Starc, what makes you think he will start now. Hughes earned himself a reprieve in the last test and Watto should go in for Clarke if his back does not recover. My Team 1 Warner, 2 Cowan, 3 Hughes, 4 Clarke(if fit), 5 Khawaja, 6 Smith, 7 Wade, 8 Patinson, 9 Siddle, 10 Lyon, 11 Doherty.

  • Edwards_Anderson on March 20, 2013, 10:39 GMT

    Without Clarke it will be harder to win the test but the other batsman need to lift their game Cowan and Warner must go on with their starts, Khawaja needs to get a start full stop and i would like to see Watson show us that he is leadership material As much as their innings hurt I appreciated the Dhoni innings, the Pujara innings and the Dhawan innings. We appreciate the achievements of Ashwin. We respect the greatness of Tendulkar. However we debate the merits of the DRS because we are genuine "sports-lovers". The two are not mutally exclusive. These things affect the game we love. Without passion, sport has no point. No one on this site is turning a blind eye to the woes of our cricket team, nor are they oblivious to the artistry of our game's finest. Geoff has raised a legitimate issue which we are entitled to discuss without the intimation that by doing so we are somehow untrustworthy or ridiculously, that our bad luck on the pitch is some form of petty karmic retribution.

  • soumyas on March 20, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    There was a time when Aussies were so strong in cricket, i thought if they come to world cup with 4 teams, all the 4 teams wud reach semi finals...But now how come they have become so weak in 4-5 years?

  • Thefakebook on March 20, 2013, 9:54 GMT

    @ram4crictheory on (March 19, 2013, 20:56 GMT) I respect your opinion sir,but I don't want drastic changes just a better selection. O'Keefe will be a good all rounder(primarily bowler) in all condition. Hauritz,Ahmed along with Lyon should be the main 3 spinners from here on(pick the one with best form).You are absolutely right these batsmen will perform way better in England.I won't be surprise if Hughes scores couple of double tons there.They need to pick specialist batters these so called all rounders are not up to par.Smith how ever as a pure batter makes it perfect at no.6.I also think even after a possible 4-0 drubbing,OZ are not out of contention for the ashes.Although their confidence will be bit lower but one good performance against England will boost right back.

  • crashdog on March 20, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    I've got a novel idea for the Australian selectors:

    6 batsmen, 1 wicketkeeper and 4 bowlers

    Although this may sound 'controversial' to the current Australian selectors, it has worked pretty well for the truly great sides over the last 150 odd years...maybe I'm missing something?

  • samgannon22 on March 20, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    Let's face it. Cricket in Australia will be dead in 20 years max. I am 43 and I don't know anyone younger than me who gives a toss. The team currently in India is the worst I have seen since 1975 when I started watching. Even during world series cricket we were able to pick a second X1 that was better than Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Henriques, Wade, Siddle, Smith et al. The fact that Ponting, a player so hopelessly no longer adept to play test cricket won Shield player of the year just underlies this point. Unfortunately youth of today have other interests, like living with their parents forever and playing xbox and texting. Sad state of affairs

  • Rahul_78 on March 20, 2013, 9:37 GMT

    A team who has scored only 1 century in last 6 innigs and being bowled out in each of these 6 innings can afford to even think of dropping the caliber of batsmen of Watson? If there is merit in dropping Watson then this AUS batting line up is undoubtedly best in the world. I find it little funny that people are in favor of dropping Watson for Hughes, Smith and Henriques. Or is it a case that someone in AUS hierarchy is scared that he actually might go out there and score a century?

  • Potatis on March 20, 2013, 9:26 GMT

    @Brannavan Ramachandran you can look at Cowan's career stats if you want and see him as a failure who should be dropped. I, on the other hand, see him as one half of the most successful opening combination of the last 12 months. At least it's one area where Oz is ahead of other teams. I thought Ed was more suited to playing in England, but have been impressed with how hard he tries to grind out runs on pitches that don't suit his play with similar determination that Steve Waugh did in 1995 in the West Indies, when people said Steve shouldn't go to the WI because he was unable to handle the short ball. Cowan won't be man of the series like Waugh was, but he is learning and improving, and I'm sure he'll cash in when the pitches do suit. He is a fighter, and a team man. He has gained valuable experience in the last few weeks which shouldn't be thrown away unless badly out of form, which he is not. He's no worse than Waugh or Border at a similar stage of their careers.

  • on March 20, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    @ SpadeaSpade ....

    Clarke will be out on 'fitness'. He won't want to be the Captain who lost 4-0 like Ponting in last Ashes

    How many Legends wanted to be on the Tour? Hussey and Ponting QUIT

    How many players in the current Australian were provided a Test Training Environment for spinning wickets like that in India?

    The problem I think is that the team went with the expectation of routing the Indians like we did in Australia and I think there was definitely an element of cockiness from some of our Selectors not respecting the difference in technique and temperament required on big spinning decks. Selecting T20 Players for 5-Day Matches is ludicrous.

    You were ashamed by the lack of fight, but imaging choosing a Am.Boxer, who fight for 3-rounds, to fight a 15-Bound bout against a Pro.

    It's not Wade's, GM's or XD's fault they they were selected to play a game they are unsuited to play. This is the Selectors/Management fault. They shouldn't have gone on tour.

  • abhijeet65 on March 20, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    It tough to choose from 15 than 12. Time for some tough homework to ensure only 12 complete it..

  • Devsonu on March 20, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    Aus must bring 11 from Big Bash teams. Delhi test again seems to be ending in 3.5 or Max 4 days. A slow, turning, low track. India must go for kill 4-0. Than enjoy IPL-6.

  • Nightwing32 on March 20, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    If Clarke is injured, Haddin should captain. I'm sorry but putting Watson as captain of all of this doesn't give anyone confidence. If Bailey were there....

  • on March 20, 2013, 7:52 GMT

    @Tanay Patri : Marcus North was a more popular choice than Clarke as Captain so he won't play for Australia again

    @ Claydo78 : Bought up Watto's average a long time ago but no one listens. Don't understand why he is an automatic selection!! @ Haiphong : That's what happen's in Australian Cricket @ 6Pack : Agree .... and Arthur still hasn't done his homework!!! @wellrounded87 : Agree @AKS286 : Said it all before .... Khawaja has never been allowed to settle into the team. Then after top scoring in SA to win Test and draw series he is run out by Ponting, scores more than most in the fatal NZ Test and is then dropped.

    As stated I would have played O'Keefe and Agar as Dehli will be a spinners pitch and there is nothing to win or lose anymore.

    Australian Cricket suffered a pitifully, weak, embarrassing, humiliating defeat in India. Best thing that could happen is a 5-0 lose in England, then we have a 3-Test Series in Oz in October 2013... Possibles vs Probables

  • aftab86 on March 20, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    Brad hodge could have been best bet for australia..He is classy in any condition.

  • SpadeaSpade on March 20, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    Dropping Clarke as Captain is either poor judgemnet or just another case of tall poppy syndrome. Lets have a reality check for a few minutes. How many Touring Australian sides have won series in India over the past 40 years (How many legends were in that team). How many players in the current Australian set-up on whole get exposure to these types of spinning wickets. The problem i think is that the team went with public expectation of routing the Indians like we did in Australia and I think there was definately an element of cockiness from some of our batsmen not respecting the difference in technique and temprement required on big spinning decks. This is and always was going to be a learning tour for our players and thats how it should have been sold to the faithful. Players getting dropped was valid , did anyone actually sit an watch the whole 2nd test. If you did like me you have been ashamed at the lack of fight and application shown by Aus.

  • on March 20, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    Mickey Arthur would now be hoping that Michael Clarke's back will remain stricken and in pain. By asking Shane Watson to lead the stricken eleven, Mickey would have extended an olive branch to Shane. Shane will pick a team comprising the three sons - Watson, Johnson and Pattinson - and Usman Khawaja. The other seven would be picked on what they turned in for their homework.

  • on March 20, 2013, 6:40 GMT

    @Meety, just 3 specialist bowlers plus Henriques? No Pattinson? Are you sure you mean Henriques and not Patto?

  • on March 20, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    Strong performance by Hughes and Smith ???? You've got to be kidding. Have you already forgotten what Mr Hughes has done on this tour. One in 6 innings he scores and that is a strong performance? What on earth Usie ( Usman Khawaja ) has done to be treated like this. Every single player got a game, even more players were asked to come from Australia ( haddin) and they got a chance to play. Players left the tour and even threatened to leave test cricket were asked to come back and were welcomed with open arms. Here you have specialist batsmen in the squad and yet more all-rounders are included in the team to strengthen the batting line-up. It would have been a lot better not to take Usman on this tour. That would be have done him less damage as compared to how is confidence is being shattered by treating him like this on this tour.

  • palla.avinash on March 20, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    Aurther this is best 11 for Australia trust me this will work 1.warner 2.cowan 3. watson. 4.clarke(if fit)/khawja 5.steven smith 6. wade 7.haddin 8.mitchel johnson.9 Lyon 10.siddle 11.pattinson please cricinfo make auther to see this team and this team with line up will australia win the test match and picked steven smith as all rounder and haddin as batsmen he can keep if wade will field as he best gloves man.

  • on March 20, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    That sheffield shield 11 named today would give the current aussie team a run for their money. I just sincerely hope that the assuie selectors have leanred their lesson about playing allrounders over specialist....from the india squad I'd go:

    1. Cowan 2. Warner 3. Hughes (stick with him, both steve waugh and ricky ponting were hopeless in india to begin with) 4. Clarke/Khawaja 5. Smith 6. Watson 7.Wade 8. Johnson 9. Siddle 10. Pattinson 11. Lyon

    If you included guys who were left behind i would have a rather different side... 1. Hughes 2. Rogers 3. Clarke 4. Warner (traditional position of an aggressor ie. Waugh.M, Martyn, Pieterson) 5. Hussey, D 6. Burns/Smith 7. Wade (not that bad guys) 8. O'keefe 9. Siddle 10. Pattinson 11. Hilfenhaus/Bird 12th. Cosgrove (deserves a mention)

  • Mitty2 on March 20, 2013, 6:14 GMT

    @meety, agree with the squad make up, especially the omitance of Watson, but the fact of the matter is that for longer than a year, Clarke has been averaging over 110 at 5; there is absolutely no need to change him from a successful position. Sure you can argue that the top order collapses are far too regular, but again, that still instils experience in the top order and they can learn from their mistakes and respectively be better in the long run as a result of this. Khawaja should be at number three to stop the collapses as he prizes his wicket and would be a trott-like rock in which other batsmen can gain confidence in the fact that their partner is defending comfortably. They can then bat around khawaja. The good thing is that khawaja is no slouch either, so he can still counter attack and inspire confidence in his batting partner in this way. Hughes should bat at 4, with Clarke at 5, and for dehli, smith at 6 (all though id prefer burns/doolan). No need to change Warner/Cowan.

  • Micgyver on March 20, 2013, 5:59 GMT

    Just swap Watson for Henriques..simple.

  • Bloody_Hell on March 20, 2013, 5:59 GMT

    4th Test team: Warner, Cowan, Clarke, Watson, Smith, Khawaja, Haddin, Johnson, Pattinson, Doherty, Lyon

    No Hughes. His 69 doesn't save him in my opinion. Playing him only gives him more chance of failure, while if he is left out of the 4th Test and told to think about England he will have some confidence. I think he'll figure in the Ashes.

    5th Bowler - get 10 overs from Watson and 10 from Smith per Innings. Time for Watto to put his hand up, particularly if he will be bowling in England. Dropping Henriques allows for 6 batsmen + keeper.

    Let's be honest, the big issue this series has been the batting. The line up looks pathetic without Clarke.

  • on March 20, 2013, 5:54 GMT

    Watson replaces Lyon / Doherty and the team starts to have some better shape.

    1. Warner 2. Cowan 3. Hughes 4. Watson 5. Clarke 6. Smith 7. Wade 8. Pattinson 9. Siddle 10. Johnson 11. Doherty / Lyon / or a fourth paceman (Bird?)

  • on March 20, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    I do not agree that Hughes would be unlucky to miss out. His form has been terrible. Khawaja has to come in for Hughes, Watson replaces Smith, Maxwell replaces Lyon, Wade replaces Henriques, Johnson comes in for Starc and Patterson comes in for Doherty. If Clarke does not play, Smith is saved. I am happy with Watson at number 6. Cowen, Warner, Clarke/Smith, Khawaja, Wade, Watson, Haddin, Maxwell, Johnson, Siddle and Patterson.

  • on March 20, 2013, 5:40 GMT

    It seems like Shane Warne has to comeback looking at there present spinning ondition

  • PrasPunter on March 20, 2013, 5:39 GMT

    @nambiar.s - "remember this was the same side that beat a tired India in Australia" - so you have got an excuse for your team's dismal show in Aus after an year ?

  • vish57 on March 20, 2013, 5:31 GMT

    Watson can replace Henriques and Patinson for Starc and final call between Johnson and Xavier Dohetry. India will bring in Rahane for Dhavan .

  • on March 20, 2013, 5:25 GMT

    Watson, Cowan, Warner, Hughes,Khawaja, Smith, Haddin, Lyon, Maxwell, Johnson, Siddle. with Haddin or Watto as Captain,...

  • on March 20, 2013, 5:21 GMT

    My Squad for the last test would be:

    Watson (c), Cowan, Khwaja, Wade/Haddin, Warner, S. Smith, Lyon, Siddle, M Johnson, Patts, Hughes, Henriques

  • Fast_Track_Bully on March 20, 2013, 5:19 GMT

    Smith and Hughes must be in the team as they got idea how to play spin. But most probably, only smith will get chance as he can bowl.

  • on March 20, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    Johnson plays aus wins.. if not AUS loses..

  • Meety on March 20, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    4th Test team: 1. Cowan, 2. Warner, 3. Clarke (c), 4. Hughes, 5. Smith, 6. Khawaja, 7. Wade, 8. Henriques, 9. Johnson, 10. Siddle, 11. Lyon. No Watson.

  • joseyesu on March 20, 2013, 4:37 GMT

    I am looking for Watson, Warner, Cowan, Kwaja, Clarke, Haddin, Johnson, Starc, Pattinson, Siddle, Lyon

  • on March 20, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    I must agree word for word with soumyas his comment made perfect sense to me with a rider attached when the team returns home serious consideration should be made regarding Clarke.Oh yes we need a decent coach

  • Claydo78 on March 20, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    Why is there a headache? The bloke shoudnt be in india, he shouldnt play for australia again! In the last two years hussey avg was 52.83 with 6 100's, punters avg was 37.59 with 3 100's and everyone from selectors, commentors and the austrlian public wanted the both of them dropped! Watsons avg over the same period is 25.20 with zero 100's, why isnt anyone calling for him to be dropped! And now he could captain the team, watson has been nothing but a thorn in the side of australian cricket, injuried, whinging, i cant bat and bowl, i cant bowl because i might get injuried and now he has let his team mates down by running of! Tell him to enjoy the rest of his career playing t20 because your test career is over and its been nothing short of abysmal!

  • on March 20, 2013, 4:05 GMT

    What about the Wade/Haddin decision? I think Haddin stays, Wade needs time in shield cricket to improve as he is only the 4th best keeper in australia..

  • Showbags88 on March 20, 2013, 4:04 GMT

    It would be interesting to see an Australian A side from the guys that haven't been picked. I reckon it could give the top team a real run for their money (actually I would back this team to beat the current side). Rogers, Quiney, Cosgrove, Voges, Burns, Dave Hussey, Hartley, Butterworth, O'Keefe, Sayers, Hilfenhaus.

  • Mary_786 on March 20, 2013, 3:34 GMT

    Cowan, Warner, Watson, Khawaja, Clarke(replace with Smith if unfit), Wade, Henriques, Patts, Sidd, Lyon, Johnson sounds good to me

  • garlodlg on March 20, 2013, 3:19 GMT

    The Aussie batting order should be with who is available in India and possibly beyond is: S.Watson, E.Cowan, P.Hughes, M.Clarke, D.Warner,S.Smith (who could be swapped for a form batsmen following the this tour) M.Wade, the rest depending which bowlers play. Dave Warner would be a more natural stroke maker at 5 especially if the top 4 get off to a good start. This order also mixes up the left and right handers. We must get back to 6 specialist batsmen with the wc coming in 7.

  • on March 20, 2013, 3:11 GMT

    Arthur and Clarke are in for a space odyssey. :-)

  • tpjpower on March 20, 2013, 3:08 GMT

    Coverdale, how on Earth can you say Phil Hughes would be unfortunate to miss out after his 'strong performance' in Mohali? His returns have been utterly abysmal this series, and he could have been dismissed numerous times during his second innings. He was EXTREMELY fortunate to play in Mohali in the first place, failed when the pressure was on in the first innings, and scraped together some streaky runs only once any hopes of an Australian victory had been well and truly dashed. He wasn't worthy of selection going in to Mohali, and has done nothing to suggest he should be retained.

  • Haiphong on March 20, 2013, 2:32 GMT

    There we go again... A complete failure for 5 innings followed by ONE decent knock and now Hughes is there to stay!!! One can only sympathize for the likes of Khawaja who, I am certain, would have proven to be more reliable than Warner, Hughes and Moises on this tour.

  • wellrounded87 on March 20, 2013, 2:27 GMT

    I for one would like the selectors/coach/captian to be accountable for their failures.

    Not selecting Australia's leading spinner in the squad for an India tour... failure. Picking 1 spinner for Chennai ... failure. Dropping Lyon the best spinner on the tour for Hyderabad test ... failure Keeping Hughes in the squad despite blatant ineptness against spin ... failure

    Four players forget to do their homework and they a punished extremeley harshly meanwhile the selectors have got this series completely wrong and they get what? a cash bonus for Easter? Hang them all out to dry i say. If the entire Australia public is screaming for this why doesn't the ACB oblige? I'm sick of the Arrogance of cricket boards ruining our game.

  • ygkd on March 20, 2013, 2:20 GMT

    cont/ Therefore, this is a problem of the selectors' own making, Clarke included. Clarke's team is Clarke then daylight in skill level. It is also Clarke and daylight in captaincy potential too. Neither of these two point to Australia rising in the Test rankings any time soon. Selecting a team is not just about picking the players you like or even the best players, it is about picking a group that are better than the sum of their parts and it is also about picking a sufficiently diverse group to allow suitable alternatives should the captain have to sit out a match or two. This has not been done since Ponting and Hussey left. Indeed, the rot appears to have set in during Ponting's tenure as captain, and since then it has gotten worse. A team lacking in leadership can never succeed. A team with only one leader walks a tight-rope that they will eventually fall off.

  • Red_Drag0n on March 20, 2013, 2:19 GMT

    If Clarke is fit then Aussies should bring Watto in place of Hughes. Shane is any day better batsman then Hughes. Should also bring Mitchell Johnson in place of Doherty. Doherty is not been impeccable anyway. Instead Johnson can bat as well.

  • handyandy on March 20, 2013, 2:14 GMT

    O'Keefe should have been on the same plane as Watson. I find it hard to justify selecting Lyon or Doherty for the final test.

    According to the news Clark can barely stand so there is no point in risking him.

    I hear that there is this batsman in Tasmania who is the top run scorer this season. He is getting a bit long in the tooth but still seems several classes above most of the other contenders.

  • ygkd on March 20, 2013, 2:12 GMT

    If it was necessary to discipline Watson and leave him out of the last Test, it cannot then be now necessary to make him captain for the next one. Those two events must be mutually exclusive, or they will make a mockery of the supposed hard line recently espoused. However, there is more to this than mere behavioural standards. There is the simple matter of having very few alternatives. There is one, though, and that is Brad Haddin. Now Haddin won't get the nod because the selection panel is obsessed with Wade's first dig batting and, thus, to now make Haddin captain would make a mockery of Wade's preferred treatment as gloveman. So Haddin as captain is a non-starter (& to some extent that is fair enough because he too is perhaps lucky to be in the team at all). Yet, who else is there? Just about all of the experienced players like McDonald, Hopes, Hodge, Rogers, North, Voges etc etc have all fallen by the wayside of lack of favour. So Watson it will be - the captaincy cupboard is bare.

  • DylanBrah on March 20, 2013, 1:51 GMT

    It is time for Australia's selection panel to swallow their pride, concede picking the pedestrian Xavier Doherty was fundamentally flawed and give O'Keefe a baggy-green debut.

  • farkin on March 20, 2013, 1:49 GMT

    if clarke dont play give the captaincy to siddle

  • on March 20, 2013, 1:22 GMT

    just a question, i don't want to sound dumb, but whatever happened to Marcus North?

  • Diamond2017 on March 20, 2013, 1:09 GMT

    The only way aussies can avoid defeat is by taking an early flight home but we would like them to stay for 4-0

  • Intelligent_Indians on March 20, 2013, 1:08 GMT

    Actually giving Watson the captaincy for the last test would only do good for this Aussie team. I hope Clarke sits out and takes rest so that Ashes becomes much more interesting. Khwaja in my Opinion should also get a chance.

    Out = Clarke , Starc , Hughes In = Watson , Johnson, Khwaja Also ,might keep out Warner in place of Hughes, Otherwise

    Team = Wade (if fit as Wkeeper) Batsmen = Cowan , Watson, Smith , Warner , Henriques , Khwaja Bowlers = Siddle Lyon Doherty Johnson

  • spindizzy on March 20, 2013, 0:20 GMT

    "strong performances from Steven Smith and Phillip Hughes in Mohali" - okay for Smith but to call Hughes' performance strong is flat out delusional. He has no place in the Australian team and will remain a liability as long as he's there.

  • Paul_Rampley on March 20, 2013, 0:16 GMT

    @fah4 agree with you, Khawaja should come in if Clarke is not fit, he deserves a game. And i would go easy on critisms on some of our younger players, its not a easy tour and a good learning experience for them

  • on March 20, 2013, 0:09 GMT

    Ed Cowan - look at his entire career and his recent form. Just one century stands out in his whole career. He failed last match and did ok in the 2nd test. Drop him. He's had ample chances. Hughes had a good Australian summer and just failed in two tests. Doesn't deserve to be dropped. Smith is in form and hasn't been given ample chances like Cowan. Let Hughes open, bring in Watto, keep Smith and drop Cowan

  • on March 19, 2013, 23:52 GMT

    The fact that Watson is being compared to Hughes and Smith shows how dire Australian cricket is at the moment. Hughes with 96 runs in 6 digs is not good enough and one score over 50 should not automatically keep him in the team. Khawaja needs to replace him instantly. And, Steve Smith... C'mon. If Australia was interested in competing in this series, they would have sent over a batsmen with a test quality technique.

  • funkybluesman on March 19, 2013, 23:48 GMT

    I'm still really not sold on Cowan at the top of the order, I think a better lineup could be: Warner, Watson, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Henriques, Wade/Haddin as the top seven.

  • Markus971 on March 19, 2013, 23:42 GMT

    The best Team for Australia-- Warner, Hughes, 3.Clarke, Khwaja, Watson (batting only at the moment),6.Smith(batting ave. over40!), Wade, Starc, Johnson, Pattinson, Lyon! -- The main prob. is these half/half players! Henriques, Maxwell! should not have been played! they're not good enough at either Batting or Bowling!.. No trust in Johnson, Khwaja, Smith, Starc! cost Australia the Series... -Yes Siddle, is unlucky & playing Him in the first test , in front of Johnson was prob. correct!

  • Markus971 on March 19, 2013, 23:36 GMT

    Australia have Won in India how many times in the past 30 odd Yrs? R those past teams as bad as this current one? We lost because the wrong team was picked in these conditions! Sorry John & Co. I like all the new players u r trying out, but to Win in India u really needed to have the team settled !

  • pawan2456 on March 19, 2013, 23:14 GMT

    Aussies Selectors are acting like PCB selectors, so I guess we know where the future is..... Imram leave the team and pakistan gone bad.....Punter left the team and we will see

  • Vinou on March 19, 2013, 23:07 GMT

    Aussies badly need the end of this tour... Ponting and Hussey have escaped from being victims of this tour by retiring at the right time.... :-)

  • MinusZero on March 19, 2013, 22:49 GMT

    Why bother playing Watson, isnt he due to be injured? His form doesnt warrant automatic selection. 26 average in the last two years (only 19.9 at opener). Is this todays standard for excellence? Australia really are in trouble.

  • Chris_P on March 19, 2013, 22:47 GMT

    What's the point? Watson doesn't deserve to be in the touring team, let alone be considered for test selection, but with everything done to date seemingly right out of Bizarro world, play him as Captain. I still maintain, that anyone who averages less than 30 in fc cricket over the past 3 years does NOT deserve to be in any test team purely as a batsman. I am still finding it difficult to accept that we have dropped our standards for selection by so much. Welcome to the world of gen x & y folks, they are running the show now. Heaven help cricket.

  • whoster on March 19, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    With all the on and off-field cock-ups the Aussies have had this tour, this could be another one. If Clarke's fit, whoever they select as the top 6 batsmen will be criticized. If Watson's left out, he may get in a strop and bugger off home again. Also, dropping the vice-captain would hardly be a sign of a united dressing-room. Dropping Hughes after he suddenly found some confidence in Mohali might take it all away again; and Steve Smith deals with spin as well as anyone bar Clarke (mind you, Smith did also give one of the most varied and extensive pie-throwing displays in the history of Test cricket). If Clarke and Arthur have got any sense, they'll pretend Clarke's back is playing him up even if it isn't. The poor sod deserves a break!

  • blink182alex on March 19, 2013, 22:17 GMT

    need Watto back scoring runs, i do feel his best position is as an opener, Warner and Watson is a decent opening partnership, even though Cowan and Warner average 49 as an opening partnership Cowan is averaging 32 from 16 tests which just isn't good enough. For the next 14 months i think we shouldn't worry about potential talents in the test side, they can play odi's if need be, but the test side should be made up of the best 6 current batsmen, best wk, 3 quicks and 1 spinner (for england, aus and south africa next year)

    As of right now i think this is our strongest possible side: 1. Warner 2. Watson 3. Rogers 4. Clarke 5. Hughes 6. Khawaja or Voges 7. Haddin 8. Pattinson 9. Harris 10. Siddle 11. Lyon.

    A lot could depend on the county form in England for people like Cowan, Dave Hussey, Rogers, maybe even Bailey.

  • GeoffreysMother on March 19, 2013, 21:54 GMT

    Yep, real conundrum. Australia's side is so packed with batting stars. One swinging bat from Hughes in the last chance saloon and Smith is so good he 'forced' his way into the side whilst four players were banned! What about Kahwaja, is'nt he the next cab on the block? And then there is Haddin who looks better than Wade. I suggest saving some money by sacking the Selection Committee and replacing it with a game of rock,paper, scissors. Come on, if Watson is the ony other experienced batsman besides Clarke, and you have chosen him as Vice Captain, then he plays. If Hughes fails five times out of six (and needed protection from the Saffer bowlers) he doesn't.

  • Qhamar on March 19, 2013, 21:38 GMT

    If everyone is having a go at it, I reckon, Usman Khawaja should be in too. Where is PAt Cummins, Nathan Hauritz? AUS in trouble - we have coped it much already. No more humiliation.

  • on March 19, 2013, 21:29 GMT

    Shane Watson and his 'sense of entitlement' to always be a certainty in the team rankles you, but then the fans supporting it sickens you.

    What has he done to deserve Australia's GREATEST honour- The Baggy Green?

    Nothing!

    A batting average of around 25 in the last two years coupled with his lack of intent/passion for the team as seen by his refusal to bowl in Hyderabad

    Then talk of him actually leading the Team is offensive in the extreme

  • nilb on March 19, 2013, 21:20 GMT

    Watson single handedly destroyed and humiliated the "formidable" spin attack of harbajan, Ashwin and Ohja in T20 semis. Should be a good addition to the team.

  • Unmesh_cric on March 19, 2013, 21:12 GMT

    I have a solution to this selection headache! If Clarke is fit, drop Warner and play Watson as opener. Problem solved! Anyway Warner is playing as if he doesn't want to hang around for too long. Also, Watson is a much better opener than a middle order batsman.

  • mzm149 on March 19, 2013, 21:01 GMT

    Khawaja is not gonna get any chance no matter what happens. Team will be Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Watson, Smith, Henriques/Clarke(if fit), Haddin, Pattinson, Siddle, Johnson/Doherty, Lyon.

  • ram4crictheory on March 19, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    @Thefakebook I always rate selectors of a team as more knowledgeable people than me as that is the reason they have been assigned the job of selection while I am limited to writing comments here :). As an Indian I am not aware of all the names u mentioned but looking at some matches here and there I am confident that Australia had a best crop of fast bowlers currently on par with South Africa. Coming to batsman, the players selected for Indian tour are not as bad as they are looking here in India. Once these players play in their familiar conditions, I am confident we will see a complete turnaround. One important thing everyone has to understand is that when a team is in transition, you should identify the best players we have and have faith in them, and give them some time instead of calling for their heads after each failure. Patience will definitely yield rich dividends. Gud luck. As a cricket lover for the sake of cricket, I don't like any team getting demolished.

  • Mervo on March 19, 2013, 20:55 GMT

    Get rid of Hughes - again! He has such a poor technique. Henriques has been just a C grader and should go and Mickey Arthur should be their coach in exile. Some of our best players are still in Australia, unfortunately.

  • vish515 on March 19, 2013, 20:42 GMT

    cowan,warner,watson,clarke,smith,maxwell,haddin,johnson,siddle,pattinson & lyon .. is the ideal team for delhi .. in my opinion .. hughes,moises & doherty can sit out- hughes has had his chances - a 67 in the last innings is neither here nor there - he struggled again on the 5th day against spin - so he needs to contemplate how to get his mojo back - which must be shot to pieces after his struggles - the above team has a nice balance of pace & spin and has batting options all the way till 11. smith can roll his arm over as well as a cover 6th bowling option -

  • on March 19, 2013, 20:40 GMT

    What diverse opinions showing a lot of knowledge. I am swayed byb eachof those comments. By the way, even if Clarke does not play, he is th selector and not an acting captain can be a selector.I am not sure. I can give thought to 1) Pontting and Hughes coming back 2) Homework incident repercussions 3)Khwaja 4)Give Watson a go5)Watson is not a test player. Re India,Sharma shud be dropped. I am a Srilankan Aussie for last 25 years and have followed world cricket for 50 years and due to genes even English cricket and been told only flannelled fools are playing watched by retired Gentlemen in armchairs just to dissuade me from following cricket between England and Aussies when it was only radio and listening at late hours when I was a teenager Ihave to blow my trumpet a bit since I am a nonnentity and a septuagenarian but even if I have no brains old is wise and I even cancomment on incorrect selections in other countries.

  • on March 19, 2013, 20:24 GMT

    For what its worth With Clarke Playing Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Watson, Clarke, Wade/Haddin (fitness?),Henriques, Johnson,Siddle,Maxwell, Lyon Without Clarke straight swap Smith for Clarke

    The Ashes team is another kettle of fish Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Watson, Clarke, Wade, Henriques, Pattinson, Bird, Johnson,O'Keefe

  • JustIPL on March 19, 2013, 20:20 GMT

    Should not be a problem as Watson is automatic choice. They can drop anybody and play watson. If clarke is fit then it is icing on the cake. Lets see how this aussie experiment goes as is the routine now it will be an indian win.

  • Thefakebook on March 19, 2013, 20:04 GMT

    @Ram Reddy on (March 19, 2013, 17:24 GMT) My sentiments exactly mate OZ dominated the English last time as well in England. Oz bowers took more wickets and scored more runs yet 1 mistake cause them the series but now its looking like its going to be another good series.OZ need new recruitment in spin like O'Keefe,Hauritz and Ahmed. Genuine all rounder like Butterworth, Faulkner,Nathan Coulter-Nile and Ben cutting.Batsman like Joe Burns,Alex Doolan, Fergie,Cossie,Mitch Marsh;North,Rogers and D.Hussey(although the later 3 are considered too old despite their good performance).Chad Sayers,Hilfi,Harris,Bird and GS Sandhu will be good addition to the already strong pace attack.Tim Paine and Chris Hartly should be picked as WK and reserved keeper although Haddin may be 1st choice now.For now Wade ,Maxwell,Henriques,Xavier can be rested may be rested ;) . Hughes should be given one last shot in condition that favor him.

  • on March 19, 2013, 19:50 GMT

    joe burns, usman khawaja, alex doolan, callum fergusson and jordan silk should be given more opportunites in the national team ahead of cowan, maxwell, smith and henriques. our three best spinners are actually not playing in india. steve okeefe, fawad ahmed and ashton agar are better than lyon and doherty. we also need fully fit ryan harris, jackson bird and patrick cummins.

  • on March 19, 2013, 19:45 GMT

    warner cowan hughes watson khawaja smith haddin johnson pattinson siddle lyon.

  • on March 19, 2013, 19:23 GMT

    This test is gone be interesting watson, pattionson back hope aus wins something around this time,,

  • GrindAR on March 19, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    For a change, why dont rest Clarke and GIve a go to Watto. This will be a good shuffle of brain cells for Aussies and Team India too. His way of leading is more astute than Clarke. You can say a mid way between S.Waugh and M.Taylor. Let him choose his team with the available players. He for sure have more interactive on-field thinking out of the box. You can see him changing the coarse of play frequently. Give value to the capabilities of Watto's leadrship brain alone and get some more reality check to prepare for Ashes. I would go for Aussie taking Ashes, when the belly fires up for Clarke, Hughes, Haddin, Smith on Batting Pattiinson,Starc and Johnson of course on bowling. Warner and Watto can single handedly swing the game to Aussies on green pitches with their explosive batting when everyone else find things going tough.

  • soumyas on March 19, 2013, 18:38 GMT

    if Aussies really want to avoid another defeat... they still need ponting,M.Hussey,David hussey, Watto and Hoggy in team....

  • GrindAR on March 19, 2013, 18:35 GMT

    @Robofk: Current Aussie team have 3-4 players put big price on their wicket, Clarke, Haddin, Hughes (except this series). Warner, Watto, Cowan are hit and misses, but above 40% hit rate in general ( Do not include this series). The difference between spin and pace is what made these folks had more misses than hits in India. With spin you cannever say you are settled for long time on the pitch. With pace you can. The complexity with facing spin is, the reflexes alone is not good enough for spin, whereas, pace can be exploited with good reflexes. No team has good number of players with extremely good reflexes as SAfs and Aussies. The main reason they fumble easily to spin, where you have to combine your quick thinking to the reflexes.

  • Someguy on March 19, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    @Jhonny James - I agree, form is temporary. Watsons GOOD form was very temporary, didn't last very long. I don't care how classy a player Watson is, a top order batsman that can't score 100's is useless. Smith came closer in his 1 match than Watson has in 2 years. Watson is a great limited overs batsman and allrounder, but he is a rubbish test batsman. Always has been, always will be. He looked ok when he got all those 50's, but he never went on with it and is not even getting starts any more. Time to move on and give someone else a go, maybe bring him back when he can bowl again if he has some form in shield cricket.

  • SirViv1973 on March 19, 2013, 18:05 GMT

    Poss team for Delhi, Warner,Cowan, Hughes, Watson, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, Johnson, Siddle, Pattinson, Lyon. Hughes probably needs to play, perhaps he has found some confidence following his 69 in Mohali & if he does get the nod he may well be playing for his place on the Ashes tour. It also makes no sense for watson to return & not play so I see him slotting back in at 4.(if fit) Clakes moves back down to 5 with Smith effictvley playing as the all rounder at 6. Given their performances in the last 2 games it makes sense for Doherty & Henriques to drop out. Oz are probably better served playing 3 specialist seamers as to bring in Maxwell would really leave them a bowler short & to play him at 6 or 7 would leave them a batsman short! oz batting unit has collectivley failed in this series. although all the top 6 have now made at least 1 50, you still feel that Aus will need to make a change or 2 ahead of the ashes it will be interesting to see who misses.

  • Robofk on March 19, 2013, 17:55 GMT

    I do not know why every body is talking about how to select a Test team from a 20-20 team. Shane Watson is not a Test player he is averaging only 36 in test with 2 hundreds from 73 innings. Major difference between India and Australia in this series is India converted their 50+ scores into big hundreds or double hundreds. Shane Watson can not do that. Only Clarke in current Aussies team can do that. So forget about team selection I told before this tournament begins Australia will be happy if they can avoid 4-0 defeat I do not think that is possible. Does not matter what is their selection they can't avoid defeat unless India play stupid cricket like they did in Australia last year. Aussies selectors should stop selecting David Warner,Shane Watson, Steven Smith, Moises Henriques and Glen Maxwell into their Test team.

  • Collegefastbowler on March 19, 2013, 17:43 GMT

    Ishant Sharma needs to be dropped and some of the other pace bowlers given chances. Dinda, Shafi Ahmed and others are available. Give them a chance. Ishant has had ample opportunities to perform. Give others chances to develop a pool of fast bowlers.

  • ram4crictheory on March 19, 2013, 17:43 GMT

    Homework incident in team Australia is the best example why cricket boards take extreme measures to avoid internal matters of team being exposed to public. Mike Arthur who was proud announcing that he didn't want to take action behind the doors as he wants everyone know how strict he is. Good way to show u r command. Unfortunately, u r now coming out to say few good things about the person against whom you have taken action to cool him down. This action will have adverse effects than positives according to human psychology, because person on the receiving end can always forget/forgive with few good words about him when he thinks others didn't know much about the action taken against him, but once the action was public even if u r saying good words about him, he will accept them so that it proves that u have understood that u have done something wrong to him, but he can never wipe out the incident from his mind as it was out in public and waits for his chance to have a go at u.

  • rohit_pitre on March 19, 2013, 17:38 GMT

    Khwaja should get a chance ahead of Phil Huges who has looked terrible against spin bowling. My XI would be Warner, Cowan, Khwaja, Watson, Smith, Wade, Henriques, Johnson, Siddle, PAttinson, Lyon (assuming Clarke and Starc are injured)

  • landl47 on March 19, 2013, 17:37 GMT

    It's great to know that Watson has been exceptional over the last week. It's a pity his batting hasn't been worth a place in the side when he's actually on the field.

    I speculated in another thread that Watson was picked because he looked as though he might make runs. Here's Mickey Arthur confirming it. It reminds me of Ian Chappell in the last Ashes series in Australia talking about Ricky Ponting: "He's in tremendous form. He just keeps getting out".

  • Surajdon9 on March 19, 2013, 17:25 GMT

    With the internationals going on, have folks being paying attention to shield performances. Hazlewood, 13 overs 2 for 11 in the first innings (Ferguson and Sayers), and 14 overs 3 for 35 (1, 3 and Botha) in the 2nd. All up 27 overs, for 5 for 46. 10 wickets at 15 in the last two games Copeland has suddenly become an all rounder, batting above SOK and scoring runs. He scored 51 and 40 in the last two games.Chasing 91 for the outright victory, Maddinson scored 41 off 17, with 5 sixes! Yes, 5 zacks in 17 deliveries. In the last two games that makes 144 runs, in 117 balls, including that 41no and a 70.Sayers took 5 for 53 in NSW's 1st innings. In 12 FC matches now, he has 59 wickets at 20 apiece. I've never seen him bowl (he's 25). How fast is he and what's his stock ball?Ryan Harris took 8 for 106 in a losing team last match. Our domestic scene is getting stronger. Now we just need the guys in the gang of 4 to come back in the 4th test.

  • on March 19, 2013, 17:24 GMT

    I hear many people strongly supporting England to be a favorites in the upcoming ashes, but as per me it is Australia which is favorite to win Ashes this time.

    I understand everyone backing England as they have won a series in India and Australia is at the verge of being whitewashed, but make no mistake Ashes are going to be played under totally different circumstances.

    Australia looks more aggressive team in the conditions they relish than England.

    Pieiterson/Pattinson are going to be the difference between the team winning Ashes, whichever way it goes. My prediction is it goes Australian way.

  • ThatsJustCricket on March 19, 2013, 17:15 GMT

    Am I the only one who thinks Hughes hasn't done anywhere near enough to stay in the team? One knock of 60 odd where half the scoring shots were "thwack blindly and hope for the best" doesn't spell success in my book.

  • siddhartha87 on March 19, 2013, 17:11 GMT

    its time to get specialists in key positions for aussies. Drop Henriques,Maxwell and Smith.They need batsmen who can play long innings.I mean seriously India is leading but in India too except SRT and MSD no has that experience.Ashwin is no way class test spinner.B.Kumar is just a medium pacer. .Still they are losing badly. Jadeja has 17 wickets in 3 test..lol. This shows how badly aussies are playing.Right now what aussies need is 6 top batsmen and one spinner.They pace attack is good with Starc,Siddle,Pattinson,Johnson. Line up for ashes should be- Watson,Warner,Cowan,Hughes,Clarke,U.khwaja,Wade,Starc/P.Cummins,Siddle,Pattinson,Doherty/Lyon/A.Agar. Clarke should unleash Cummins in the Ashes.Hilfenhaus is also a good choice in english conditions.

  • on March 19, 2013, 17:04 GMT

    Shane Watson will definitely strengthen the team. My final xi would be Warner, Cowan, Clarke, Hughes, Watson, smith, haddin, Johnson, pattinson, siddle and Lyon. If Clarke is unfit then Khawaja will come in.

  • on March 19, 2013, 17:00 GMT

    With all due respect to Steven Smith he cannot be considered to be in the same class as Shane Watson.It's a case of chalk and cheese Remember the old addage Form is temporary but Class is permanent. I am sure many IPL teams would love to have Shane Watson on their side so Arthur @ Co be careful how you proceed!

  • Reececonrad on March 19, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    Next XI with Clarke should be Watson, Cowan, Warner,Clarke, Khawja/Smith/Hughes, Wade(if fit)/ Haddin, Maxwell, Johnson,Pattinson, Siddle and Lyon. If clarke is not fit then Khawaja slips in to four deserves an opportunity (homework ordeal aside) Wade is still a dangerous batsmen, Henriques had a great debut but is not really doing much with the ball. Smith played spin well, but isn't a specialist batsmen. Hughes looked great in some parts of the second innings, but it came way too late. Maxwell looked to have improved his tactics towards the end of the second test. Johnson should have played already in my opinion as he has a quite a big amount of experience he is a work horse and a decent bat against spin. Watson and Cowan would be quite a good opening pair both good against spin and complement each other well but Warner is still a dangerous player and should be given more license. Lyon is the best they have... Maybe Agar?

  • on March 19, 2013, 16:46 GMT

    warner cowan watson clarke smith Henriques haddin pattinson siddle lyon doherty if clarke is fit

    if clarke un-fit then warner cowan watson smith haddin khwaja henriques pattinson siddle lyon doherty

    no place for hughes atleast for this test (might be considered for ashes due to diff. conditions )

  • on March 19, 2013, 16:44 GMT

    What about Bhuvineswar kumar in this pitches ?? Bowled beautyfully.....

  • Ozcricketwriter on March 19, 2013, 16:12 GMT

    Batting line up in batting order: Watson, Warner, Cowan, Smith, Khawaja, Haddin, Johnson, Pattinson, Doherty, Lyon, Siddle. Not really much of a headache.

  • Chicagoan76 on March 19, 2013, 15:59 GMT

    Funny, how one score of 50+ is now considered a success by pundits and experts. Any guy can score a 50 if given unlimited chances. Hughes doesnt deserve a place in the team.

  • AKS286 on March 19, 2013, 15:41 GMT

    Clarke report is OK so now he can play 4th test but if not he is playing then N.lyon must be captain in 4th test. Lyon has a very good experience bowling in India. No any other bowler bowls that much over than Lyon.

  • on March 19, 2013, 15:39 GMT

    Australia should go with 5 bowler (3 pacers and 2 spinners) because they have batted well in the first innings but bowling has struggled. And, whatever wickets Aussies have taken have come with India already in a strong position. They got to have considerable first innings lead to win/save test match in India!

  • cricketfanwrites on March 19, 2013, 15:39 GMT

    What conundrum Mr. Coverdale? I usually enjoy your articles. It sounds like you are towing the CA line with Arthur and Clarke. If CA wants to find out more about this squad, they should rest Clarke, Wade and Warner(I'm convinced he is NOT 100% fit). The 4th Test team should be 1. Watson (c),2. Cowan, 3. Hughes, 4. Khawaja 5. Smith 6. Haddin 7. Maxwell 8.Johnson 9. Siddle 10. Pattinson 11. Lyon. I cannot blame the players for the results on this tour so far. Instead, the CA selections committee should take that accomplishment. They have become the laughing stock of cricket given the talent pool and proven seasoned players to choose from. Building for the future should not be in CA's vocab.

  • on March 19, 2013, 15:36 GMT

    Henriques performed in first test and then failed in the next two miserably. I think Mitchell Johnson who has toured India so many times is the best person to replace him. Doherty and Lyon should play since Delhi pitch will need 2 spinners bowling in tandem. Pattinson is one player for the future and if you really wanna label this team as one in transition you need to have him in every game!

  • Vishnu27 on March 19, 2013, 15:32 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge: Australia are doing poorly in India, there is no hiding from the fact. The tour party was poorly constructed & then the bans have not helped. However, things are definitely not as bad as you continuely make out. There were improvements in the last test & Australia will do far better in England. Wouldn't have thought you would be crowing so much considering England's current struggles in NZ. @nambiar.s "where the pitch did half the work for them"??? That's what fast bowling is about on hard, fast, bouncy pitches! These are the usual pitch conditions in Australia. Much like Indian spinners bowling on low slow home dust bowls. Pattison has bowled extremely well in Indian conditions & Siddle seems to have found his rhythm in the last test.

  • 6pack on March 19, 2013, 15:29 GMT

    Arthur is a clown. Never have I seen anything as remotely ridiculous as homeworkgate... in my opinion, this is the worst Aussie team of my generation (post1987) and they need a better man-manager at the helm. Without a doubt they will get thrashed in England by a far superior, disciplined and well-led team. As a side-note, if any team from the sub-continent had gone through a similar 'homework' fiasco - we wouldn't have heard the end of it. Just saying...

  • usernames on March 19, 2013, 15:27 GMT

    With everyone fit, I'd go for:

    Cowan, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Smith, Henriques, Haddin, Pattinson, Johnson, Siddle, Lyon would be my pick.

    If not, Watson comes in for Clarke.

    Hughes should open and get some confidence against fast bowlers before facing the spinners. That should help him, I think. Warner is a hit or a miss so I'll not take a chance with him for now. Clarke and Smith get in on performance; Henriques as the best all rounded and Haddin as the wicket-keeper. Pattinson, Johnson, and Siddle are the best pace bowlers they have got.

  • JustIPL on March 19, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    Aussie preparations are on track for ashes but this indian trip is totally messed up. Just disciplinary actions and experiments. Aussie fast bowlers, however, have left scars with a message that against fast bowling in australia, SA and England or even NZ india will struggle. Five wicket hauls from siddle, patttinson and potent attack by starc on extremely spin friendly tracks tells the stars of the future.

  • InsideHedge on March 19, 2013, 15:19 GMT

    Brydon, you can't say Hughes would be unlucky should he make way for Watson, he's failed to take his chances and still looks uncomfortable against spin. Yes, he was unlucky to be given out in the 2nd inns at Mohali where he showed fighting qualities but on present form and specifically for the Delhi Test, there's no way he should be keeping Watson out of the side.

  • popcorn on March 19, 2013, 15:18 GMT

    "One swallow doth not a summer make". Phil Hughes should be dropped. He is a non -performer.Usman Khawaja was not taken on this Tour for the ride.David Warner is irresponsible.Both at the WACA and at Mohali, he lost the game for us by flashing outsde the offstump. Starc had to go back home for ankle surgery. Doherty is useless. My Team in batting order would be:Cowan,Watson,Khawaja,Clarke or Wade,Smith, Haddin as wicket keeper batsman,Henriques,Johnson,Siddle,Pattinson,Lyon.

  • EVEMAN on March 19, 2013, 15:07 GMT

    first of all clarke should not be played as the half fir clarke is burden on team but if still the selection wanna persist with then hope clarke gets fit in tiime. Playing XI:- Warner, Watson , Cowan, Hughe/Khwaza, Clarke /Khwaza, Smith ,Wade, Johnson, Siddle, Patto, Lyon . This combination will give wieght in batting and bowling as Patto, Johnson and Siddle bowling will be deadly with spin from Smith and Lyon.

  • on March 19, 2013, 15:03 GMT

    If Clark is fit: 1) Warner 2) Cowan 3) Watson (wc) 4) Clark (c) 5) Hughes 6) Smith 7) Haddin 8) Johnson 9) Pattinson 10) Siddle 11) Lyon

    If Clark is unfit: 1) Warner 2) Cowan 3) Watson (c) 4) Hughes 5) Smith 6 ) Haddin 7) Maxwel 8) Johnson 9) Pattinson 10) Siddle 11) Lyon

    There is no point in selecting two under-par spinners even if Delhi is a spin friendly tack. Pace is Australia's strength, so go with your strength. In the above mentioned 11s, apart from Lyon there are two other spinners who can bowl 8-10 overs per day. ie (Smith and Clark in 1st 11) and (Smith and Maxwel in 2nd 11)

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 19, 2013, 15:02 GMT

    Watson, like many others, is an absolute waste of space in this team, and it's a pity that this is the best Australia can pull together and put a test cap on. When it comes to the Ashes, Watson has long be a spent force, too many times Anderson's bunny. Australia need new blood and fast. They failed to heed calls for them to do it before this India tour, and look how this has turned out. By the looks of it they're going the same way for the Ashes. Not only that, it's a historic B2B Ashes year, and the writing is on the wall for this sub-par team.

  • on March 19, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    Why is no one talking about dropping Warner and replacing him with Watson?? Ideally Australia's line up should be Watson, Cowan, Clarke (if he can play), Hughes, Smith, Haddin, Henriques, Siddle, Johnson, Pattinson, Doherty. If Clarke cannot play Hughes goes to number three, Smith to four and Khwaja comes in for number 5. Anything else seems to be muddled thinking to me.

  • visht20 on March 19, 2013, 14:51 GMT

    Where the heck is Shaun Marsh?? have the australians totally lost track of him? dont they know how well he plays in the IPL on indian pitches? why not bring him into the side? Please selectors get him into the side in place of warner. he's been a total flop show on this tour and people seem to ignore his failures and concentrating more on other players...dont make anyone the scapegoat. In this case warner has to be out of the team and let shaun marsh open the batting with Cowen. You'll see what fantastic start Australia will hav. Mind you i'm an Indian and i want australia to perform.

  • Alexk400 on March 19, 2013, 14:43 GMT

    They should drop henriques because his test bowling is utter useless. His batting is also not great. Watson and Warner opens . I will play kawaja over henriques anyday assuming kawaja play better.

  • philipsmgp on March 19, 2013, 14:36 GMT

    The problem with australia has been their team selection.You cannot play real test cricket with 20-20 allrounders.They would get you a few runs agressively once or twice but not in a consistent basis.You need to play with 6 batsman, one specialist keeper and 4 bowlers.never forget australian lower order batsmen have always been successful of scoring a few runs down the order. considering the present squad my team would be 1.watson, 2.warner, 3.cowan, 4.Khwaja, 5.clarke/???, 6.smith, 7.haddin, 8.jhonson, 9.siddle, 10.pattinson,11.lyon.

  • nambiar.s on March 19, 2013, 14:34 GMT

    If this were a weak Australian side, remember this was the same side that beat a tired India in Australia. The Same Mitchell Starc, James Pattisson and Peter siddle were spoken of highly when they bowled in Australia, where the pitch did half the work for them... but now in these conditions... this where the real test of a fast bowler is measured. Guys like Kapil Dev, Imran Khan and Wasim Akram took most of their wickets on the SubContinent. It shows their greatness. More over should one talk about the Australian team being weakened by the sacking of 4 major players then one should also realise that the guys who came in to replaced scored the runs with which Australia could at least compete.

  • AKS286 on March 19, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    For those who only heard the name khawaja. khawaja is an ordinary below average batsman. if you all think that single handily he can win game for Aus then its a day dream or you think that he will walk with 150- 200 not out then againg you are wrong.

  • AKS286 on March 19, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    Welcome Watson congrates for Junior Watto !!. About this article Australian V.Captain & one of the Senior player of the Aus and you call him for creating selection "HEADACHE". Just imagine how tough situations For S.African selectors while selecting Pace bowlers. Watson, Cowan, Warner/Hughes, Haddin, Clarke, Smith, Maxwell, MJ, Siddle, Pattin, Xavier.

  • nambiar.s on March 19, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    Why don't the Australian batsmen get big runs on the same flat pitches? How come that they get ALL OUT below 100 for 4 Times in 2012 alone in their own conditions in Australia. If it was not for Peter Siddle Australia would have the lowest test score. They were 21/9 at one stage against SA on a bouncy Australian like pitch. Explain that? Then explain why do Australian players and commentators complain about flat pitches? Spinning pitches and conditions in which the ball reverses stay throughout the day unlike bouncy and seaming pitches which have that bite only in the morning or on cloudy days.

  • fah4 on March 19, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    They should give a chance to Khawaja in place of Hughes as he is going to make 2 single digit scores again in Delhi.

  • PACERONE on March 19, 2013, 14:21 GMT

    Hughes played good for one day and reverted to the old Hughes the next day.He might had been given out incorrectly,but he was just scratching around and did not look like he would survive.They should be given homework as to determine what the team should be for the next test.

  • on March 19, 2013, 14:18 GMT

    I hate reading these platitudes from coaches, captains etc.

    "I've spoken to Watto a lot, he has been incredibly supportive of where this team is moving to and really wants to be part of it. Once the emotion went away from Watto, he was very, very supportive of what we want to do with the team."

    What inarticulate crap - perhaps reflective of where Australia is at the moment. Watson is still stinging, but realises he still wants to be part of it. He still has a chance to consolidate his reputation in Tests, which among cricket fans is the real mark of a player. I'm an Australian living abroad and I just sit here watching cricket streamed from India astonished at selections, attitudes and performances from this Australian set up. None of the spinners are up to it and the some of batters are so reckless with their wicket that it just leaves me flabbergasted. No wonder a line was drawn in the sand, so to speak. On it goes....crap on stilts, to borrow part of a phrase...

  • PRAMOD_2012 on March 19, 2013, 14:12 GMT

    I can see lots of guys placing their eleven but it hardly matters. According to me following players should have been selected for Test squad. Shaun Marsh, Adam Voyages, Peter Forest, Furguson. This for player should be included for long term.

  • NotU on March 19, 2013, 14:09 GMT

    Has the author actually watched any of this series? Hughes unlucky to be left out? Apart from one innings he has looked as bad as any Australian batsman I've seen in the last 30 years.

    If Clarke plays he should be dropped, and either way after the 4th test he shouldn't get another shot unless he absolutely piles of the runs for 2 or 3 Shield seasons, he's had chance after chance and proved he can't cut it at the highest level, time to give someone else an extended run.

    Cowan Watson Warner Clarke Kawaja Haddin Henriques/Maxwell Johnson Pattinson Siddle Lyon

  • on March 19, 2013, 14:09 GMT

    With watto back in the fray, my playing XI assuming Clarke is fit would be

    Warner, Cowan, Watson, Hughes, Clarke, Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Pattinson, Siddle, Doherty & Lyon. Delhi strip is always rough and Mitchell Johnson could prove handful keeping in view his skiddy action and he definately would also add batting muscle. Steve Smith would slot in if Clarke reports unfit. Mathew Wade should definately be in the reserves just at this moment.

  • on March 19, 2013, 13:59 GMT

    if clarke didne play my team will be warner cowan watson smith khawaja haddin johnson siddle pattinson lyon/doherty.... if clarke play on place of smith he will b best

  • on March 19, 2013, 13:59 GMT

    warner, Haddin, Mike Hussey, Ponting , clarke, Cowan , Brad Hogg, johnson, siddle, pattinson you could have win the series

  • PraveenK14 on March 19, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    Would be great if MJ Clarke can rest himself. His chronic back needs some healing and he should be absolutely fit before Ashes and not risk it here.

    I have my two teams - A) If Clarke plays and B) If he does not.

    A) Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Watson, Haddin, Maxwell, Johnson, Pattinson, Doherty and Lyon

    B) Warner, Cowan, Henriques, Hughes, Watson, Haddin, Maxwell, Johnson, Pattinson, Doherty and Lyon

    Wade and Siddle (bowled far too much and must be tired) needs to be rested.

  • Riz000 on March 19, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    Being a Pakistani Fan I must say Pakistan desperately needs Usman Khawaja and should ask him to join Pakistan as soon as possible we will love to take this kid on as he is wasting his time & Talent in Australian Cricket team Phil Hughes has scored one half century on a good fast pitch in 3 games and he retains his position?? Selectors & captain dnt seem to like having Usman, Mitchell Johnson, Watto in the team Clarke is Full of politics and a very close 2 selectors this Australian team will be hammered by England easily and hopefully.

  • Rally_Windies on March 19, 2013, 13:49 GMT

    Watson, stop whining ....

    you could end up like Chris Gayle and get dropped for a radio interview that you will do 3 months after you are dropped ....

    WI selectors can drop you for bad behavior that has not happened yet ...

    be happy with Oz selectors

  • PrasPunter on March 19, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    @cameron, well-said mate and this is what even I have been repeating with my every post - that our spinners are just not good enough to take wickets. So why play them ? Rather, play those who have atleast got a chance to take wickets. No harm in playing 3 seamers at all - Siddle, Pattinson and MJ does sound better than Lyon and X. I am fine with your lineup. Atleast there is a chance that we won't leak runs. With one of Lyon/X, for sure we would. But nothing is going to change. Lyon is gonna play and get flogged , yet again.

  • on March 19, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    Australian 11 with batting order- Warner, Hughes, Cowan, Watson, Clarke, Smith, Haddin/Wade, Pattinson, Siddle, Lyon and Doherty.. Hughes should open because he plays pacers slightly better than spin as we all saw in the 2nd innings of the Mohali test. Cowan on the other hand plays both alike. Starc not playing because of injury and both Clarke and Watson shall bowl atleast 4-5 overs each. Henriques shall not play although he showed his batting abilities at Chennai but there after failed to make any impact with bat and has not made any impact with his bowling at all.

  • Thefakebook on March 19, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    I think the squad for the final test should be like this 1)Warner 2)WATSON 3)Cowan 4)Usman 5)CLARKE/Smith 6)Haddin 7)Jhonson 8)Siddle 9)Patto 10)X 11)Lyon.Drop Moises already,he is embarrassing himself.

  • Robert1612 on March 19, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    Hopefully assuming Clarke is fit, Openers have to be Cowan and Warner, Watson (3), Clarke (4), Smith(5) (looked really good and a long term prospect at only 23), Wk either Haddin/Wade(6), Maxwell (7) (seems a better option than Doherty), Johnson (8) (straight swap for Starc), Pattinson (9), Siddle (10), Lyon(11). The selectors need to rotate Hughes, but assure him that he is in their plans for the Ashes. This side would be the best Australia can put on the park and plays to their 'strength' i.e. 3 pace bowlers whilst having a specialist spinner, a batsman/spinner allrounder as well as Smith to bowl a few overs of legspin. Once Clarke recovers from his back issues and can bowl the odd few overs this seems a balanced attack for all conditions! Obviously by the Ashes Watson should be bowling a few overs, so Maxwell replaced by a 'real' top 6 batsman, either Hughes or Khawaja. Perhaps the Indian experience will benefit Australia long term if this is the team going forward?!

  • cricmatters on March 19, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    Really can't understand Australian selections. Quiney was the sacrificial lamb in SA series while Phil Hughes was touted as a long term prospect who needed shielding from SA quicks after a disastrous NZ series. Usman Khawaja is a tourist in the team who has been warming the benches for more than a year watching the batting collapses from the side lines. Micky Arthur's obsession with all-rounders and now the desperate call for Hussey to return to Test Cricket does not augur well for Australia.

  • creekeetman on March 19, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    warner, cowan, hughes, smith, clarke, watson, haddin, starc, johnson, siddle, pattinson

  • CricketMaan on March 19, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    Why not a Cowan or Siddle to lead. Afterall Siddle is the leader of this attack. Watto back as captain sets a wrong precedence. Its like you can make a mistake get punished yet you can come back and lead. He was not banned for overrate, but indiscipline then how will the others look up to an indisciplined leader?

  • on March 19, 2013, 12:45 GMT

    do something to win the delhi test....clarke should play ,watto should bowl....moises out ...johson,pattinson in ....lyon or xavi out......xavi ause should playbecause he's economical and he can restrict one end they attack with siddle,johnson and paatinson....come on AUSSIES

  • on March 19, 2013, 12:36 GMT

    This isn't rocket science, Phil Hughes should make way, one decent score out of the 6 innings he's had so far still does not justify keeping Khawaja at bay. We are in desperate need of shoring up the batting and considering it's a dead rubber I think Hughes should be "rested" and allow Usman one goddamn chance in this tour to make his selection in the squad actually MEAN something. Otherwise the Bulls have every right to lobby Cricket Australia to have him released from the squad so he can play in the Shield final. Should be 1. Watson 2. Warner 3. Clarke (c) 4. Cowan 5. Khawaja 6. Smith 7. Haddin 8. Wade (wk) 9. Johnson 10. Pattinson 11. Siddle.

    I'll say it again, none of our spinners have been good enough on these pitches, so what is the point in picking them? You can have Smith and Warner share spin duties for probably the same result, whilst having our two best pacemen, Johnson given a chance, Haddin is a specialist bat. Henriques to make way.

  • ravi_hari on March 19, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    Whether Clarke plays or not Watson should play in Delhi and as an opener. Though Hughes has scored in the second innings at Mohali, we saw what spin can do to him. On the Delhi track he will again struggle and having in in the side is giving an easy run through for the Indians. Instead I feel Watson should return as the opening partner to Warner and Cowan should be No. 3. Cowan showed good composure agains spin and should succeed. If Clarke is out, Haddin be the keeper and Wade the batsman. Retain Smith and drop Henriques. Jhonson comes in for Doherthy and Pattinson for Starc. Thus they would have 3 pacers and Lyon as regulars. Smith and Warner can be the part timers. The compositions will also be 3 lefties and 3 righties in the top 6. Pattinson and Jhonson can do a Starc in batting. I want to see Indian batting first in Delhi to see how they will tackle the first day and if they fail to post a big total will the spinners be as effective. Let Watson loose the toss and wine the game.

  • on March 19, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    Waton for henriques or any of the other non test standard players in the team, very simple.

  • Simoc on March 19, 2013, 12:32 GMT

    Lets just hope that this is the last time the coach is involved in the selection process. He has demonstrated that he isn't capable at selection or saying anything sensible in press conferences. Arthur just states the obvious everytime. As boring as it gets.

  • Publickakaptan on March 19, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    Mohali's Australian batting star Mitchell Starc has left to Australia for injury treatment creating big void in the batting line up of Australia.(:

  • Sunil_Batra on March 19, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    Assuming Clarke's back issues continue i would have Cowan, Warner, Hughes, Watson,Khawaja Smith, Wade, Pattinson, Siddle, Lyon, Johnson. Moses has not been affective with the ball nor with the bat in the last 2 matches and Pats and Sid can be handy bats. The Argus Report or any other report or a battery of coaches, experts, past players, retaining legends, picking unproven allrounders et al will not stop you being beaten by a better side.Handing almost unlimited selective powers to captain and coach has delayed progress towards getting closer to those better sides.The Batsmen were not given pre tour preparation on clay pan pitches or subjected to hours of relentless spin bowling surrounded by close fielders . In what other sport , or modern preparation, would you arrogantly not prepare for the pending conditions you would face?Nothing.Even worse Hughes was specifically denied the time and opportunity to do so.Its clear he needed to, and don't even get me started on Khawaja's treatment

  • on March 19, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    I think the best team is : Warner, Cowan, Watson, Clarke, Smith, Wade, Maxwell, Johnson, Pattinson, Siddle and Lyon

    If clarke is ruled out then khawaja should take his place. IMO the only reason hughes got his runs is he got lucky a fair few times and was again halted on 53 for a while.Warner cowan have been solid and wade should come back as he provides solid batting and has a score over 50. Henriques dissapointing after the 1st test with bat and ball and maxwell got the most wickets for a spinner in the last match ( and he only is a part timer ) Maxwell and lyon should be the spinners with doherty out as i don't think he is a test spinner. Even though maxwell and lyon both bowl offspin, it worked for india with two left arm spinners in ojha and jadeja. Also johnson pattinson and siddle seems deadly with johnson playing his first game and may rattle the indians with his pace and maybe break a few fingers ;) haha but yeah thats my team and my reasons

  • milepost on March 19, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    It's scary that they are thinking of selecting Hughes again, he hasn't been unlucky he has failed miserably and is out of his depth. Arthur and Clarke should step down before they destroy our team and the confidence of the players in and around it. Watson must play.

  • Mary_786 on March 19, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    Watson for Clarke(if not fit), Khawaja for Hughes and Pattinson for Starc would be my thoughts. India are always dangerous in there home conditions, Australia send an inexperienced side in transition. However, I really think there are things going on that are just baffling. Where to start? Quiney in the SA series, the Perth selection debacle, not playing 2 spinners, Khawaja being the reserve batsman since the Sri Lankan series, dropping Lyon for the second test and suggesting he has confidence problems, then picking him again, homeworkgate, and on, and on, and on, its all really disappointing. Okay, so maybe people loose sight of the fact it was always going to be a tough tour. Maybe had all these decision been right it still wouldn't have been a succesful tour but you have to think it would be better! At the moment things are shambolic.

  • KhanMitch on March 19, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    I think Clarke looks like he won't pull through in which case Watson will replace him as captain. Khawaja should come in either for Moses or Hughes as he can't continue to remian on the sidelines espeically given we have been smashed in each of the 3 tests. The problem is the personnel. The captain seems to prefer to select players on "gut feeling" and potential rather than performance. The coach seems to think his role is just about team selection when his job is get the most out of the players available. Other than Siddle, I struggle to think of a player who has improved in the current coaching climate.The selectors are making fundamentally bad choices, e.g picking only 2 spinners for a tour to India. And then not even picking the 2 best performing spinners in first class cricket. Do they even watch any cricket, England gave a perfect example of a side that works in India, 6 batsmen, 2 steamers and 2 spinners and yet they went into the first test with 5 batsmen, 3 pacemen, 1 spinner

  • KhanMitch on March 19, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    I think Clarke looks like he won't pull through in which case Watson will replace him as captain. Khawaja should come in either for Moses or Hughes as he can't continue to remian on the sidelines espeically given we have been smashed in each of the 3 tests. The problem is the personnel. The captain seems to prefer to select players on "gut feeling" and potential rather than performance. The coach seems to think his role is just about team selection when his job is get the most out of the players available. Other than Siddle, I struggle to think of a player who has improved in the current coaching climate.The selectors are making fundamentally bad choices, e.g picking only 2 spinners for a tour to India. And then not even picking the 2 best performing spinners in first class cricket. Do they even watch any cricket, England gave a perfect example of a side that works in India, 6 batsmen, 2 steamers and 2 spinners and yet they went into the first test with 5 batsmen, 3 pacemen, 1 spinner

  • Mary_786 on March 19, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    Watson for Clarke(if not fit), Khawaja for Hughes and Pattinson for Starc would be my thoughts. India are always dangerous in there home conditions, Australia send an inexperienced side in transition. However, I really think there are things going on that are just baffling. Where to start? Quiney in the SA series, the Perth selection debacle, not playing 2 spinners, Khawaja being the reserve batsman since the Sri Lankan series, dropping Lyon for the second test and suggesting he has confidence problems, then picking him again, homeworkgate, and on, and on, and on, its all really disappointing. Okay, so maybe people loose sight of the fact it was always going to be a tough tour. Maybe had all these decision been right it still wouldn't have been a succesful tour but you have to think it would be better! At the moment things are shambolic.

  • milepost on March 19, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    It's scary that they are thinking of selecting Hughes again, he hasn't been unlucky he has failed miserably and is out of his depth. Arthur and Clarke should step down before they destroy our team and the confidence of the players in and around it. Watson must play.

  • on March 19, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    I think the best team is : Warner, Cowan, Watson, Clarke, Smith, Wade, Maxwell, Johnson, Pattinson, Siddle and Lyon

    If clarke is ruled out then khawaja should take his place. IMO the only reason hughes got his runs is he got lucky a fair few times and was again halted on 53 for a while.Warner cowan have been solid and wade should come back as he provides solid batting and has a score over 50. Henriques dissapointing after the 1st test with bat and ball and maxwell got the most wickets for a spinner in the last match ( and he only is a part timer ) Maxwell and lyon should be the spinners with doherty out as i don't think he is a test spinner. Even though maxwell and lyon both bowl offspin, it worked for india with two left arm spinners in ojha and jadeja. Also johnson pattinson and siddle seems deadly with johnson playing his first game and may rattle the indians with his pace and maybe break a few fingers ;) haha but yeah thats my team and my reasons

  • Sunil_Batra on March 19, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    Assuming Clarke's back issues continue i would have Cowan, Warner, Hughes, Watson,Khawaja Smith, Wade, Pattinson, Siddle, Lyon, Johnson. Moses has not been affective with the ball nor with the bat in the last 2 matches and Pats and Sid can be handy bats. The Argus Report or any other report or a battery of coaches, experts, past players, retaining legends, picking unproven allrounders et al will not stop you being beaten by a better side.Handing almost unlimited selective powers to captain and coach has delayed progress towards getting closer to those better sides.The Batsmen were not given pre tour preparation on clay pan pitches or subjected to hours of relentless spin bowling surrounded by close fielders . In what other sport , or modern preparation, would you arrogantly not prepare for the pending conditions you would face?Nothing.Even worse Hughes was specifically denied the time and opportunity to do so.Its clear he needed to, and don't even get me started on Khawaja's treatment

  • Publickakaptan on March 19, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    Mohali's Australian batting star Mitchell Starc has left to Australia for injury treatment creating big void in the batting line up of Australia.(:

  • Simoc on March 19, 2013, 12:32 GMT

    Lets just hope that this is the last time the coach is involved in the selection process. He has demonstrated that he isn't capable at selection or saying anything sensible in press conferences. Arthur just states the obvious everytime. As boring as it gets.

  • on March 19, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    Waton for henriques or any of the other non test standard players in the team, very simple.

  • ravi_hari on March 19, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    Whether Clarke plays or not Watson should play in Delhi and as an opener. Though Hughes has scored in the second innings at Mohali, we saw what spin can do to him. On the Delhi track he will again struggle and having in in the side is giving an easy run through for the Indians. Instead I feel Watson should return as the opening partner to Warner and Cowan should be No. 3. Cowan showed good composure agains spin and should succeed. If Clarke is out, Haddin be the keeper and Wade the batsman. Retain Smith and drop Henriques. Jhonson comes in for Doherthy and Pattinson for Starc. Thus they would have 3 pacers and Lyon as regulars. Smith and Warner can be the part timers. The compositions will also be 3 lefties and 3 righties in the top 6. Pattinson and Jhonson can do a Starc in batting. I want to see Indian batting first in Delhi to see how they will tackle the first day and if they fail to post a big total will the spinners be as effective. Let Watson loose the toss and wine the game.

  • on March 19, 2013, 12:36 GMT

    This isn't rocket science, Phil Hughes should make way, one decent score out of the 6 innings he's had so far still does not justify keeping Khawaja at bay. We are in desperate need of shoring up the batting and considering it's a dead rubber I think Hughes should be "rested" and allow Usman one goddamn chance in this tour to make his selection in the squad actually MEAN something. Otherwise the Bulls have every right to lobby Cricket Australia to have him released from the squad so he can play in the Shield final. Should be 1. Watson 2. Warner 3. Clarke (c) 4. Cowan 5. Khawaja 6. Smith 7. Haddin 8. Wade (wk) 9. Johnson 10. Pattinson 11. Siddle.

    I'll say it again, none of our spinners have been good enough on these pitches, so what is the point in picking them? You can have Smith and Warner share spin duties for probably the same result, whilst having our two best pacemen, Johnson given a chance, Haddin is a specialist bat. Henriques to make way.