Australia in India 2012-13 March 18, 2013

Watson returns to India tour

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Shane Watson has committed himself to Australia's Test team for the long term and will rejoin the squad in India ahead of the fourth Test in Delhi. Watson was due to leave Sydney on Monday evening for the final Test of the series, which begins at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Friday, ending any further speculation about his plans after he flew out of Chandigarh last week for the birth of his son, Will, and said at the time he would weigh up his future while at home.

Watson also said he had spoken a number of times over the past week to Pat Howard, Cricket Australia's general manager of team performance, and said they were now "on the same page" after they exchanged words publicly last week. Howard is also expected to arrive in Delhi ahead of the fourth Test this week.

When he left India having been told his wife Lee was likely to give birth earlier than expected, Watson said he would use his time at home to weigh up his cricket future and said that "there are a lot more important things in life". At the time, Watson had just been ruled out of the third Test in Chandigarh as one of the four players who failed to complete a task set by the coach Mickey Arthur, and he declared the punishment "very harsh".

The issue was exacerbated when Howard said Watson was a team player "sometimes" and alluded to problems between Watson, the vice-captain, and Clarke. However, Watson and Clarke spoke on the phone when Watson arrived home and Clarke said the best-case scenario was Watson returning as vice-captain for the Delhi Test.

Watson said Howard did not know him well, and after the public words from both sides Howard offered to fly to Sydney to speak to Watson face to face to iron out any problems between them. Watson said the pair had spoken over the past week and ironed out their differences.

"I've had several constructive discussions with team management back in Mohali over the past few days," Watson said. "We've spoken about how we are going to work together to move forward, as Australia attempts to climb back to the top of the ICC rankings. I've a burning ambition to be an Australian Test player for as long as I can be and help Australia win those big Test Series as well as the big ICC tournaments.

"I have also had a number of chats with Pat Howard over the last week and we are both now on the same page and are really looking forward to working together to get Australia to be the best team in the world. I'm looking forward to getting around the boys again and concentrating on moving forward. I'm entirely committed to the team and being the best player I can be."

Watson's return will create a selection issue after Steven Smith scored a highly impressive 92 in the first innings in Mohali and Phillip Hughes also fought through his spin problems to post 69 in the second innings. The possible permutations are further complicated by uncertainty over the fitness of the captain Michael Clarke, who struggled with back pain on the fourth day in Mohali and was hampered by the problem while batting on day five.

Clarke has never missed a Test due to his ongoing back problems but the short turnaround between Tests will create a challenge for Australia's medical staff to ensure he is available. The team travels from Chandigarh to Delhi on Tuesday and then has two days of training before the Delhi Test. It is not outside the realms of possibility that Watson, the vice-captain, could lead the team in Delhi, which would be a remarkable turnaround after his comments a week ago.

Regardless of the off-field issues, Australia also need a major improvement from Watson with the bat after he scored 28, 17, 23 and 9 during the first two Tests. Since becoming vice-captain in 2011, Watson has averaged only 25.20 with the bat and has not scored a century.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • satishchandar on March 18, 2013, 3:12 GMT

    Good thing to happen. No one wants to see any player to go out in zest. Watson is still a good enough player to play tests for Australia. What Aussies need to look after is, give him a single role to which he need to abide. Let it be being all rounder or a opener or a middle order bat or anything. If he is not capable of doing it, drop him but don't keep on creating new roles for the folk. It will hurt both him as well as the team. He looks still unsettled in the test team.

  • Someguy on March 20, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    @bagley - Hughes might not be the best man for the job in India, but for the ashes he will be. Clarke should stick to 5 where is most comfortable. Watson should stick to limited overs cricket.

  • bagley on March 20, 2013, 3:09 GMT

    can,t bat can,t bowl, australia should pick specialist players rather than second rate all rounders until they find one good enough. They also should give up on hughes, how many chances is this bloke going to get, can't understand why the selection bias toward NSW players remain intact, considering two of the selectors are from WA. the word was that hughes had gone back to state level cricket and improved his technique, evidence would suggest otherwise, he still looks awkward when facing the short ball when too close to his body and has no idea against spin, Australia used to pick their best at no.3 now they pick their worst.

  • on March 19, 2013, 10:31 GMT

    It seems so stupid,, the player went home and came back all the way from Aus in 3-4 days,,,waste of time,, money,, energy and gave enough food to media,,,,,

  • on March 19, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    Cricket Australia has managed to get a fantastic combo of a famous American Mouse and an equally famous French Octopus - Mickey Octopus (MO). How prescient he is! He foresaw the importance of the number THREE , when he asked for THREE recommendations from his players. He even managed to get one of the four recalcitrant boys to go home, to retain THREE here. But the THREE seems to have worked for India and Dhoni very well. There are only THREE Indian captains who won THREE tests in a series. That is MO's gift to Dhoni. MO gifted Indian team as well. India is leading THREE - zero against OZ for the first time in history. THREE cheers to the great Mickey Octopus!

  • on March 19, 2013, 4:05 GMT

    Gee almost as bad as NZ Cricket management and the Taylor debacle. Time to engage the brain methinks and time for Watson to meet his obligations as vice captain. He needs to actively support any suggestion that is aimed at improving team performance. His ideas on improving personal and team performances should should have been amongst the first to be handed in......its called leading by example!

  • landl47 on March 19, 2013, 3:50 GMT

    I've been wondering for a long time now why it is that Watson is so highly regarded in Australia. His numbers are very ordinary and more than that he has no record of pulling out big performances when the game is on the line- or any other time, come to that. I have come to the conclusion that the reason is he looks good, as though he's a quality player who just hasn't got it quite right on the day. The question is, on how many more days does he have to get it not quite right before the penny drops that he's not going to become a top-flight test player?

    This was always going to be a difficult tour for Aus. 4 opening bats, none of whom is very comfortable against spin; no top-drawer spinners; an inexperienced W/K and a gaping hole in the middle where Huss used to be. Aus's strength, their seam attack, has been blunted by the slow pitches and the Indians have rediscovered their mojo. I expect Aus to play much better in England, though the batting is a worry.

  • on March 19, 2013, 3:25 GMT

    It's interesting. Watson could very well be captaining the Delhi match after being dropped from the Mohali match for a ridiculous reason.

  • handyandy on March 19, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    It is sad that a player as ordinary as Watson is seen as such a vital part of the Australian lineup. When he could bowl a bit he was a useful all rounder. Without his bowling his batting isn't enough to keep him in the team.

    I would fly O'keefe out as a replacement for Bird and rush him into the the final test. Rest Clark and bring in Khawaja. Haddin can be captain. Give Johnson a game as well.

    My team would be Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Khwaja, Smith, Haddin, Okeefe, Johnson, Starc, Pattinson and Siddle.

  • on March 18, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    What a joke the Watson affair has become.He does a dummy spit and takes his bat and ball home,making derogatory comments about management personnel.He then eats humble pie and makes a grovelling speech thanking Clarke for 'allowing him to return home for the birth of his child'.Now this same person could be Australia's captain,unbelievable!.

  • satishchandar on March 18, 2013, 3:12 GMT

    Good thing to happen. No one wants to see any player to go out in zest. Watson is still a good enough player to play tests for Australia. What Aussies need to look after is, give him a single role to which he need to abide. Let it be being all rounder or a opener or a middle order bat or anything. If he is not capable of doing it, drop him but don't keep on creating new roles for the folk. It will hurt both him as well as the team. He looks still unsettled in the test team.

  • Someguy on March 20, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    @bagley - Hughes might not be the best man for the job in India, but for the ashes he will be. Clarke should stick to 5 where is most comfortable. Watson should stick to limited overs cricket.

  • bagley on March 20, 2013, 3:09 GMT

    can,t bat can,t bowl, australia should pick specialist players rather than second rate all rounders until they find one good enough. They also should give up on hughes, how many chances is this bloke going to get, can't understand why the selection bias toward NSW players remain intact, considering two of the selectors are from WA. the word was that hughes had gone back to state level cricket and improved his technique, evidence would suggest otherwise, he still looks awkward when facing the short ball when too close to his body and has no idea against spin, Australia used to pick their best at no.3 now they pick their worst.

  • on March 19, 2013, 10:31 GMT

    It seems so stupid,, the player went home and came back all the way from Aus in 3-4 days,,,waste of time,, money,, energy and gave enough food to media,,,,,

  • on March 19, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    Cricket Australia has managed to get a fantastic combo of a famous American Mouse and an equally famous French Octopus - Mickey Octopus (MO). How prescient he is! He foresaw the importance of the number THREE , when he asked for THREE recommendations from his players. He even managed to get one of the four recalcitrant boys to go home, to retain THREE here. But the THREE seems to have worked for India and Dhoni very well. There are only THREE Indian captains who won THREE tests in a series. That is MO's gift to Dhoni. MO gifted Indian team as well. India is leading THREE - zero against OZ for the first time in history. THREE cheers to the great Mickey Octopus!

  • on March 19, 2013, 4:05 GMT

    Gee almost as bad as NZ Cricket management and the Taylor debacle. Time to engage the brain methinks and time for Watson to meet his obligations as vice captain. He needs to actively support any suggestion that is aimed at improving team performance. His ideas on improving personal and team performances should should have been amongst the first to be handed in......its called leading by example!

  • landl47 on March 19, 2013, 3:50 GMT

    I've been wondering for a long time now why it is that Watson is so highly regarded in Australia. His numbers are very ordinary and more than that he has no record of pulling out big performances when the game is on the line- or any other time, come to that. I have come to the conclusion that the reason is he looks good, as though he's a quality player who just hasn't got it quite right on the day. The question is, on how many more days does he have to get it not quite right before the penny drops that he's not going to become a top-flight test player?

    This was always going to be a difficult tour for Aus. 4 opening bats, none of whom is very comfortable against spin; no top-drawer spinners; an inexperienced W/K and a gaping hole in the middle where Huss used to be. Aus's strength, their seam attack, has been blunted by the slow pitches and the Indians have rediscovered their mojo. I expect Aus to play much better in England, though the batting is a worry.

  • on March 19, 2013, 3:25 GMT

    It's interesting. Watson could very well be captaining the Delhi match after being dropped from the Mohali match for a ridiculous reason.

  • handyandy on March 19, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    It is sad that a player as ordinary as Watson is seen as such a vital part of the Australian lineup. When he could bowl a bit he was a useful all rounder. Without his bowling his batting isn't enough to keep him in the team.

    I would fly O'keefe out as a replacement for Bird and rush him into the the final test. Rest Clark and bring in Khawaja. Haddin can be captain. Give Johnson a game as well.

    My team would be Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Khwaja, Smith, Haddin, Okeefe, Johnson, Starc, Pattinson and Siddle.

  • on March 18, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    What a joke the Watson affair has become.He does a dummy spit and takes his bat and ball home,making derogatory comments about management personnel.He then eats humble pie and makes a grovelling speech thanking Clarke for 'allowing him to return home for the birth of his child'.Now this same person could be Australia's captain,unbelievable!.

  • Someguy on March 18, 2013, 21:25 GMT

    @Nampally - You've got a few things really wrong. You say Watson was treated like a school boy. Sorry, but that is totally wrong. He was treated like a professional athlete who failed to do an assigned task. He ACTED like a school boy, taking his bat and ball and going home and threatening to quit. Yes, I know he went home to be with his wife for the birth of his kid, it's the way he did it.

    Then you say he, along with Clarke, is the heart and soul of the batting lineup? He is one of the weakest links in the batting lineup. He hasn't scored a 100 since 2010, has only even hit 4 50+ scores since the start of 2011 (14 tests). In that time Warner has hit 3 100's and 7 50's (18 tests), Cowan 1x100 6x50's (16 tests), Clarke we all know about. Even Wade 2x100's, 3x50's (11 tests) and Hughes with all his struggles, 1x100 and 4x50's (14 tests).

    So, if he isn't bowling, Watson does not deserve to be in the team. He is the weakest link in the batting lineup.

  • Indianpunjabi on March 18, 2013, 20:39 GMT

    LOL this Guy is a Joker haha he is telling he wants to win BIG Test Series plus Big Icc Tournaments and we are watching they are about to get whitewashed lol plus he never won a Ashes even lol good joke

  • KartiG on March 18, 2013, 19:25 GMT

    Somewhere I feel its going to be 4-0 result.. Watson leading Australia as Shewag did in the last Test in Australia when Dhoni was pinned for Slow over rate!

  • Aussiesfalling on March 18, 2013, 18:06 GMT

    Any tour will have a structure which will include a small group or committee that gets together to discuss and decide what to do about player behaviour. Usually this group will include the coach, manager, captain and vice-captain as a bare minimum. Either this tour did not have this structure in place or Clarke and Arthur decided to by-pass it in deciding to set the players the task they did with the penalty of being dropped as there is simply no way this would have happened if Watson had been part of the normal decision making process. If Clarke is not into empowering his vice-captain to even this standard degree and is still intent on retaining in place said vice-captain while keeping him at arms length, then this does not bode well for the Australian cricket under Clarke's leadership. Given that Clarke and Arthur can not by-pass giving the captaincy for the 4th Test to Watson if Clarke is injured, this should ensure that no matter what state he is in, Clarke will play the 4th Test.

  • Nampally on March 18, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    Clearly Watson made a huge concession & compromise to return back after the VC of the team being treated like a "School Boy" by Arthur. Clarke could have done more to diffuse the situation from reaching to suspension. Watson + Clarke are heart & soul of the Aussie batting. If they were both physically 100% fit, they could easily have been the 2 leading bowlers as well. Right now, the OZ team needs both batting & bowling. Watson comes into a team which did better than in the first 2 Tests in 3rd Test. Addition of Hilfenhaus + Ponting ( bring him out of retirement) would have infused reliability to this team, even at this late stage. Will Johnson & Pattinson be "unsuspended" & get into the XI? Siddle & Starc have sealed their spot. So it looks like Watson & Pattinson will replace Doherty & Henriques, assuming Clarke is fit & will play. The return of Watson appears to be synonymous to KP's case in the England XI. Good Luck to the OZ for the Delhi Test.

  • on March 18, 2013, 14:17 GMT

    @sachin_vvsfan . Watto will NOT throw away his wicket, if he is captaining. If Clarke is fit wnough to lead... no guarantee...though! ( Watto is not like Sehwag. For Veeru, it doesn't matter who is Captaining, or what the match situation is... Nothing matters. If he (Veeru) throws his wicket away, he will non-challantly say "That is the way I play!". So, simple, No?

  • on March 18, 2013, 14:13 GMT

    Watto said: "I've a burning ambition to be an Australian Test player". One doubt. ...a Australian Player... or ... Australian Captain?

  • on March 18, 2013, 14:11 GMT

    OZ team for Delhi will be interesting! All the suspended players, would have acquired and assimilated the team's culture as prescribed by Arthur, in a jiffy!. So will be the suspended Watto, as Captain (who might have left that"culture back at home, and might have brought nit back along with him). The prodigal four will be the core. And, of course, seven other old loyals. Very interesting, indeed.

  • guptahitesh4u on March 18, 2013, 14:06 GMT

    IMO, Watson should give a try to bowling in the fourth test. If not for the whole day, he should at least bowl for a smaller spell..He along with Pattinson can make the attack a lethal one. Also, lest hope Siddle and Starc bowls with same intensity as they did in the last session of the Mohali test. If Australia wins the toss , they should send in India to bat first. I am sure Pattinson and Siddle can get more wickets in the first session than their Indian counterpart. All in all, lets hope for a thrilling finish to the series

  • 30-30-150 on March 18, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    Watson will replace Clarke for the last game and maybe captain the side too. Who else has the potential/experience to lead the team? Warner? Haddin?

  • on March 18, 2013, 13:20 GMT

    disco_bob has hit the nail on the head regarding Phil Hughes; that innings was SO important for him and Australian cricket. He has real talent but when he finds a way to get himself out he seems to have real trouble finding a circuit-breaker to stop himself getting out that way. The previous times (the 2009 Ashes - against the short ball and 2011 against Martin/New Zealand) the breaker has been him getting dropped but today he showed that he is capable of batting himself out of a rut. Hopefully this will be a massive step in his development and he can realise some of that potential. It's the best thing that's come out of "homework-gate" along with the maturity that Pattinson showed. I am hoping that this will be the beginning of the end for Shane Watson - an opening batsman who has managed only two centuries in 73 starts.

  • hycIass on March 18, 2013, 12:53 GMT

    @Beertjie Khawaja can probably write a book now on how to be a reserve batsman and injury cover, seriously how many times will he miss out, he deserves a go in the last test And i am glad also to see Watson come back in but what it shows is that the whole homework debacle was a complete joke. Not having Pattinson and Khawaja in this test was not acceptable. So a 8 wicket loss, Then a loss by an innings and 135, And now a loss by 6 wickets, is Arthur going to claim the homework helped the performance?

  • SasiGladi on March 18, 2013, 11:53 GMT

    All the blocks in Aussy team got confused, eager to know about thier team in Delhi..Steve scored well, Hughes stayed quiet a long, Starc played extremenly than most of the regular batsmen, Lyon and Doherty have equal effect...now they will have Watto, Patt, Khw...will Aussy go for two spinners or three seamers bring back Maxwell I feel Starc is very much required (not in bowling though)...were Watto will bat who he will replace...we need Steve esp for the gift boundry balls he gives in pressure situation..one more will Haddin continue to keep...yeah thats what I said all the blocks got confused.....

  • rbridle on March 18, 2013, 11:48 GMT

    I'm sure Australia will find a way to continue to exclude Khawaja!

  • milepost on March 18, 2013, 11:44 GMT

    I'm glad he's back. Australia need to play their best 6 batsmen, their best wicket keeper and their 4 best bowlers. Sounds simple but we are so far from that kind of selection at the moment. I think captain and coach should be replaced, not because of the terrible results but there seems to be a continuing selection bias that means we don't pick and persevere with our best team.

  • Beertjie on March 18, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    Actually @ MinusZero on (March 18, 2013, 6:02 GMT) It's Hughes who is "the golden boy" or protected species. Agree they should give Khawaja a game. Henriques must go and so should Smith or Hughes, but no prizes for guessing who'll be retained! Can't dent his newly-found confidence can we? Besides Alfie wants him to be persevered with so he might play all 5 in England, too. Besides all of this, he does his homework punctually.

  • disco_bob on March 18, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    With Hughes on the verge of a complete psychological meltdown then putting in a career saving performance only to be given out wrongly when he could very well have saved the match, I think it is imperative that he play the final Test to prove that he has overcome his demons.

  • Mary_786 on March 18, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    @Edward_Anderson makes some valid points. The whole homework episode was a waste of time and our performance in the third test has shown that Watson, Khawaja and Pattinson should now come in for the Dehli test so we can restore some pride. Hughes must be rested(not dropped) and Khawaja can get a crack as he is yet to play a match. Our batting again was not good enough in the third test. And as for this match Remember last summer when Kohli chased down over 300 in 40 overs? I don't think we can defend this total

  • sachin_vvsfan on March 18, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    Welcome back. Now dont throw away your wicket in 4th match. Show some respect to this format and bat sensibly. After all you are vice captain. Good luck.

  • ambrose-before-hos on March 18, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    A myopic, desperate and reactive move bringing Watson back. Exemplary discipline is nothing if you keep indulging players of average ability like Watson who stand in the way of a team ever getting better.

  • Edwards_Anderson on March 18, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    With Clarke injured Watson should captain,agree with someguy that its surely time to give Khawaja a crack now, possibly for Hughes who is averaging 15 in this series. Also Pattinson must come in for the Dehli test, we can't keep the same lineup after getting smashed 3 matches in a row.

  • smudgeon on March 18, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    I'm surprised he'll be returning as vice-captain given his poor leadership on this issue, but I guess it'd look plain awful to strip him of that given the furore over the "homework" issue. Sure, feel free to voice your opinion and disappointment at the happenings of last week, but at least cop it on the chin Watto, and show a bit of maturity - the team isn't all about you. Agree wholeheartedly with Meety, the guy should NEVER have been made vice-captain - by all means, have him in the side if he warrants his place (IMO, he needs to be bowling to be worth his place), but I'd be looking elsewhere for a 2IC come Ashes time. Dress it up as "building for the future" or something :P

  • on March 18, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    Great to see you Watson back to Delhi. Best of luck

  • farkin on March 18, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    get some f'n runs for a change watson and bowl 10 to 40 overs in a test

  • on March 18, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    @SachinIsAGoner: Not Aussie spirit, but a hefty PAY PACKAGE from CA. I am sure there is a huge rift between Clarke and Watson. Who knows, if things go horribly wrong for Australia in the Ashes, Watson could get Clarke's job. Or, all of this was probably blown out of proportion by the media and press.

  • srriaj317 on March 18, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    So if Hughes is going to play on, no game for Khawaja then. Looks like faith and confidence are reserved solely for the captain's buddies.

  • Nokesy on March 18, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    Go brad haddin, should be vice

  • on March 18, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    Watson may be 'ready to commit to test cricket longterm' but I doubt that there is any long term in Test Cricket for someone who has scored 2 100's in 73 test innings - That's a shocker in anyones books for a Top order batsman. For goodness sakes there are New Zealands with better test records than that! :) He just has to man up & either be an all rounder, where he does have a knack of taking good wickets, or if he is not going to bowl, then he has to fufill his main role of being a run scorer, and a heavy one at that. Personally I think he is soft and anyone who spits the dummy and threatens to leave test cricket should have the bluff called on him by cricket Australia and should be pensioned off elsewhere to sulk,

  • Yuji9 on March 18, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    I bet India are real glad to think Phil Hughes has somehow done enough to retain his position and probably happy about Smith playing again also. Captain Watson sounds good and must play Khawaja and Johnson in Delhi. Attack of Siddle, Starc, Johnson, Pattinson and forget spin totally!

  • Someguy on March 18, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    Watson has done nothing to earn a place in the team. Smith scored more runs in 1 innings than Watson has all series. He's the 9th best batsman on the tour, just scraping in ahead of Hughes.

    His record for the last year has been very ordinary.

    He needs to go back to shield cricket and find some form.

    Khawaja in for Hughes (although that might not happen after he batted well in the second innings). Watson should only make it back in if Clarke is not fit, Wade is not fit, and they decide to drop Hughes. Hughes has struggled, but at least he had 1 good innings, unlike Watson.

    Having said that, the selectors will put him straight back in, probably at Smiths expense.

  • venkatesh018 on March 18, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    Not an insignificant announcement considering how big this is an year for Australia in Test cricket ! Welcome back, Watto.

  • Showbags88 on March 18, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    The coaching staff should tell Watson to either man up and bowl (so we can drop Henriques) or not play him. Henriques is weakening the batting and providing very little with the ball atm all so we can play Watson for his batting (which isn't good enough to make the team anyway).

  • SachinIsAGoner on March 18, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    Aussie Spirit............................

  • sivakumar_ck on March 18, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    Hi Watto welcome back we miss you regards Sivakumar

  • MinusZero on March 18, 2013, 6:02 GMT

    Whats to say Watson should be selected? His form doesnt warrant selection and hasnt for two years...oh, thats right, he is the golden boy. Aussie selectors are a joke. Given Watson's injury problems and the fact that the series will be over, Why not give Khawaja a game?

  • Thefakebook on March 18, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    A can see a huge ton by Watto in 4th test.The VC is back.

  • wix99 on March 18, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    If Clarke can't play in the 4th Test due to injury will Watson or Haddin be the captain?

  • slow.mo on March 18, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    Ah! That's a relief. Good for all the parties.

  • timtom on March 18, 2013, 4:32 GMT

    Well Watson is no KP and CA is no ECB !!!!... Well he has to return !!!! No surprises...

  • timtom on March 18, 2013, 4:32 GMT

    Well Watson is no KP and CA is no ECB !!!!... Well he has to return !!!! No surprises...

  • slow.mo on March 18, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    Ah! That's a relief. Good for all the parties.

  • wix99 on March 18, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    If Clarke can't play in the 4th Test due to injury will Watson or Haddin be the captain?

  • Thefakebook on March 18, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    A can see a huge ton by Watto in 4th test.The VC is back.

  • MinusZero on March 18, 2013, 6:02 GMT

    Whats to say Watson should be selected? His form doesnt warrant selection and hasnt for two years...oh, thats right, he is the golden boy. Aussie selectors are a joke. Given Watson's injury problems and the fact that the series will be over, Why not give Khawaja a game?

  • sivakumar_ck on March 18, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    Hi Watto welcome back we miss you regards Sivakumar

  • SachinIsAGoner on March 18, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    Aussie Spirit............................

  • Showbags88 on March 18, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    The coaching staff should tell Watson to either man up and bowl (so we can drop Henriques) or not play him. Henriques is weakening the batting and providing very little with the ball atm all so we can play Watson for his batting (which isn't good enough to make the team anyway).

  • venkatesh018 on March 18, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    Not an insignificant announcement considering how big this is an year for Australia in Test cricket ! Welcome back, Watto.

  • Someguy on March 18, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    Watson has done nothing to earn a place in the team. Smith scored more runs in 1 innings than Watson has all series. He's the 9th best batsman on the tour, just scraping in ahead of Hughes.

    His record for the last year has been very ordinary.

    He needs to go back to shield cricket and find some form.

    Khawaja in for Hughes (although that might not happen after he batted well in the second innings). Watson should only make it back in if Clarke is not fit, Wade is not fit, and they decide to drop Hughes. Hughes has struggled, but at least he had 1 good innings, unlike Watson.

    Having said that, the selectors will put him straight back in, probably at Smiths expense.