India v Australia, 4th Test, Delhi March 20, 2013

Injury keeps Clarke from training

58

Shane Watson's chances of captaining Australia for the first time in Test cricket appear to have risen after Michael Clarke failed to train in Delhi on Wednesday. Although Clarke is still hopeful of being fit for the fourth Test, which starts at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Friday, his ongoing back problem limited his participation at the nets on Wednesday to some discussions with the coach Mickey Arthur and on-duty selector Rod Marsh while the rest of the squad trained.

Clarke has struggled with back trouble for many years and exacerbated the problem during the warm-up on day four in Mohali and was clearly hampered by his injury while batting at No.6 in Australia's second innings. Brad Haddin led Australia in the field during Clarke's periods off the ground but with the vice-captain Watson having rejoined the squad - he batted in the nets in Delhi on Wednesday - he is the most likely man to take charge if Clarke is ruled out.

However, that would create an interesting dynamic given that Watson was one of the four men who failed to complete Arthur's so-called homework task and was left out of the Mohali Test. Watson flew out of Chandigarh the same day for the birth of his first child and when he left, he expressed his disappointment at what he felt was a "very harsh" punishment and said he would use his time at home to consider his cricket future.

But over the past few days Cricket Australia has been at pains to say that Watson is now fully on-board with the plans of the team management and he has committed to Test cricket for the long term. The opener Ed Cowan, who holds no official leadership position but is a well-respected older member of the group, said the squad had no problems welcoming Watson back after the events of the past week.

"There is no doubt about that. In his own words, he has probably decided to come back with full focus and we will accept him because he is such a great player and a good leader," Cowan said on Wednesday. "He is a senior player around the group and it is important those kinds of players are on-board because we need those guys for this team to be the best team in the world. There is no doubt he is on board with the team moving forward.

"Shane is more a lead by example kind of fellow in terms of how he prepares. He doesn't leave many stones unturned in terms of preparation and the way he has performed across all formats for a long period of time, that is an example in itself. He is a very different leader to Michael but we're hoping Michael is fine for this Test. He's such a great batsman and we need his runs and his leadership. We're hoping he will be fit."

Although Clarke did not train on Wednesday, the Australians remain hopeful that he will be able to play in Delhi, despite the short turnaround between matches.

"It's a condition that he's had for a long time and he hasn't missed a Test yet so he's not expecting to miss this but it is a day-to-day proposition. I don't know what the possibility or probability of him playing the Test match is but he's confident because he's so familiar with it and it's something he deals with on a daily basis."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Beertjie on March 21, 2013, 12:37 GMT

    @F (March 21, 2013, 0:24 GMT) Agree that "australia have good young players coming through but are not quite ready for international cricket . they need to play maybe one more season and they will be ready." Too early for Joe Burns, Ashton Agar, Jordan Silk, although the first two should debut in Australia in Adelaide! Fawad Ahmed and Alex Doolan should go to England, with Faulkner on stand by. But to persist with Maxwell and Smith and to leave out Paine from the squad if they pick the leggie is what this clueless NSP will continue to do. And that won't be the worst. They'll take Cummins and he'll break down;ditto Bird. They'll omit O'Keefe and Rogers, etc. How can anyone be so lacking in vision and occupy these post?

  • Beertjie on March 21, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    Thanks for the correction @willy_upper on (March 20, 2013, 23:15 GMT). But you seem to think Hughes has a God-given right to be in the team despite having no better prospects against spin than Khawaja. Even your team endorses the favouritism when Smith who was officially designated by the coach as the extra batsman is now preferred to Khawaja because he took his opportunity. Come on! I prefer to think the comments of @RodStark have more credibility than those less sensitive to these things.

  • realfan on March 21, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    @jplterrors funny huh??? remember last time we came to NZ we won, you came to INDIA we won....not only in test remember the trashing you got in ODIs..... first try to come in top 5 in test ranking or try to win a series in your own backyard.....

  • on March 21, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    larke taking a break will be good, all around. He can give more time for his troublesome back. Moreover he should not burn himself into ashes, especially when Ashes are around the corner.

    Secondly, Watto will get a chance to Captain.And every one else can find out whether it makes a significant difference in his approach / attitude /performance.

    Some of the boys who had been sitting on the bench all while, like Khawaja will get a chance in the playing XI.

  • sulav.dahal on March 21, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    Yeah, it's a bit interesting and awful as well! You oust a player from your team, but later, you welcome him because you got lots of pressure! Its completely childish. If they are okay with Watson being captain, then why they sacked him, in first part? Cricket Australia (CA) is getting abnormal and dysfuctional! They have been constantly loosing senior and experienced players like Langer, Hayden, Gilchrist, McGrath, Warne, Lee, and they were pushing Watson down! Its completely not done, CA.

  • Mary_786 on March 21, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    @Edward Koala Khawaja is ready, get him in. As much as i want Clarke to play it can't be at the risk of him doing further injury. Khawaja would be a great replacment, he has warmed the bench for long enough, now its his time. Also Pattinson is a no brainer for Starc and I would also give Johnson a go given he like Khawaja hasn't played a game this series.

  • jplterrors on March 21, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    NZ is the team to beat India will find this out when they tour for 3 tests next season, oh I mean 2 they are too scared to play 3 apparently...

  • realfan on March 21, 2013, 5:52 GMT

    looking at AUS fans coments, its looks like USAMAN KAWAJA and AJINKYA RAHANE are of same breed, ever talent never chance...... i hope bothe gets chance and we may see good contest..... as an INDIAN fan I really want AUS to win the ASHES, its like ASHES belongs to only ausie, and i am sure many cant digest ashes going to england rather than ausie...:D go aus... get your team ready for ashes, and let us win the next match.....:D :D XD

  • on March 21, 2013, 3:16 GMT

    i think hughes is a perfect replacement for rickey ponting as far as the ashes is concerned but not in sub continent condition.

  • Wefinishthis on March 21, 2013, 3:16 GMT

    ahmed_mujtaba1 - It's an interesting point, but I don't think it's so much the amount of experiments, but the way they're experimenting. Why Doherty? Maxwell? Why not experiment with O'Keefe? Could he bowl any worse than Lyon, Doherty or Maxwell? Honestly? What about Faulkner? Why was Bird dropped for the first test when he averaged 16 in the previous series? Don't say 'player management', it was the first test of the series! The biggest letdown is the bowling. Barring the Sri Lanka series, almost every innings we've conceded 400+ if not 500+ runs. A big part of this is to do with Lyon failing to take wickets in spin-friendly Adelaide and India, but also wasting the new-ball. We've passed 400 with the bat enough times to be winning games, we're just not using the new ball properly to rip through the top orders. I want to see Bird and Pattinson open and have Harris as first change option for the ashes. Throw in O'Keefe as the spinner and Cook will have another thing coming for him

  • Beertjie on March 21, 2013, 12:37 GMT

    @F (March 21, 2013, 0:24 GMT) Agree that "australia have good young players coming through but are not quite ready for international cricket . they need to play maybe one more season and they will be ready." Too early for Joe Burns, Ashton Agar, Jordan Silk, although the first two should debut in Australia in Adelaide! Fawad Ahmed and Alex Doolan should go to England, with Faulkner on stand by. But to persist with Maxwell and Smith and to leave out Paine from the squad if they pick the leggie is what this clueless NSP will continue to do. And that won't be the worst. They'll take Cummins and he'll break down;ditto Bird. They'll omit O'Keefe and Rogers, etc. How can anyone be so lacking in vision and occupy these post?

  • Beertjie on March 21, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    Thanks for the correction @willy_upper on (March 20, 2013, 23:15 GMT). But you seem to think Hughes has a God-given right to be in the team despite having no better prospects against spin than Khawaja. Even your team endorses the favouritism when Smith who was officially designated by the coach as the extra batsman is now preferred to Khawaja because he took his opportunity. Come on! I prefer to think the comments of @RodStark have more credibility than those less sensitive to these things.

  • realfan on March 21, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    @jplterrors funny huh??? remember last time we came to NZ we won, you came to INDIA we won....not only in test remember the trashing you got in ODIs..... first try to come in top 5 in test ranking or try to win a series in your own backyard.....

  • on March 21, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    larke taking a break will be good, all around. He can give more time for his troublesome back. Moreover he should not burn himself into ashes, especially when Ashes are around the corner.

    Secondly, Watto will get a chance to Captain.And every one else can find out whether it makes a significant difference in his approach / attitude /performance.

    Some of the boys who had been sitting on the bench all while, like Khawaja will get a chance in the playing XI.

  • sulav.dahal on March 21, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    Yeah, it's a bit interesting and awful as well! You oust a player from your team, but later, you welcome him because you got lots of pressure! Its completely childish. If they are okay with Watson being captain, then why they sacked him, in first part? Cricket Australia (CA) is getting abnormal and dysfuctional! They have been constantly loosing senior and experienced players like Langer, Hayden, Gilchrist, McGrath, Warne, Lee, and they were pushing Watson down! Its completely not done, CA.

  • Mary_786 on March 21, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    @Edward Koala Khawaja is ready, get him in. As much as i want Clarke to play it can't be at the risk of him doing further injury. Khawaja would be a great replacment, he has warmed the bench for long enough, now its his time. Also Pattinson is a no brainer for Starc and I would also give Johnson a go given he like Khawaja hasn't played a game this series.

  • jplterrors on March 21, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    NZ is the team to beat India will find this out when they tour for 3 tests next season, oh I mean 2 they are too scared to play 3 apparently...

  • realfan on March 21, 2013, 5:52 GMT

    looking at AUS fans coments, its looks like USAMAN KAWAJA and AJINKYA RAHANE are of same breed, ever talent never chance...... i hope bothe gets chance and we may see good contest..... as an INDIAN fan I really want AUS to win the ASHES, its like ASHES belongs to only ausie, and i am sure many cant digest ashes going to england rather than ausie...:D go aus... get your team ready for ashes, and let us win the next match.....:D :D XD

  • on March 21, 2013, 3:16 GMT

    i think hughes is a perfect replacement for rickey ponting as far as the ashes is concerned but not in sub continent condition.

  • Wefinishthis on March 21, 2013, 3:16 GMT

    ahmed_mujtaba1 - It's an interesting point, but I don't think it's so much the amount of experiments, but the way they're experimenting. Why Doherty? Maxwell? Why not experiment with O'Keefe? Could he bowl any worse than Lyon, Doherty or Maxwell? Honestly? What about Faulkner? Why was Bird dropped for the first test when he averaged 16 in the previous series? Don't say 'player management', it was the first test of the series! The biggest letdown is the bowling. Barring the Sri Lanka series, almost every innings we've conceded 400+ if not 500+ runs. A big part of this is to do with Lyon failing to take wickets in spin-friendly Adelaide and India, but also wasting the new-ball. We've passed 400 with the bat enough times to be winning games, we're just not using the new ball properly to rip through the top orders. I want to see Bird and Pattinson open and have Harris as first change option for the ashes. Throw in O'Keefe as the spinner and Cook will have another thing coming for him

  • RodStark on March 21, 2013, 2:30 GMT

    On the Khawaja issue, it is a little interesting that when players of Asian ancestry start to challenge for places in the test teams of England (Shah, Bopara, Patel, etc.), now Australia, and perhaps South Africa (Tahir), there always seem to be doubts about their "temperament" or "attitude". I really don't know what to make of this, but it is certainly unfortunate to say the least.

  • on March 21, 2013, 0:24 GMT

    australia have good young players coming through but are not quite ready for international cricket . they need to play maybe one more season and they will be ready. joe burns, alex doolan, callum fergusson, usman khawaja, ashton agar, fawad ahmed, chadd sayers, james faulkner, jordan silk and gurinder sandhu are the players who will represent australia for a long time. fawad ahmed, joe burns and usman khawja are the players who deserve to play for australia now. others from the list need one more shield season.

  • on March 21, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    my lineup for the ashes series in england will be: 1.warner 2.hughes 3.clarke 4.watson 5.khawaja 6.burns 7.wade 8.agar 9.harris 10.pattinson 11.siddle

    my second string lineup will be: 1.cowan 2.silk 3.doolan 4.cosgrove 5.fergusson 6.henriques 7.haddin 8.starc 9.fawad ahmed 10.sayers 11.bird

  • Sunil_Batra on March 20, 2013, 23:41 GMT

    Flemingmitch agree wholeheartly with you bud. For me there aren't too many positives to take away from this tour at all.All this tour has done is either confirm what we already suspected or demonstrated the fallacy of some dreams: 1. Ed Cowan will do well to average 35. What he will do is make enough medium scores like he did last Test to make it difficult to drop him as long as everyone keeps failing. 2. Phil Hughes is a work in progress. He can one day be the dominant "10,000 run" batsman but he needs to fix up his play against spin. 3. We do not have a world class all-rounder or even a capable one without watson. 4. We need to look for other spinners. If I had to pick a team for the back-to-back Ashes, I'd probably go from something like this: 1. Warner 2. Cowan 3. Hughes 4. Clarke 5. Khawaja 6. Burns 7. Wade 8. Starc 9. Pattinson 10. Siddle 11. Lyon With respect to the batting, I would put Hughes up to opener, move Khawaja to 3 and then bring Burns at 6

  • Mary_786 on March 20, 2013, 23:19 GMT

    @FlemingMitch alot of folks are feeling what you stated, my gut feel is that Khawaja will play along with Johnson, if this was a must win perhaps they wouldn't have but given we are 3-0 down these guys will get their shot

  • willy_upper on March 20, 2013, 23:15 GMT

    @Beerjite I believe Warne's quote is "if it seams it spins". Swing has nothing to do with the pitch as it happens in the air, seam is off the pitch. If 3 quicks play then Maxwell for Henriques seems logical but if Smith plays they can get overs from him. I think Hughes needs to stay showed some form in the 2nd innings then got a howler of an LBW. Would like to see Khawaja play but I'm not sure his credentials against spin are great anyway. If Clarke isn't fit the XI should be 1. Warner 2. Cowan 3. Hughes 4. Watson 5. Smith 6. Wade/Haddin 7. Maxwell/Henriques 8. Johnson 9. Siddle 10. Pattinson 11. Lyon

  • SillyMidPavilion on March 20, 2013, 22:32 GMT

    My picks for the teams: AUS - 1 Cowan, 2 Warner, 3 Watson, 4 Khawaja, 5 Smith, 6 Haddin, 7 Maxwell, 8 Johnson, 9 Siddle, 10 Pattinson, 11 Lyon. IND - 1 Vijay, 2 Pujara, 3 Kohli, 4 Tendulkar, 5 Rahane, 6 Dhoni, 7 Jadeja, 8 Ashwin, 9 Kumar, 10 Sharma, 11 Ojha.

  • MinusZero on March 20, 2013, 22:25 GMT

    Watson's selection is a joke anyway. Both Cowan and Hughes have outscored Watson in the past two years and yet always seem to be on the verge of being dropped.

  • on March 20, 2013, 21:43 GMT

    @ tanstell87 ..... but Clarke is the greatest player of spin for all time???

    Could have started the series 39, 0, 51, 16, 0 18. Dropped balls, not given out .... it all adds up.

  • Charlie101 on March 20, 2013, 20:57 GMT

    I think Khawaja has to get a game some how even if Henriques has to make way and they play an extra batsman. Hughes is the obvious candidate but I get the impression they want him for the Ashes series and also he did play well in the last test

  • on March 20, 2013, 20:11 GMT

    I wished clarke played this match, I think he would have scored a hundred. it kind of reminds me of when Aus whitewashed us, MSD did not play the final test. So it seems fitting clarke wont play and Australia will be white washed. Personally for both XIs.. AUS: 1. Warner 2. Cowan 3. Watson 4. Khawaja 5. Smith 6. Haddin/ Wade 7. Glenn Maxwll 8. Johnson 9, Siddle 10. Patinson 11. Lyon.. Reason I am adding Maxwell instead of henriques, I dont think Australia need 3 seamers n a seam all rounder. I think Maxwell can bowl a couple offies with Lyon the lead spinners.

    IND: 1. Vijay 2. Pujara 3. Kohli 4. SRT 5. Rahane 6. MSD 7. Jadeja 8. Ashwin 9. Bhuvi 10. Dinda 11. Ojha.. I personally dont think Rahane will play, because Raina will play cuz he is a leftie, and the only in top 6. I picked Dinda instead of Ishant, cuz personally I dont think he can bowl as bad as Ishant. Idk why India keep playing Ishant, 50 tests average around 39ish.. That is def not worth it.

    LETS GO TEAM INDIA

  • gsingh7 on March 20, 2013, 18:47 GMT

    watson should be permanent captain, averaging 25 in 2 years, he will represent the sorry state of aussie talent pool. power to watto .

  • ahmed_mujtaba1 on March 20, 2013, 17:47 GMT

    too much experiments in Australian team is the reason of their failure in recent series (SA and India) except sri lanka. I mean giving debut to the players in test who plays only T20 not even first class,this is not cricket Australia by far..

  • sulav.dahal on March 20, 2013, 17:19 GMT

    Yeah, it's a bit interesting and awful as well! You oust a player from your team, but later, you welcome him because you got lots of pressure! Its completely childish. If they are okay with Watson being captain, then why they sacked him, in first part? Cricket Australia (CA) is getting abnormal and dysfuctional! They have been constantly loosing senior and experienced players like Langer, Hayden, Gilchrist, McGrath, Warne, Lee, and they were pushing Watson down! Its completely not done, CA.

  • Beertjie on March 20, 2013, 16:52 GMT

    As I wrote yesterday, Clarke's likely replacement will be Khawaja. Then on Friday Clarke plays and UK is out in the cold (or facing the heat for not doing his h/w! @Mary_786 on (March 20, 2013, 10:54 GMT, remember Shane's maxim, "if it swings, it spins"

  • on March 20, 2013, 16:50 GMT

    Agree with Selassie-I comments. Let Watson prove himself in the team management culture before giving him higher honors. As vc he needs to show his support of what MA and MC are trying to do. Bad boy one week, captain the next - doesn't seem right.

  • Selassie-I on March 20, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    How can you suspend a guy then say he's captaincy material the next week? He either has the right attitude or doesn't.

    He can improve his attitude, but not in a week.

    And wasn't he staying at home fo rthe birth of his first child?

  • timohyj on March 20, 2013, 15:33 GMT

    @popcorn, so you are saying his defence against spin has not been found out yet? But I do agree it does look very comical

  • on March 20, 2013, 15:30 GMT

    Everyone is a tiger in their backyard, most teams except England and SA are in transition so need to give them some time

  • BustIPL on March 20, 2013, 15:09 GMT

    Sometimes it is Micky Arthur and at other times it is nature that is organizing aussie experimentation. This time an experiment of testing Watson's captaincy material in the trying circumstances where aussies are on the verge of a whitewash will be interesting. Let's see.

  • popcorn on March 20, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    Michael Clarke WILL PLAY, mark my words. He has NEVER MISSED a Test due toi injury. His back problem is not new. He has been carrying it for years - and yet scoring heavily, fielding beautifully in slips. Watson has captained some ODIs ONLY, but Brad Haddin has captained NSW in Shield Cricket for some years and has more experience. Khawaja SHOULD bat at Number 3. Phil Hughes should be sacked.Not only for poor scores in this series,but also for his EXAGGERATED defence of spin bowling that is funny to watch and will be "found out" very soon.Khawaja has far better technique than Hughes.

  • Ozcricketwriter on March 20, 2013, 14:46 GMT

    I can't see them risking Clarke in a pointless test.

  • nambiar.s on March 20, 2013, 14:44 GMT

    Ed Cowan says Shikhar Dhawan batted like Don Bradman. That is nonsense. Only one man could have batted like Dhawan... Virender Sehwag. Bradman batted in the 1940s - the quality of cricket balls made during that period were poor and also the variety of pitches were less. Bradman played mostly against England. The greatest fast bowlers played during the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s.

  • maddy20 on March 20, 2013, 13:53 GMT

    @Jayzuz "India will get slaughtered outside India" Big words my friend. What is happening right now? I am sure as hell it is not like a Carnival for Aus team right now! A thrashing in England beckons as well. That makes it 14 losses in tests in a row. It will be some record! English batsmen are stubborn and their bowling attack is way too superior to Aus in their home conditions(where even Broad can get it to swing like a cobra) particularly in the spin department. And you are boasting of beating SL? Seriously? They just got pasted in the first test by Bangladesh and took the second game well into day 5. SL is not the team it used to be anymore. India too drew in SA the last time it played there. Beat WI in WI too. Considering a 5-0 is defeat for Aus is on the cards in the Ashes, you guys are no better than India. If you take this team to SA, they will have you for brunch! I expect this team to do a lot better than the seniors and atleast put up a fight unlike your sitting ducks!

  • on March 20, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    its not good but better as clarke is suffering so iwish watto do his job succesfully

  • cricketsage on March 20, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    Why is Khawaja being held to a higher standard than other Australian cricketers ? Surely he deserves the same number of chances that other Aussies get.

  • Flemo_Gilly on March 20, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    I play grade Cricket in Sydney and have a lot of Aussie friends who come from diverse backgrounds not dissimilar to Khawaja's background. What has really concerned me lately is the fact that there is now a growing feeling among a lot of people that Khawaja's poor treatment may actually be due to his sub continent backround. I don't believe this to be true as we are a multicultural country and being a proud Australian fan, I have always tried to see things in a positive light but there is no denying that Khawaja has been treated poorly and this is frustrating a lot of people and every time NSP comes up with a creative way to keep Khawaja out, this feeling gets only worse among his fans. Given this is a dead rubber its time to get him in. Cowan, Warner, Watson, Khawaja, Smith, Wade, Henriques, Siddle, Pattinson, Johnson, Lyon would be my side.

  • tanstell87 on March 20, 2013, 12:45 GMT

    apart from 91 in 2nd test Clarke has looked out of sorts against spinners...the 130 was a blooper

  • tanstell87 on March 20, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    just like Aussie fans are hoping to see Khawaja making the Aussie 11 in last test, Indian fans are hoping to see Rahane in the playing 11...this man has been in the Indian squad since tour of Australia 2011-12 but has not got a game...hope better sense prevails & Rahane makes the cut this time.

  • Jayzuz on March 20, 2013, 12:37 GMT

    Why would India go past Australia? When was the last time they won a game outside India? Australia beat SL, WI, and drew with SA away in the last 18 months. Something wrong with the ranking if that happens. Anyway, India will get slaughtered in SA on the greentops the saffas cook up. #Karma.

  • on March 20, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    a 30% fit Clarke would still be the best batsman in this Aussie side!!

  • SirViv1973 on March 20, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    If Clarke isn't passed fit then I think fans favorite Khawalja will be the big winner. Despite the repeated calls by the fans to see Khawalja play, I don't think he would have here, given that Smith came in & got 90 odd, Hughes finally contributed a decent score in the 2ns inns & Watson has returned.

  • on March 20, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    I sure hope we take Gurinder Sandhu to England for the Ashes series and blood him for the coming years, and hopefully Ashton Agar too...

  • Lenniesahayi on March 20, 2013, 12:02 GMT

    Should he be unfit for the test,I see it as a massive blow.One of the greatest players of spin and much needed against India.But like any ordeal,something good comes off it,Watto will get a chance as captain, and Khawaja will stand a higher chance of being picked.Come what may,Baggy Greens forever!!

  • Paul_Rampley on March 20, 2013, 12:00 GMT

    Losing Clarke for us is like England losing Cook or India losing Sachin. But it will show what our team can do without him. Mary and PrasPunter i am quietly confident Arthur will give Khawaja his chance in this match, despite the critism he has taken he is a good coach who rewards his players and he said that yesterday that Pattinson, Khawaja and Johnson have been training hard after their suspension so i am hoping we will finally see the classy left hander play. I am also hoping to see Johnson in action, he had a good summer and we have missed his bowling this series. I would go with 3 pace bowlers and 1 spinner, just stick to our strength.

  • on March 20, 2013, 11:45 GMT

    I dont see any logic in playing 70-80% percent fit clarke before all important ashes series provided you already lost this series 3-0. If you are in chance of atleast squaring the series then risking clarke makes some sense. I feel cowan is better choice for captaincy rather than watson, who is also not in good form. I don't see watson as test player after he decided to quit bowling temporarly. He is not a genuine top order test batsman. he will be only automatic choice, if he is a allrounder

  • hycIass on March 20, 2013, 11:45 GMT

    @Pras_Punter i echo your words mate, get Khawaja in, its a dead rubber and he can't do worse then our display in the last 3 matches and he is eligible again, it is worth noting that the Australian no.3 spot has returned an average of 20.75 runs including 9 ducks and 5 half-centuries out of 28 possible innings across 16 tests. Khawaja should be given a crack at that spot. I was also impressed with Smith.I watched his innings and there is potential and his batting peformence was solid and impressive, but he would be very handy if he worked on his bowling. Someone talk some sense into the kid and get him to work on his leggies.

  • ozwriter on March 20, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    a blessing in disguise? i hope hughes gets injured, his average has gone from 5 to 10. he still deserves to be 'rotated' like the bowlers do.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 20, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    Watson can't surely be a worse man-manager than Clarke, perhaps he might even convince Hussey and Ponting back in the side.

  • PrasPunter on March 20, 2013, 11:06 GMT

    Team Management, I beg you to let Usman have a game !! Please do it !! We have seen all the others having one and why not Ussie ? This is the guy who scored a brilliant 65 when we chased down 310 against a formidable SA attack in SA. Don't invent reasons to keep him out !!

  • Sunil_Batra on March 20, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    I believe I'll be in the minority here, but I actually think Watto will captain the side well, and return to form with the bat in time for the Ashes. Watto is ultra competitive, and sometimes that is perceived as arrogance, which is a shame as the guy is very humble in life. Good luck to him and let's hope he rediscovers the same form that earn't him the AB Medal. As for our batting lineup we will do better if Khawaja is picked, on the sidelines since November the kid is ready to fire. Copeland is another bowler to watchout for, NSW leading Shield bowler after only 8 matches and has a current batting av of 35. He would be perfect for England conditions and hopefully will show that by playing Country cricket this off season. If you watched him bowl you would see that players aren't willing enough to play any shots due to his line, length and movement both ways, hence his wicket taking success has lessened, however with his tight bowling how many wickets were also taken at the other end.

  • RockcityGuy on March 20, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    @ saumyas the rankings would be updated at the end of all ongoing series...if india go up 4-0 it will be ind 112 aus 110...if its 3-0 ind 111 aus 110....i think...i used the calculation given in wikipedia..:-D

  • Thefakebook on March 20, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    Oh I think Clarke should be rested regardless.No worries mate its a dead rubber anyway.Hope he gets 100% by the time of Ashes.A 95% Clarke is better than any bats man in either side in Ashes so that'll do too.

  • Mary_786 on March 20, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    With the 4th test we need to pick a team with a eye on the ashes. Which Australian batsman can handle the swinging ball? Clarke a is great and Warner is useful but aside from him Khawaja is next best in handling swing so get him in. Aside from these three you would be hard pressed to find anyone in the current batting line up who can handle swing bowling confidently. We are equally as incapable as handling swing bowling as we are of spin bowling due to an extreme lack of discipline. I think you'll find that we have already forgotten about India long before they went to India. Hence why they got summarily belted. India, and its spinning stocks needed to be taken seriously because in England, Australia will be presented with those challenges. People forget two things:1. That 5th day pitches in England favour spin bowlers. My money is on England if they are bowling in the 5th day.2. Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann are good spinners. They can both still find turn even on green tracks

  • on March 20, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    This is probably the funniest ever period Australian Cricket has ever been through.Not long they were the ones to beat and now it seems they are struggling to find the right player for the right conditions.The "HomeWork" episode I think was the final nail in the coffin as far as this series is concerned.After a barrage of criticism Mickey Arthur is forced to delete his twitter account.What is going on with Australian Cricket?Its in an absolute mess I say.It is sad to see a team that dominated most of the first decade of the 21st century is struggling to bat 2 sessions in Indian conditions.Where is the bench strength of the Aussies?

  • Edwards_Anderson on March 20, 2013, 10:28 GMT

    Not the best news but it gives someone like a Khawaja a chance to get his well deserved chance. And i have read alot today about the umpiring decisons in the last game. I'm afraid for all the ridicule of Clarke's dismissal off a no-ball, Some umpires are lenient to a bowler's foot landing on the line. R Jadeja's foot was on the paint with at least a millimeter inside the crease.Well, it all boils down to interpretation and accommodating a perspective from the other side of the spectrum as well. Nevertheless, Aleem Dar cut a sorry figure, while Richard Kettleborough had a good match..Yes, Phil Hughes was unlucky, but Australian capitulation was obvious. You still gotta bite the bullet and pick your best players, Khawaja needs to get a crack, he is too good not to and I would also get the other player who hasn't played a game yet in Johnson. Pattinson would be a walk in any side in the world. As for Watson he might actually play better as captain, lets see what happens.

  • soumyas on March 20, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    Why Mr kendrix hasn't updated ICC rating list ? India are still on 105 even after 3 test wins against team Australia which is ranked above it..

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on March 20, 2013, 10:16 GMT

    serious time to start grooming the next skipper. Need a captain to be reliable all the time

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  • Big_Maxy_Walker on March 20, 2013, 10:16 GMT

    serious time to start grooming the next skipper. Need a captain to be reliable all the time

  • soumyas on March 20, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    Why Mr kendrix hasn't updated ICC rating list ? India are still on 105 even after 3 test wins against team Australia which is ranked above it..

  • Edwards_Anderson on March 20, 2013, 10:28 GMT

    Not the best news but it gives someone like a Khawaja a chance to get his well deserved chance. And i have read alot today about the umpiring decisons in the last game. I'm afraid for all the ridicule of Clarke's dismissal off a no-ball, Some umpires are lenient to a bowler's foot landing on the line. R Jadeja's foot was on the paint with at least a millimeter inside the crease.Well, it all boils down to interpretation and accommodating a perspective from the other side of the spectrum as well. Nevertheless, Aleem Dar cut a sorry figure, while Richard Kettleborough had a good match..Yes, Phil Hughes was unlucky, but Australian capitulation was obvious. You still gotta bite the bullet and pick your best players, Khawaja needs to get a crack, he is too good not to and I would also get the other player who hasn't played a game yet in Johnson. Pattinson would be a walk in any side in the world. As for Watson he might actually play better as captain, lets see what happens.

  • on March 20, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    This is probably the funniest ever period Australian Cricket has ever been through.Not long they were the ones to beat and now it seems they are struggling to find the right player for the right conditions.The "HomeWork" episode I think was the final nail in the coffin as far as this series is concerned.After a barrage of criticism Mickey Arthur is forced to delete his twitter account.What is going on with Australian Cricket?Its in an absolute mess I say.It is sad to see a team that dominated most of the first decade of the 21st century is struggling to bat 2 sessions in Indian conditions.Where is the bench strength of the Aussies?

  • Mary_786 on March 20, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    With the 4th test we need to pick a team with a eye on the ashes. Which Australian batsman can handle the swinging ball? Clarke a is great and Warner is useful but aside from him Khawaja is next best in handling swing so get him in. Aside from these three you would be hard pressed to find anyone in the current batting line up who can handle swing bowling confidently. We are equally as incapable as handling swing bowling as we are of spin bowling due to an extreme lack of discipline. I think you'll find that we have already forgotten about India long before they went to India. Hence why they got summarily belted. India, and its spinning stocks needed to be taken seriously because in England, Australia will be presented with those challenges. People forget two things:1. That 5th day pitches in England favour spin bowlers. My money is on England if they are bowling in the 5th day.2. Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann are good spinners. They can both still find turn even on green tracks

  • Thefakebook on March 20, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    Oh I think Clarke should be rested regardless.No worries mate its a dead rubber anyway.Hope he gets 100% by the time of Ashes.A 95% Clarke is better than any bats man in either side in Ashes so that'll do too.

  • RockcityGuy on March 20, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    @ saumyas the rankings would be updated at the end of all ongoing series...if india go up 4-0 it will be ind 112 aus 110...if its 3-0 ind 111 aus 110....i think...i used the calculation given in wikipedia..:-D

  • Sunil_Batra on March 20, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    I believe I'll be in the minority here, but I actually think Watto will captain the side well, and return to form with the bat in time for the Ashes. Watto is ultra competitive, and sometimes that is perceived as arrogance, which is a shame as the guy is very humble in life. Good luck to him and let's hope he rediscovers the same form that earn't him the AB Medal. As for our batting lineup we will do better if Khawaja is picked, on the sidelines since November the kid is ready to fire. Copeland is another bowler to watchout for, NSW leading Shield bowler after only 8 matches and has a current batting av of 35. He would be perfect for England conditions and hopefully will show that by playing Country cricket this off season. If you watched him bowl you would see that players aren't willing enough to play any shots due to his line, length and movement both ways, hence his wicket taking success has lessened, however with his tight bowling how many wickets were also taken at the other end.

  • PrasPunter on March 20, 2013, 11:06 GMT

    Team Management, I beg you to let Usman have a game !! Please do it !! We have seen all the others having one and why not Ussie ? This is the guy who scored a brilliant 65 when we chased down 310 against a formidable SA attack in SA. Don't invent reasons to keep him out !!

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 20, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    Watson can't surely be a worse man-manager than Clarke, perhaps he might even convince Hussey and Ponting back in the side.