Australia in India 2012-13

Watson admits batting form a concern

Brydon Coverdale

March 25, 2013

Comments: 64 | Text size: A | A

Shane Watson walks back after another failure, India v Australia, 2nd Test, Hyderabad, 4th day, March 5, 2013
Shane Watson endured a lean series in India by his standards © BCCI
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Shane Watson has conceded that he risks being dropped unless he can find a way to start scoring big runs again, after yet another disappointing series with the bat. Watson, who was the acting captain in the final Test in Delhi, managed only 99 runs at 16.50 during the Indian tour. This continued a long, unproductive batting stretch, where in the past two years he has made 627 Test runs at 24.11, and has not posted a century.

His lack of runs was even more noticeable during this series because he had chosen not to bowl in an effort to stay fit and string together as much cricket as possible after an injury-plagued couple of seasons. Before the series, the captain, Michael Clarke, said that as a specialist batsman, Watson would face competition from a much larger pool of players for a place in the team, as compared to when he plays as an allrounder.

"There is no doubt that I need to score runs," Watson said at the end of the Indian tour. "As a batsman who's batting in the top four at the moment, I need to score runs. Unfortunately, during this series I've scored nowhere near the [amount of] runs that I've wanted to, to be able to contribute to the team's performance.

"There's no doubt cricket's a performance-based game. If I'm not scoring runs or taking wickets, then you can't expect to be picked. There are no secrets about it. You can't hide behind anything, apart from your performance. In this series I've not performed anywhere near where I've wanted to. I'm looking forward to being able to continue to play and hopefully get some continuity with my game over the next few months, and be in some good touch when the selectors announce the Ashes squad."

Watson's case for being part of the XI for the first Ashes Test will be strengthened by the fact that he is expected to be bowling again by then, and his medium-pace has a habit of providing breakthroughs at important times for the Australians. But bowling has also generally been responsible for the many injuries that have prevented him from playing even half the amount of Tests he could have.

He missed all of the 2011-12 home summer of Tests due to calf and hamstring problems, and played only half of Australia's home Tests in 2012-13, again due to a calf injury. However, Watson intends to slowly start building up his bowling workload during the second half of the IPL, and hopes to be in a position to bowl unrestricted during the Ashes, which starts in July.

"One thing I have realised is how much I do miss bowling, and it has been a plan over the last two or three months to get my body to a position where I can get back into bowling again, and hopefully hold together for the cricket we have coming up," Watson said. "There is no doubt coming here as a specialist batsman has not worked out anywhere near where I wanted it to.

"It didn't work in that regard, but in the end I am an allrounder, I love being an allrounder. At times it has been hard not to bowl knowing what I can contribute to the game. I know I won't always be able to score runs or take wickets, but if I'm an allrounder, I've got more [of a] chance to contribute to the team's performance and success. I have to stay on top of my body so that I can play the amount of cricket I want to."

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

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Posted by binojpeter on (March 27, 2013, 12:15 GMT)

Fast medium bowling alrounders like Watson, Mathews and Irfan Pathan are very crucial to the balance of the team. It is so crucial that they keep their fitness to be able to do both. Unfortunately all the three has fitness concerns.

Posted by Meety on (March 27, 2013, 0:27 GMT)

Fully fit & functioning Watto is a an asset in any team. However, the bloke carries a lot of baggage (IMO). It's interesting in ODIs the vast difference between his 1st & 2nd innings batting stats. This is due to him being concerned about his bowling workloads. He is the sort of bloke that SHOULD NOT be selected if he is not 100% fit. So IMO, if he cannot bowl - he is not 100% fit & should NOT be selected. I found it frustrating that he just started to look like assembling some sort of form v SL, then got injured, & I believe it is one of the main reasons his Test form has been horrendous, due to no continuity. UNLESS he is okay to bowl 10 overs a day - he is not fit & should not be considered for Test duty until that happens. When Watto is fit & bowling, I think Oz have the best ODI side in the world (when not in the sub-continent). @Chris_P on (March 26, 2013, 9:12 GMT) - his hissy fit over the homework-gate saga, should of a) had his VC dropped & b) precluded him from captaincy!

Posted by crafty-Rabbi on (March 26, 2013, 12:43 GMT)

I think he is mentally fragile. He certainly has ability. But Tests do just that they test every aspect of a batsman. At that level it is as much about mental fortitude as well as the physical and ability elements. Watson does not strike the impression of being able to concentrate for long. The ODI and T20 formats require far less and are less of an examination of a batsman.

The problem with the Australian side is that they do not have a strong leader in Clarke. His personal performances until India have been exemplary, but he lacks the grit and inspiration of a Waugh or a young Ponting. Nor do they have an able spinner. South Africa gets away with having mediocre spinners as their pace attack is currently the best in the world and does the job. Australia's pace attack is constantly changing and being rotated.

Management seems to be aggravating the problem . Mickey Arthur did not manage the team well in India.

Posted by TheDoctor394 on (March 26, 2013, 12:31 GMT)

@StarHawk... You haven't seen any critism of Australia on CricInfo?? I suggest you try having a look through the coverages of all the losses again, this time with your reading glasses on.

Posted by zenboomerang on (March 26, 2013, 11:58 GMT)

Yes Watto - the top order did let us down & the worst culprit was you by a large margin... The captaincy was a farce - why no article on Watto's crazy selection of Maxwell as opener?... Surely only someone with a T20 mentality would have done that & a complete disrespect to Test cricket & its traditions & skill requirements...

Guess Watto since being named VC now has a bat aver @24.11 says it all...

Posted by bouncedout on (March 26, 2013, 11:15 GMT)

Only Aus would make a big thing about discipline, sending 4 players home as a result, only to bring one back and make him captain in the next test.....

You couldn't make it up

Posted by KGY27 on (March 26, 2013, 9:33 GMT)

Watson is a class player. How many players have form slumps and work through as many injuries as he has? Tendulkar, Ponting, Laxman, Smith, Kirtsten, Rhodes etc have all experienced the agony of form deprivation. Just cut the BS and let him get on with it. It doesn't matter what format he is playing, just let him play and regain som eof that class we know he is capable. I guess the best batsmen in the world wouldn't have much fun on the doctored Indian pitches. It's ok though, what goes around comes around Mr. President of the BCCI!! Cricket....the great leveler.

Posted by Chris_P on (March 26, 2013, 9:12 GMT)

Let's see, the past 3 seasons of first class cricket where you average LESS than 30 & you concede there is a risk of being dropped!!??? Watto, you have to be kidding! After that dummy spit for being disciplined, you get rewarded with the captaincy? The Marx brothers couldn't have scripted a better scenario!

Posted by AKS286 on (March 26, 2013, 9:01 GMT)

As an all-rounder he definitely deserves in playing XI. But as a batsman he don't. Klinger, Watson(C), Marsh(VC), Clarke, Ferguson/Forrest, Paine/haddin, Smith, MJ, Pattinson, Siddle, Beer/Boyce.

Posted by mehulmatrix on (March 26, 2013, 7:38 GMT)

Initially i doubted his ability as a good all-rounder. And when we was going to open in Ashes in Eng, i was like huh. But he did pretty well and showed the solid technique he has. Also his power hitting is known in T20/ODIs. But the problem has been that he has not converted many good starts for a big score.Temperament & long term concentration comes in here i think. I have no doubt he is one of best current batsmen and all-rounder in Aus. Given his experience in India, i thought he would make some good contributions. Possibly team issues took its toll? Also i think not bowling completely is not the solution. His bowling should be limited, cause as an all-rounder getting some good overs will also boost the confidence when he comes out to bat. He should focus more on fitness & test cricket and limit on ODIs/T20,etc. Not living upto the potential in tests will leave an empty feeling. Come on Watto!

Posted by Dashgar on (March 26, 2013, 6:32 GMT)

He's not good enough, he's bad for the team, he's constantly injured. Time we cut him loose. Let him play all the IPL he wants, he shouldn't be in the ashes squad.

Posted by Edassery on (March 26, 2013, 6:02 GMT)

He's not a test match material - in other words he's no where near the classic fast bowler all rounder that you have seen all these years. This guy is a typical T20/ODI player, someone like India's Yuvraj Singh (though not a fast bowler).

It's unfortunate that the fans (and sometimes even the selectors) mistake some hard hitting T20 batsman for a test player...

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 5:01 GMT)

Watson...they have managed to put him down. The support he needed during his injuries was not given..and they kept questioning his abilities. For anyone, who has seen him play and the authority he brings to batting and bowling, it is not in any way inferior to Kallis. He needs the confidence and support of the Australian administrators and the public.Cricket,otherwise, will lose a great talent.

Posted by rohanbala on (March 26, 2013, 4:56 GMT)

Watson has been a big failure in the indian tour and his batting average shows just how badly he has performed. It is often debated that he is very comfortable opening the innings. Clarke sent him to open in the Chennai test, but Watson played a rash shot and got out. What prevented him to open in the Delhi test? It is Watson who has to put a question to himself and decide whether he deserves a place in the team.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 2:28 GMT)

As a fan of Watson it is sad to see him stuggle. But enough is enough. He must go, his strength in test cricket has always been his bowling, if he isnt bowling he is useless. So many up and coming players, persisting with him is ruining the team balance and performance. Watson out, anyone in. If you want a bowler who can bat, than someone like couter-nile or ben cutting.

Posted by YS_USA on (March 26, 2013, 1:36 GMT)

IPL will give a good chance to get back in batting form, not only to Watson, but to Warner, Sahwag, Gambhir and many more.

Posted by bobagorof on (March 26, 2013, 0:06 GMT)

Using a Twenty20 tournament as preparation for a Test series? I thought we would have learned by now...

Watson is correct in suggesting that his performances weren't acceptable. Due to that, he should be dropped and have to fight his way back in based on performances. This is especially the case as by the time the Ashes series comes around he won't have bowled more than 4 overs in a match for more than 6 months. At best, he should have to justify his form (with bat and ball) in the tour matches prior to the first Test. At worst, an all-rounder with more recent success in at least one of the two disciplines should be picked to tour in his stead.

Posted by welleft on (March 25, 2013, 23:58 GMT)

Watson still deserves place in Australia test 11(only if he bowls), I feel Watson is much better than Clarke as a batsman. Clarke hiding himself down the order at No.5. Clarke cant bat at No 3 or 4 and averaging 22 and 25 respectivly.

Posted by Freak7820 on (March 25, 2013, 23:43 GMT)

Why is Tim Paine not in the Australian test team? He's a much better keeper and batsman than Wade will ever be. Make Wade the ODI/T20 keeper and Paine can be the test keeper.

As for Australia's batting order, they have to fill the #3 spot as soon as possible.

Posted by MinusZero on (March 25, 2013, 23:19 GMT)

Watson should consider test retirement. The selector need to face facts that he is not a test standard player. He is a good ODI and T20 player and can also stay uninjured. Much like Tendulkar (sorry to say), he is holding up a place that should be given to a more deserving player.

Posted by kangaroussy on (March 25, 2013, 23:16 GMT)

"... but in the end I am an allrounder". So what was all the talk about wanting to be an opener? Talk which served only to undermine the incumbent pairing which, while far from consistent, is currently the best performed in Test cricket.

Posted by blink182alex on (March 25, 2013, 23:14 GMT)

I think he needs to open the batting again. You see him bat in one day cricket up top and he takes the best bowlers in the world apart. He doesn't really have a technical weakness he just has been in poor form, maybe mentally his not the strongest?

He has a good record opening against England, hopefully he can smash it in the IPL like he did in the World T20, then have a good champions trophy and that might push his case. It's just Cowan has been doing average but not worse than Watson so considering he hasn't been the worst it is a tough call to drop Cowan.

1. Warner, 2. Watson 3. Rogers, 4. Hughes 5.Clarke, 6. Voges/Smith/Khawaja 7. Haddin. That's our best batting line up for me.

Posted by mcj.cricinfo on (March 25, 2013, 21:15 GMT)

After 41 tests, it's apparent that Watson's talent lies mainly in T20 and ODIs. As one of only two batsman to have played India at home in a test series before, his performances were a massive failure, he showed a lack of application and discipline.

Both dismissals in his test as captain were embarrassing if you were a bowler, let alone a player selected as a batsman.

Siddle got back to back 50's, reckon he should replace Watson as our all rounder. With Siddle, and four bowlers of Pattinson, Harris, Starc and Lyon, our tail can bat well, likely just as well as the top order.

Posted by Beertjie on (March 25, 2013, 20:47 GMT)

The first thing to do is to replace him as v-c. Handing this position to any of the young brigade none of whom has cemented his place can only cause more instability. This leaves Haddin to be re-called and given the position. @handyandy on (March 25, 2013, 14:36 GMT) Agree with you about Watson being taken along, but without performances he shouldn't be picked. The same goes for everyone else. Chris Rogers needs to go too. My first choice team: Rogers, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Doolan, Warner, Haddin, O'Keefe, Starc, Pattinson, Harris. Cowan and Watson would be extra bats ready to replace failures.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 20:33 GMT)

Alexk400 wrote; " If aussies attacked indian spinner like KP did in mumbai series would have won by aussie. " Well, yes...but not everyone can play like KP...and also he did really badly against spin (Ajmal and Rehman) when England lost to Pakistan in the UAE, as did most batsmen, especially Bell and Morgan. But he went and worked on his game accordingly. Presumably other England batsmen did too, as we won in India the following winter, though their spinners were perhaps not as good as Ajmal. People see a cavalier batting when KP thrashes an attack, but he does not depend on natural talent, he really works at his game.

So, that's what the Aussies need to do too, especially for the next time they play against spin in the subcontinent. Though if they saw what happened to England in the UAE, maybe they should have done that before they toured India! Then we are back to crowded schedule for modern-day cricketers, perhaps?

Posted by hhillbumper on (March 25, 2013, 20:27 GMT)

heres guessing he will bowl in the IPl and then miraculously get injured afterwards. Under the Southern cross i stand

Posted by warneneverchuck on (March 25, 2013, 18:57 GMT)

One more whitewash in waiting for aus in eng

Posted by Thefakebook on (March 25, 2013, 18:38 GMT)

Lets say the Ashes will be make or brake for Mr S.Watson,he gotta bowl again and bat to get 60s and 70s(100s are not going to expected from him from now on,a few tons here and there may come as a bonus) like he used to before he got injured last year.Its all or nothing for him, the 1st three tests will decide his future but if OZ trail by 1-0 or more then its "Go home Watto your done" for him.

Posted by philvic on (March 25, 2013, 18:14 GMT)

Watson needs to bowl and bat at number 7. Then he is a useful allrounder. He is not a test batsman.

Posted by vsssarma on (March 25, 2013, 16:49 GMT)

Australian performances on a 0-1,000 scale are: Siddle 882 Starc 877 Clarke 845 Lyon 838 Pattinson 835 Smith 834 Henriques 820 Maxwell 812 Cowan 798 Haddin 794 Doherty 443 Warner 428 Wade 386 Hughes 353 Watson 308 Mitchell Johnson 0.

Indian performances: Jadeja 1,000 Dhawan 987 Ashwin 929 Vijay 861 Pujara 857 Dhoni 847 Kohli 811 Tendulkar 442 Harbhajan 429 Ojha 420 Kumar 386 Sharma 300 Sehwag 166 Rahane 93.

2 Stalwarts Sehwag & Harbhajan have faded away. Ishant Sharma doesn't deserve his place. Time for Tendulkar to say good-bye.

Posted by samincolumbia on (March 25, 2013, 16:43 GMT)

At least, the aussies have found the new Bradman in the making...No, it's not Hughes (he was until the start of this series), but it's Siddle...the highes run getter for the aussies. Methinks he should open along with Starc for the Ashes.

Posted by AKS286 on (March 25, 2013, 15:55 GMT)

I think Watson must retire. He has to understand the signs of Clarke & Arthur. And also he is a senior player so one day he will be axed by the Captain Clarke. and also Lyon is encouraged & motivated by all while Krejza was thrown out of the team. why there are two parameters for judging Players. and what is amazing that Haddin & MJ becomes the replacement of M.Waste & Starc. I think these Waste & starc should be the replacement of Haddin & MJ.

Posted by Early on (March 25, 2013, 15:28 GMT)

Agree with handy andy and everyone whose suggested that Watson open the innings, and open with Cowan. Drop Warner down to the middle order (and see if he can take more responsibility of holding the innings together rather than thrash at everything early on as if the loss of his wicket doesn't matter much). It matters, and he needs to learn from Hussey on how to graft his runs before unleasing.

But he had better get his act togetherand start making runs soon, because he behaves like a 5 year old in the field. His statement that he'd like to be Australian captain one day is a joke, isn't it? He hasn't even cemented his place in the test team yet and I doubt he has the leadership qualities to ever be considered.

Posted by truguynese on (March 25, 2013, 15:18 GMT)

There is no question about the abilities of Clarke as a cricketer, he is good. Now as a captain, leader and motivator, he is severely lacking in those skills. He has to understand and appreciate each player under him has an ego, learn to nurture it and not to insult it. My personal opinion Clarke has burnt the bridge. CA should not persist with him as the captain. The team will be better off with a real leader.

Posted by Crik_Fan on (March 25, 2013, 15:11 GMT)

@Pras_Punter, No point in whinning. Pitches or DRS or no DRS are same for both teams. There is no change in pitches since India has started playing test cricket and every team touring India knows it. So what is the issue ? If England could win in India on same pitches, why can't the Aussies ? The truth is this that the current Australian team had no quality fast bowlers or even spinners to take 20 wickets. Over and above that they dont have even a batsman who could dominate a barely fearsome Indian bowling attack. That is the cause of white wash. Also the young Indian batsmen have given a good account of themselves and dominated your bowling from the word go. How they perform overseas is yet to be seen but it is time for Indian fans to rejoice.

Posted by anireddy143 on (March 25, 2013, 14:56 GMT)

Shane Watson was good opener, i would like see him again as opener to put opposition in trouble with attacking batting...and he is little bit down or out of form since he is concentrating more on bowling...

Posted by handyandy on (March 25, 2013, 14:36 GMT)

Watson attitude bothers me as much as anything else.

Perhaps one last chance in England on the basis of his last Ashes tour. I would use him as opener and drop Warner down the order. I would also take Chris Rogers just in case the "Watson as opener" experiment goes belly up.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 14:14 GMT)

watson needs to score play some first class games and score some hundreds before he gets picked in the test side. watson hasnt played enough first class games and not scored hundred in the last 3 seasons. i think australia should allow watson to play first class cricket in england for two months ahead of the ashes series. i prefer him opening the batting than in the middle order.

Posted by Alexk400 on (March 25, 2013, 14:00 GMT)

For me technique is overrated. Period. What i need in TEST is concentration , not technique for me. Every one body is different. Each balance themself at point of contact. Just like golf there is 1000s of swing but ball always go straight because people adjust their swing to their body balance. If some players are failing in TEST because they lack concentration. I am big believer of you are where you are because thats what you wanted it to be. Anything else is a lie. There is no difference between TEST and ODI except opening which is quiet difficult in swinging conditions. You need good eye sight to see ball swinging. Everyone and every technique has weakness. You have to play percentage game. If its your day you will make 40s to 200.If people give respect to new ball bowlers first 4-5 overs it gets easier as bowlers gets tired and they spray. Some of the decline in Test batting is due to T20 and IPL. Not because of technical more to do with you get less money for the work in Test

Posted by Shaynej on (March 25, 2013, 13:57 GMT)

Let's drop all this talk about mine-fields etc. It's lazy, it's whingeing and it's wrong. Neither team was shot out in less than 50 overs, plenty of big scores were rattled up by batsmen who didn't throw their wickets away, and Starc and Siddle would have plenty to say about what could have been done with more sensible batting. The problem wasn't the pitches, it was the lack of big innings from the Aussie top 6. This is Test cricket and these are Test batsmen - you're expected to score runs on all sorts of pitches, not just in Adelaide or the Oval but at Kotla too. Saying that Aus lost due to substandard pitches is giving a free pass to batsmen who didn't play straight and threw their wickets away.

Posted by ScottStevo on (March 25, 2013, 13:36 GMT)

@Chris_Howard, I don't think that's entirely correct. I think we have enough talented batsmen to compete at test level, we just need the team and management to understand that we don't have the same world beating calibre of batsmen in the line up and play accordingly. We need to rid ourselves of this scoring at 5 runs an over is the way to win test matches, when we don't have the players to back that method up. What we do have is a number of solid batsmen around who could do a job for us. I think we need to ensure that our top 6 are all specialist batsmen for starters and I would have guys like S Marsh, Ferguson, Khawaja, Burns and Doolan around the current squad - possibly even Bailey. my top 6 for Eng is Watson/Hughes, Warner, S Marsh, Khawaja, Clarke, Ferguson. We need to get this line up into all formats too and for all condition types, maybe a "specialist" here and there, but the core of a team should be your best players regardless of format or who suits certain conditions...

Posted by Shaynej on (March 25, 2013, 13:19 GMT)

I'm reading a lot of unnecessary gnashing of teeth about the Aussies. The truth is that this is a good side with some obviously weak links. The pace bowling stocks are in rude health and will show up firing against the Poms, on helpful pitches and in better bowling conditions. Most of the batting line-up is good, Yes, inexperienced against Indian spinners on turners, but still good. The weak links are the spinners, two top-order batsmen (Warner and Watson, not Hughes), and a crazy insistence on playing so-called "all-rounders". Dump the spinners for the Ashes, the likes of Lyon or X aren't going to scare Cook, KP or Bell. Let Lyon and X go back to another 3 seasons of Shield cricket and learn their trade. Warner and Watson are unsuited for Test cricket because they lack the patience and intelligence for it - they're glorified sloggers. Hughes deserves another chance, on English pitches and against seam bowling. Forget 'all rounders' - there are already bowlers that can bat sensibly.

Posted by PrasPunter on (March 25, 2013, 13:19 GMT)

@RoJayao, I dont think we did that ever to the touring teams - producing sub-standard mine-fields. Even with Waugh's farewell test when we could easily have prepared a green-top, we didnt do so - the indians scored about 700+ back then. And we managed to beat the indians 4-0 with sporting wickets last year. So no worries !! Need not require the help of the pitch curator and hide DRS to win matches.!!

Posted by StarHawk on (March 25, 2013, 13:15 GMT)

I find it very funny that Cricinfo is very biased. When India lost the series 4-0 in Australia last year, there were headlines and several articles bashing India. Now that the table has been reversed and Australia is at the receiving end, I don't see anything critical of Australia on Cricinfo.

Just take a look at two of the headlines.

Australia scores 230/8 on Day 1 of 4th test, and Cricinfo headlines read: "Australia grit out another spin test"

India scores 266/8, and the Cricinfo headlines erad: "India scrap to lead despite Lyon five"

I think you can see where I'm going....

Posted by ravi_hari on (March 25, 2013, 13:13 GMT)

I hope it has come from the bottom of the heart Watson. You need to re-assess your game. If you are uncomfortable in the middle-order, be firm on it. Explain to Clarke and Arthur that you need to bat at No. 1 or 2, get back the runs, get back the confidence and may be shift down in the interest of the team. I think dropping down the order has ruined your confidence. Act before it will ruin your career. About bowling I think your physical fitness will have a heavy bearing on it. If you are unable to manage you need to wait until you can. The main concern for Aussies now is their batting and if Watson can contribute well with only the bat he is worth giving a try again in the Ashes. I think Clarke also should take the blame for putting undue pressure on Watson on his return from injury. If Clarke had openly welcomed Watson back into the side and given him his preferred slot, things could have been different. In the best interests of Aussies, both should agree to give him a chance again.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 13:04 GMT)

I think people should not write off Watson . I see him doing very well in England . He struggled when spinners were bowling at him at the start of the innings . I really dont understand as to why he is not opening . He is the sort of guy who can give good starts consistently .

Posted by Harlequin. on (March 25, 2013, 12:57 GMT)

I don't think it is any coincidence that Watsons batting form dropped away once Clarke took over. They clearly don't get on that well, and Clarke seems to have his favourites and not-so-favourites!

If I were the Aussies in the ashes, I'd open with Warner and Watson, a quick partnership opening up would put the pressure right on the English bowlers, who aren't in the greatest form at the moment, and could win them a test or two.

Posted by Chris_Howard on (March 25, 2013, 12:44 GMT)

The well is dry. 10 years ago the Australians were talking about ensuring the systems were in place so they wouldn't go down the same path as the West Indies after their era of greatness.

In fact, we were told the systems were in place.

Sadly, the systems didn't work. The Australian batting lineup is as bad as anything the West Indies had. In fact, the averages of the current Aussie line up are worse than that of the current West Indies.

The only reason we beat them is we have better bowlers. Our bowling stocks are solid, even the spinners which have 2 or 3 promising guys coming thru.

But our batting cupboard is bare of Test capable batsmen.

Posted by RoJayao on (March 25, 2013, 12:43 GMT)

@ranganathan Sundararajan, what are you talking about?? Australia just thrashed Sri Lanka 3-0 and the West Indies last year! And what do you think India will get next time they tour Australia, pitch wise?? Enjoy the bouncy green tops and the four fast bowlers breaking hands and cracking heads! Revenge!

Posted by PrasPunter on (March 25, 2013, 12:27 GMT)

Aus fast-bowling stocks are pretty good and not an area of concern. Come July 10, who is gonna be our top 6 ? Other than Clarke, Cowan and Khawaja, not many appear to give confidence and hope. Hughes might be retained. A big no to Warner, who hardly gives any sort of confidence when in the top order. And no to Watson as well - hasn't done anything to merit a place. WK shall be one of Haddin or Wade. Both shall be played, with one of them as a specialist batsman. Better than the Maxwells and Henriques`. I dont think we need an all-rounder - Siddle, Patto and Starc are handy batsmen good enough score those 30-40 runs. Cowan/Khawaja/Clarke/Haddin/Wade/Hughes/Siddle/Patto/Starc/Harris/Lyon or Bird depending on conditions - that is 5 batsmen, 1 WK and 5 bowlers. Bye to the inconsistent W's ( Warner and Watson ) - Walking Wickets, these Ws.

Posted by Alexk400 on (March 25, 2013, 12:25 GMT)

There is one more thing i wanted to say. Indian young batsman were confident and did not have fear of failure and may be self belief has more to do with it. Aussie young batsman were at sea against indian spinners. If aussies attacked indian spinner like KP did in mumbai series would have won by aussie. I think you have to make statement like you are here in for a big fight. I think aussies caved in against spinners. Its more to do with lack of skill against spin. That is it.

Posted by Alexk400 on (March 25, 2013, 12:23 GMT)

I like watson more than clarke. That said if watson is not bowling he should not be picked for Test until he start to score some centuries. I think all aussies struggled against indian spin and variable bounce. Clarke was so afraid of getting out to jadeja again he rested himself. Thats true story you have not heard. :). I do think watson has to open. Watson -Warner may not click all the time but if it clicks they can win easy. Aussie problem is number 3 and number 5. Aussie did not plan well for india's tour because they thought they beat india 4-0 in australia and they thought they can steamroll india in india. Lessons learned i think. Dhoni is a python in india. He waits and waits for you make mistake. And his batting slogs work well knee roll bouncing wickets. I felt it was aussie batting flopped. If australia had runs they could have taken wickets with pace also. Its just that they did not have any runs on the board to put pressure.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 12:06 GMT)

Why does Shane Watson do so well in ODI but not test cricket? Pretty simple, there just isn´t the requirement for great technique or thoughtful play in ODI´s, even less so in T20 cricket where he is even better still. In the last innings of the 4th test we saw Watto getting knocked over in the same way he was as the first test, with a cross batted slog on a pitch with variable bounce. In an ODI both of these balls would probably have hit the boundary fence and not the stumps. That Watto and the coaching staff can´t overcome these problems is pretty ordinary. Watto should never have been picked as anything but an allrounder, its fine having an allrounder batting in the top four if you then have a specialist at 6 and your keeper, but to then have another allrounder at 7 and your keeper pushed up to 6 to cover for him not bowling was a grave error from the Aussie selectors.

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (March 25, 2013, 11:42 GMT)

Mary i agree with you. Warner still averages mid-40s in test cricket. In this team, that makes him a must-pick.That leaves the top 6 looking like this

Cowan Warner Hughes Clarke Khawaja Watson with Smith as backup.

Khawaja didn't play a single game in India, he is our next best batsman and deserves to come in. I wouldn't pick Burns….i don't believe he is ready yet and if he was, throwing him at England would be the last thing to do. I'd pick Watson (if he bowls) instead of Burns. If Watson doesn't bowl, pick David Hussey.I'd go with Ryan Harris instead of Siddle as well, maybe they can alternate between matches.Apart from that, not bad and i'm glad you left the T20 idol out.

Posted by Mary_786 on (March 25, 2013, 11:31 GMT)

I would persevere with Warner, he is the kind of guy that can win a game in a session. Apart from Clarke, he has the highest test average of anyone in the squad. Watson would be the first person on my chopping list. He has done nothing of note in more than 2 years. Cowan needs to do more, an average of 30 won't keep him in the team forever Hughes struggled against the spin, and i don't hold good hopes for the ashes as swing and spin are his weaknesses. Clarke... need I say more?Smith is much maligned and has shown in the limited opportunities he had on this series that he has a lot of potential.Khawaja really should have been given a go in that last test and he in my opinion is our best untapped batsman, natural test star in the making. . Almost certainly would have in the 3rd test if he didn't get himself in trouble. I think he will do well. Wade, like Hughes, was not good against spin. OVerall changes are needed and selectors need to make the hard calls before the ashes.

Posted by Amith_S on (March 25, 2013, 11:16 GMT)

All rounders were completely useless. Henriques scored in one test out of 3, but didn't bowl a ball in anger. The Big Show was the worst Test player in living memory, the 4 wickets coming after he was 0-100 and India slogging quick runs, and he was what? 6 per over??The batsmen? Warner teeing off first ball doesn't cut it in Test cricket. Cowan hogging the strike but not scoring doesn't cut it, nor does getting out every innings for his average score. He has a temperament and concentration issue like Watto. And being lauded for facing 1000 balls is ridiculous. Hughes struggled terribly against spin (no surprise there). Khawaja needs to come in, how much longer will we keep him on the sidelines, he is one of our best prospects. Smith….hmmmm….I liked his perseverance, but technique? Gawd help us. Wade is NOT a number 6, he is a 7!! Who BTW cannot play spin at all, and hopefully scores enough from the medium pacers before Swanne and Monty get at him. Cowan averages 30, not good enough.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 10:59 GMT)

The Australian dominance is over for now and their cupboard seems to be empty of new talents. It will take a long time to come up the ranks for them. After the 1 and 2 the 3rd spot, belongs to Asian countries ( India,Pakistan and Sri Lanka). WI can now give a good fight to Australia and beat them too for the 6th spot. What a fall !!!

Posted by partha19 on (March 25, 2013, 10:57 GMT)

it was a tough series for Watto.. the untimely axing in third test added to his bad form ... he didnt get the freedom which normally a two down players gets as most of the time he went when aussie were back to walls ... he is too good a player to be away from big score.. watch out for heavy runs during Ashes...

Posted by OneEyedAussie on (March 25, 2013, 10:51 GMT)

Barring the ugly front foot lunge, Watson has all the shots and a great technique and scores heavily in short-form cricket - this just begs the question: why isn't he scoring mountains of runs in the long-form? Personally, I think the guy is just not interested in test cricket anymore. Certainly not bowling lots of overs in test cricket at any rate.

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (March 25, 2013, 10:42 GMT)

He looked really solid as an opening batsman. Ponting used him well, open the batting and bowl a few overs as a partnership breaker. If he is to be classed as an allrounder he can't really be restricted with his spells and that means he can't open the batting.

Maybe he should drop down the order to 5-6 and play aggressively like it's a 50 over game?

Posted by PACERONE on (March 25, 2013, 10:31 GMT)

His batting form has been that he was lucky at the start of his innings to be dropped or the umpires making mistakes.Now with DRS and catches been taken it is a different story.As for Clarke stating lots of batsmen in the wings,I wonder if they are in Paul McCartneys band.

Posted by boehj on (March 25, 2013, 10:20 GMT)

The time has come for Watto I fear. Even when he's bowling, we have to remember he only gets 1.5 wickets a Test. One of the most confusing things for the Australian fan is how come Watto plays so poorly in Test match cricket, yet can dominate so completely in 50 over and T20 cricket. It's a real shame.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 10:17 GMT)

NEVER MIND .......GOOD LUCK TO IPL..........

Posted by farkin on (March 25, 2013, 9:54 GMT)

"Watson admits batting form a concern" what batting form . his batting form is like " nothing to see here move along "

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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