Worcestershire v Australians, New Road, 1st day July 2, 2013

Watson likens Rogers to Katich

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Only one innings into his Ashes opening partnership with Chris Rogers, Shane Watson has likened it to the union with Simon Katich that represented the most productive phase of his career. Punishing in power and unimpeachably correct in technique, Watson felt so assured in his strokeplay with Rogers at the other end that he coshed a century before lunch against Worcestershire, ultimately finishing with 109.

Watson also said that Rogers had proved a valuable ally in the middle, offering advice on English climes and also gee-ups whenever he felt the allrounder might have been flagging in concentration. Having never batted with Rogers before, it was not difficult to imagine Watson wondering why it had taken so long. Whatever the reasons, both can now make up for lost time in the Investec Ashes.

"It's great to be able to bat with Chris, it was my first experience of batting with him and we had a good start." Watson said. "He's certainly a very experienced and knowledgable cricketer and to be able to bat with him he certainly kept me going and just through how he's able to sum up conditions and continue to provide his knowledge while we're out batting.

"I thought he gave me a few really good pointers out there, especially early on, with him understanding the English conditions even better than I do. My combination with Simon Katich in the past was maybe along similar sorts of lines so it was really nice to be able to get a good partnership going the first time we got a chance to bat together."

Batting alongside Katich in 15 Tests from mid-2009 to late 2010, Watson compiled his two Test centuries and a host of other sizeable scores, before injury and the start of Michael Clarke's captaincy conspired to bring an end to Katich's international career. Watson opened with Phillip Hughes before shifting down the order, but coveted the position now returned to him by the new coach, Darren Lehmann.

"It brings out the best in my personality … it really does get me up and going," Watson said. "Every time I go out to open the batting I know I'm going out to face a brand new ball and it's always going to be doing something whether it's swing or seam. The bowlers are also at their freshest as well. It certainly gets my blood going and gets my mind switched on immediately as well."

That switching on appeared to happen the moment he walked out to bat first at Taunton last week, a swift 90 followed up by an even more brazen display at New Road. While the preceding six months had been largely barren for Watson as a first-class player, he said the period had helped him develop a few elements of his batting and may now be reaping the benefits.

"I felt like over the past six months, even though in Test cricket especially I haven't been able to score the runs that I've wanted, the things I've been working on with my batting have been coming together," he said. "I just hadn't been able to put them into practice.

"I definitely feel like in my game I've been able to iron out a few of the issues I've had over the previous year or so. You never know, it's not going to guarantee me success, that's for sure, but I feel batting-wise I'm in a really good place."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shane75 on July 4, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    Katich was one of the greatest Test captains Australia never had. Recently I had the pleasure of travelling to an alternate dimension where he captained Australia to an epic 27 consecutive test victories during 2005-2008. Ah, what memories.

  • vj_gooner on July 4, 2013, 6:01 GMT

    @Amith_S - Eddie Cowan is doing a good job. He will keep scoring the 50s & 60s consistently. In a team, which is actually struggling to score runs those 50s & 60s are very very vital!

  • Amith_S on July 4, 2013, 5:29 GMT

    I think we need to focus on the likes of Khawjaa and Hughes for this series. Additionally whilst I think Cowan has tried his best, it baffles the mind that we are trying to make room for a guy that will never translate into a decent Test batsmen, whilst we are yet to see if Khawaja will given he is one of our best yougn talents. or giving Hughes more chances. In my mind it seems as though Khawaja at three and Smith at six should be fait accompli - sad that it isn't like that and Hughes at 5, that's how i woudl go.

  • Edwards_Anderson on July 4, 2013, 4:50 GMT

    @Babycricketer i like your side, except if i am not sure if we can leave out Hughes for Cowan. Also the best player aside from Rogers of Swing bowling is Khawaja, hence it makes sense to put him at 3 and before folks ask what that's based on, take a look at the highlights of his top scores in the 5 odd shield games he did play against Tasmania, NSW and SA, all made on green decks in swing conditions where other flat track bullies failed.

  • landl47 on July 3, 2013, 22:17 GMT

    It's nice that Watson feels so good about himself, but tell us, Shane, how have you done when it matters over the last two years?

    A player of Watson's experience should have learned by now that it's better not to talk about yourself until you can point to something worth talking about. A batting average in the mid-twenties, no centuries and repeated failure when the chips are down is something to be modest about. Get a few runs in games that count and then tell us how wonderful everything is.

  • Chris_P on July 3, 2013, 22:13 GMT

    @Big_Maxy_Walker. I don't understand your logic re: Cowan. You say he is 30 & too old yet name Watson, Clarke, Harris & Rogers who are all older than him? Age is not a factor, sustained form, my friend should be the only factor that counts. As much as I like Khawaja, he is not knocking the door down demanding selection. I am impressed with the way Smith is stamping his case for consideration, much the way I have seen him develop himself as a batsman these past 2 years with the Blues. Also good to see the Smith knockers being so quiet, although still unable to give him any credit.

  • VillageBlacksmith on July 3, 2013, 21:59 GMT

    @bigmaxywalker... and rogers is 36... your point is???

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on July 3, 2013, 16:16 GMT

    Ed Cowan is 30, so we have seen the best of him. Usman can do at least as good as him, is 5 years younger, and has a much bigger upside. Watson, Rogers, Usman, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, Pattinson, Siddle/Harris, Lyon, Bird

  • sharidas on July 3, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    It's only natural that as spectators,we get swayed by each days performance.Hence, the constantly changing line-up suggestions.Contratry to what I thought a week back, I now feel that the Aussies now have the capability to give England a run for their money. Its a good sign for Cricket and I hope to see a very exciting Series.As I have always felt,you need ONE person to take care of a team, not a group

  • Robert1612 on July 3, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    At last we are seeing what Australia are doing in the selections! Previously with the NSP and Arthur in charge there were mixed messages coming through and we ended up with ridiculous selections. Here form appears to be rewarded as it should!! I feel sorry for Cowan as he really tried hard in India and probably deserves his place ... BUT Boof has shown his hand early by naming Rogers and Watson as openers, fair enough too on recent evidence. Along with Pup at 4/5 that leaves 3 spots open. I like Smith at 6, gives us that extra half a bowler especially if the pitches are dry, Hughes looks a certainty so who for the last spot? Warner should NOT play until he has time in the middle with a first class match and runs on the board, so Khawaja edges out Cowan.Bowling pretty well sorted, would prefer Patto, Starc, Bird/Ryan and Lyon as the spinner. Sidds seems to off a bit at present. Hope for: Watson Rogers Khawaja Clarke Hughes Smith Haddin Starc Pattinson Bird/Ryan Lyon as 1st test side!

  • Shane75 on July 4, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    Katich was one of the greatest Test captains Australia never had. Recently I had the pleasure of travelling to an alternate dimension where he captained Australia to an epic 27 consecutive test victories during 2005-2008. Ah, what memories.

  • vj_gooner on July 4, 2013, 6:01 GMT

    @Amith_S - Eddie Cowan is doing a good job. He will keep scoring the 50s & 60s consistently. In a team, which is actually struggling to score runs those 50s & 60s are very very vital!

  • Amith_S on July 4, 2013, 5:29 GMT

    I think we need to focus on the likes of Khawjaa and Hughes for this series. Additionally whilst I think Cowan has tried his best, it baffles the mind that we are trying to make room for a guy that will never translate into a decent Test batsmen, whilst we are yet to see if Khawaja will given he is one of our best yougn talents. or giving Hughes more chances. In my mind it seems as though Khawaja at three and Smith at six should be fait accompli - sad that it isn't like that and Hughes at 5, that's how i woudl go.

  • Edwards_Anderson on July 4, 2013, 4:50 GMT

    @Babycricketer i like your side, except if i am not sure if we can leave out Hughes for Cowan. Also the best player aside from Rogers of Swing bowling is Khawaja, hence it makes sense to put him at 3 and before folks ask what that's based on, take a look at the highlights of his top scores in the 5 odd shield games he did play against Tasmania, NSW and SA, all made on green decks in swing conditions where other flat track bullies failed.

  • landl47 on July 3, 2013, 22:17 GMT

    It's nice that Watson feels so good about himself, but tell us, Shane, how have you done when it matters over the last two years?

    A player of Watson's experience should have learned by now that it's better not to talk about yourself until you can point to something worth talking about. A batting average in the mid-twenties, no centuries and repeated failure when the chips are down is something to be modest about. Get a few runs in games that count and then tell us how wonderful everything is.

  • Chris_P on July 3, 2013, 22:13 GMT

    @Big_Maxy_Walker. I don't understand your logic re: Cowan. You say he is 30 & too old yet name Watson, Clarke, Harris & Rogers who are all older than him? Age is not a factor, sustained form, my friend should be the only factor that counts. As much as I like Khawaja, he is not knocking the door down demanding selection. I am impressed with the way Smith is stamping his case for consideration, much the way I have seen him develop himself as a batsman these past 2 years with the Blues. Also good to see the Smith knockers being so quiet, although still unable to give him any credit.

  • VillageBlacksmith on July 3, 2013, 21:59 GMT

    @bigmaxywalker... and rogers is 36... your point is???

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on July 3, 2013, 16:16 GMT

    Ed Cowan is 30, so we have seen the best of him. Usman can do at least as good as him, is 5 years younger, and has a much bigger upside. Watson, Rogers, Usman, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, Pattinson, Siddle/Harris, Lyon, Bird

  • sharidas on July 3, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    It's only natural that as spectators,we get swayed by each days performance.Hence, the constantly changing line-up suggestions.Contratry to what I thought a week back, I now feel that the Aussies now have the capability to give England a run for their money. Its a good sign for Cricket and I hope to see a very exciting Series.As I have always felt,you need ONE person to take care of a team, not a group

  • Robert1612 on July 3, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    At last we are seeing what Australia are doing in the selections! Previously with the NSP and Arthur in charge there were mixed messages coming through and we ended up with ridiculous selections. Here form appears to be rewarded as it should!! I feel sorry for Cowan as he really tried hard in India and probably deserves his place ... BUT Boof has shown his hand early by naming Rogers and Watson as openers, fair enough too on recent evidence. Along with Pup at 4/5 that leaves 3 spots open. I like Smith at 6, gives us that extra half a bowler especially if the pitches are dry, Hughes looks a certainty so who for the last spot? Warner should NOT play until he has time in the middle with a first class match and runs on the board, so Khawaja edges out Cowan.Bowling pretty well sorted, would prefer Patto, Starc, Bird/Ryan and Lyon as the spinner. Sidds seems to off a bit at present. Hope for: Watson Rogers Khawaja Clarke Hughes Smith Haddin Starc Pattinson Bird/Ryan Lyon as 1st test side!

  • DylanBrah on July 3, 2013, 11:33 GMT

    Usman Khwaja has done absolutely nothing noteworthy in these tour matches, and you guys think he should just walk straight into the team? Cringeworthy.

  • babycricketer on July 3, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    My XI for the first Test match: 1 Shane Watson, 2 Chris Rogers, 3 Usman Khawaja, 4 Ed Cowan, 5 Michael Clarke (c),6 Steve Smith,7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 James Faulkner, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Peter Siddle, 11 Fawad Ahmed (if called into squad)/Ashton Agar.

  • on July 3, 2013, 11:30 GMT

    Khawaja has done nothing in years!!! I cannot believe how many times his name is mentioned. AUS A have been playing on flat tracks against guys who average 40 with the ball, yet he still can't do anything! What makes you guys think he will do better against the likes of Anderson on a seaming wicket??? I don't want to hear about that fluke innings in Hobart anymore. That was ONE innings in how many months/years?

  • on July 3, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    @Barnesy4444, is it really that disappointing that Ussie is not playing? He has had 4 games against pretty ordinary bowling and managed 190 odd runs at 32, I think, its not knocking down the door, these guys need to do more than that. Hughes and Smith need their chances too. I'm keen to see Smith at 6 with all of these dry wickets about the place, both for his batting against spin and his part time bowling. If the top 7 here is the one that shows up at Trent Bridge I won't be too disappointed. I can't think of anyone outside the team who's been doing more to earn a spot.

  • jonesy2 on July 3, 2013, 10:31 GMT

    suddenly steve smith is staking a claim and suddenly Australia have depth in batting talent. smith I feel should be a horse for course, if its a dry wicket he should bat at about 4 to make use of his brilliance against spin but if its a seaming wicket usman should come in.

  • on July 3, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    It makes one fondly recall the bewildering wonder of Katich's resolute batting, an staunch nudger and grafter if ever there was one. The thoughts do turn dark, however, when they ponder his untimely axing.... Watson must be careful here, publicly praising Katich like this. Dangerous territory.

  • Barnesy4444 on July 3, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    Disappointing Khawaja isn't playing this game. He really does need to prove something. He's played only one decent innings in 12 months, a much vaunted century in Hobart. That really isn't enough to play for Australia let alone at 3, a position many seem to think he should simply walk into. He needs to show a lot more, but should be given a game at 6.

  • VillageBlacksmith on July 3, 2013, 9:37 GMT

    I'm sure the kat is very flattered to be likened to a one test wonder with an ave of 9

  • Flemo_Gilly on July 3, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    Sunil its indeed a very interesting comment. Rogers and Watson showed Cowan whats been missing, the ability to go on. Cowan probably didn't show enough in this gameto push out Khawaja for the number 3 spot or Hughes out of 5, I think everyone can agree Khawaja has waited long enough while Cowan has been given chances over and over again.. I am loving what i am seeing between Watson and Rogers, its a match made in heaven. Today we get to see Rhino in action and also Agar.

  • on July 3, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    @Mary_786 - Amazing. You'd drop Cowan because he is involved with runouts, yet you'd have Khawaja and Hughes bat at 3 and 4 respectively. LOL.

  • Sunil_Batra on July 3, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    This is an interesting comment from Watto, Maybe Watto is having a dig at Clarkey, not one of the Kat's greatest fans.The old Kat only averaged 30 in his last 10 test innings incidentially. Depending on who you are that used to be good for 30 innings.Staying in's the key.I'm leaning toward Khawaja being in at 3 and i am sure that's what will happen, Hughes also with the last spot battle between Cowan and Smith. Warner is only a chance in theory I hope, too big a gamble with no game time. Watson is on to something special here for the ashes.

  • DustBowl on July 3, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    After Watson had his feathers ruffled by Clarke earlier around the homework saga - what a great idea to bring up the name of Katich - Clarke's great mate. For a better series --- this combination was SO obvious - you don't have to Boof, just a cricket fan to see that.

  • Edwards_Anderson on July 3, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    Cowan's running between wickets wouldn't be acceptable at under 14′s level, so I don't want him in the side for that if nothing else. Can't afford those morale-sapping disasters.If Watson and Rogers make a bright start, I don't want Eddie bogging us down and letting the England bowlers get on top, bowling maiden after maiden. That's how collapses start. Hughes and Khawaja are the guys to bring in preferably Khawaja at 3 and Hughes at 5, lets see how Smith goes today, if he gets a big one then he gets 6 or Warner comes in.

  • Mary_786 on July 3, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    Watson was fantastic, amazing what a bit of faith from the coach does. I think Cowan's run outs would have been so costly if it was an ashes game, i am not convinced that we keep Cowan now that Rogers is the opener. Cowan has the least upside of any player in the squad - we've seen everything he's got, he's not getting any better, and ultimately he's just not up to test standard.Two run outs involving him again - he's a liability at the crease and we can't afford the basic errors he makes in a series when we're going to need to do everything right. I would go for Watson, Rogers, Khawaja, Hughes, Clarke, Warner as our top 6, just my opinion though.

  • sourav619 on July 3, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    yeah watto and clarke r buddies, and katich will never get the deserving chance that he should have got coutesy:- clarke,so i guess they have to settle for rogers,although rogers is also good player but he is also NO YOUNG

  • ozwriter on July 3, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    not sure what to make khawaja not playing in this game. dropped? or rested for the 1st test. worcester team is in 2nd division, absolutely useless and thus free chance to get runs for the rest of the team....

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 3, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    Begs the question: why the heck was Katich ever dropped/treated so unfairly in the first place!?

  • milepost on July 3, 2013, 8:05 GMT

    So glad Rogers is playing. I have my doubts about Watsons reliability but when in form you can't knock him, he can brutalise the bowling and is great to watch, he's a cool character. The way Anderson but especially Broad throw their toys out when they get some stick could be a big factor if we have a successful opening pair. Lehmann is doing wonders already with his no nonsense, common sense approach to selection and match philosophy. Keep it simple stupid! I think we would benefit from a change in captaincy but not right now.....

  • Barnesy4444 on July 3, 2013, 7:46 GMT

    These are all good signs with Watson and Rogers, better late than never. Cowan played a scratchy innings, ran out his captain on 60 when he was just getting going, then ran himself out a few overs later. If he wants to play in the first test that's not the way to do it.

  • AnoopMukundan on July 3, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    I hope Rogers turns out to be Mr.Cricket Part II and scores in heaps in the next 2-3 years. Aussies badly need someone who is consistent on top.

  • on July 3, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    Pile on the runs men, then shoot them out and do it all again!

    @Mitty, in fairness to the players it is expected of them these days to be able to give interviews. I'm not sure they go and search out Dan Brettig in the hotel bar each night. Also, he may well talk extensively about the team, you can't really know without being there. In any case, you keep on reading.

  • VillageBlacksmith on July 3, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    aussie now had SO much practice, aussie squad been over for months, some all season/many seasons... and with the headlines ''batsmen finding form'' & the ''best bowling attack in the world'' there are no excuses now

  • David_Bofinger on July 3, 2013, 5:19 GMT

    You know who else we have who is like Katich? Katich.

  • dunger.bob on July 3, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    340/4 is a good days work. Not sure about the strength of the opposition, but a good score regardless. .. it's not England and all that, but this is a hell of a lot better than we were starting to get used to from them. Nice to see Hughes get some more runs. A ton from him today will do his confidence no harm.

  • BradmanBestEver on July 3, 2013, 4:55 GMT

    Rogers may be mid 30s but he is a better option than Cowan - How come the selectors only realised this now?

  • on July 3, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    Watto clearly needs the support of his coach/captain. He did very well under Ponting. In the IPL, he has had the support of two great captains, Warne and Dravid, and he excelled. Now under Boof he is bound to do well. Oz need to really look at Clarke and his style of captaincy. He is a great bat, but is he good enough leader of men?

  • on July 3, 2013, 3:39 GMT

    @Mr. Cricket Cheat - of course Rogers is gonna have a more amicable closing phase.. nearly 36 with barely 2 years of "career" left in him.. he gets a call to play in tests.. that's as good as it can get.. :)

  • Ozcricketwriter on July 3, 2013, 2:55 GMT

    Exactly how much did Investec pay to host the Ashes? Every article seems to mention the sponsor's name every single time they say Ashes. Sorry, but to me it is the Ashes, not the Investec Ashes, no matter how much the sponsor paid.

    Hopefully these two follow on this form into the Ashes but alternatively there is the danger that the good form is being wasted in the warm ups.

  • on July 3, 2013, 2:40 GMT

    Could only imagine that Cowan feels well supported at the moment...not; Australian team so fickle at present. But I like Cowan...his head is screwed on and I wouldn't be disappointed to see him open.

  • on July 3, 2013, 2:04 GMT

    Again goes to show what a wonderful player Katich was and hw much Australia is paying for the ego of its captain. Wish a more successful stay at the top to Rogers. Players like him, Katich definitely deserves more.

  • orangtan on July 3, 2013, 1:45 GMT

    Suddenly, it seems that the Aussies are not rank outsiders and could well put up a good fight in the Ashes.Their bowlers, though injury-prone, can match England's except the remarkable Jimmy Anderson, and their batting might surprise on the upside if they get a good start.

  • class9ryan on July 3, 2013, 1:20 GMT

    Can Australia count how many good players they have lost in the past how could have played until now at least from 2008-09. Brad Hodge, Andrew Symonds, Simon Katich... When they had players they never used them, so they were always going to suffer.

    Hope Rogers gets a better farewell than all the above

  • RandyOZ on July 3, 2013, 1:12 GMT

    rightly so, he is a level above the journeyman cowan.

  • Amith_S on July 3, 2013, 0:59 GMT

    I think its safe to say Watson and ROgers will be our openers and successful ones. Dissapointing to see Cowan not go on with a start and the run outs won't help his case, although Watson and Hughes have had run out issues as well in the past. The first test team batting is shapping up to be Watson, Rogers, Khawaja, Clarke, Hughes, Cowan/Smith all depending on whether Smith gets a big one today.

  • on July 3, 2013, 0:54 GMT

    I am surprised that UT Khawaja is not playing this game. He should have been given more time in the middle. It would be greatly unfair if Khawaja is not in the Test Playing Eleven. He deserves the break now. Previously Shaun Marsh pipped him and this time it may be Ed Cowan. It will be a travesty.

  • Mitty2 on July 3, 2013, 0:00 GMT

    Guess what guys... I might even not bag Watson for once in a comment and talk about something else! Surprise! Although just one thing; how many times can a bloke talk about himself in an interview without single mention of the team - just ask big ol' watto. Cricket is an individual's sport though so why am I complaining?

    What annoys me here is just how many interviews our players have before a single ball is bowled for the only thing that matters. I, for one, have heard more player interviews inthese warm ups than I remember for the whole Indian series. Although these interviews are distinctly better than having to hear Mickey Arthur orientated justification and that and that crap of 'we're still on track to become the best in the world'.

    On the story, I guess you can put it down to Boof's positive and ostensibly good and necessary influence. I say ostensibly because we haven't performed in a test yet and what seems 'good and necessary' now may be completely irrelevant later.

  • bobagorof on July 2, 2013, 23:34 GMT

    This article highlights something that has become increasingly obvious in recent years - that Watson is mentally fragile. If Rogers can keep Watson concentrating, we may see him finally put together some hundreds. Rogers is worth a place just for that. If he is able to consistently score runs himself, which he seems more than capable of doing, then Australia may have found a great opening combination for the next two years or so.

  • on July 2, 2013, 22:59 GMT

    HUGE praise to be likened to Katich who was Australia's best performing batsmen when he was shockingly dropped. Shameful move by selectors and Cricket Australia when they did this. Australia suffered the consequences of this as well. Our top order batting and overall performances in tests have spiraled downwards since then.

  • on July 2, 2013, 22:55 GMT

    I like this lineup a lot better with Watson and rogers opening. Clarke at 4 and I would go Warner at 6 with Haddin 7. still not sure if I leave hughes at 3 or play him at 5. if he plays at 5 then cowan bats at 3, if hughes bats at 3, then khawaja at 5

  • Chris_P on July 2, 2013, 22:23 GMT

    His mouth, as usual, is still performing far better than his batting deeds. When the opposite starts happening at a more frequent rate, I might take notice, but he still needs a LOT of catching up to do before he gets into credit following his list of poor performanaces over the past 3 years..

  • on July 2, 2013, 21:57 GMT

    Good to see Rogers doing well. Australia are getting more out of this than the farce at Chelmsford. Suddenly their preparation seems better than England's.

  • Skott on July 2, 2013, 21:52 GMT

    I don't want to see Watson hitting a century before lunch against a county side. I want to see him fighting all day for a century. We all know he can play one day cricket.

  • Batmanian on July 2, 2013, 21:22 GMT

    I guess the day's play, against one of the less intimidating counties, seems to tell us Warner and Khawaja are unlikely to play the First Test. This batting pool looks functional. Cowan may get first drop (I have a feeling he will); Hughes batting so late means he is already assured a place at 3 or 4. Watson, Rogers, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Haddin (or Clarke, Haddin, Faulkner) looks probable.

    Watson, Rogers, Hughes, Warner is the other possibility. Khawaja should being playing county cricket; unlike Smith, Faulkner or Warner, he's not a drop-in player, and needs to press his case (that said, he is the obvious stand-in for Clarke). If only we could afford to try to convert Clarke into a 3 or 4 at this late stage...

  • latecut_04 on July 2, 2013, 21:18 GMT

    Australian team and the fans should take the results of the practice matches with a pinch of alt.Dont think bowling is going to be like this nd importantly plenty of swing may be around to offset the batsmen.On the flip side Aus should be able to bowl well on bowler friendly conditions.Not to mention ther will be plenty of turn fromSwann to counter.Hopefuly these matches wont give Aus false sense of security regarding their batting like the India tour did..but Arthur seems to have gone for good..even if Aus lose 5-0 that decision should be credited...

  • TenDonebyaShooter on July 2, 2013, 20:29 GMT

    Well I hope Rogers enjoys a more amicable closing phase to his international career than Katich ..

  • on July 2, 2013, 20:28 GMT

    Watson better make sure he doesn't run his new opening partner out like he has often done in the past.

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  • on July 2, 2013, 20:28 GMT

    Watson better make sure he doesn't run his new opening partner out like he has often done in the past.

  • TenDonebyaShooter on July 2, 2013, 20:29 GMT

    Well I hope Rogers enjoys a more amicable closing phase to his international career than Katich ..

  • latecut_04 on July 2, 2013, 21:18 GMT

    Australian team and the fans should take the results of the practice matches with a pinch of alt.Dont think bowling is going to be like this nd importantly plenty of swing may be around to offset the batsmen.On the flip side Aus should be able to bowl well on bowler friendly conditions.Not to mention ther will be plenty of turn fromSwann to counter.Hopefuly these matches wont give Aus false sense of security regarding their batting like the India tour did..but Arthur seems to have gone for good..even if Aus lose 5-0 that decision should be credited...

  • Batmanian on July 2, 2013, 21:22 GMT

    I guess the day's play, against one of the less intimidating counties, seems to tell us Warner and Khawaja are unlikely to play the First Test. This batting pool looks functional. Cowan may get first drop (I have a feeling he will); Hughes batting so late means he is already assured a place at 3 or 4. Watson, Rogers, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Haddin (or Clarke, Haddin, Faulkner) looks probable.

    Watson, Rogers, Hughes, Warner is the other possibility. Khawaja should being playing county cricket; unlike Smith, Faulkner or Warner, he's not a drop-in player, and needs to press his case (that said, he is the obvious stand-in for Clarke). If only we could afford to try to convert Clarke into a 3 or 4 at this late stage...

  • Skott on July 2, 2013, 21:52 GMT

    I don't want to see Watson hitting a century before lunch against a county side. I want to see him fighting all day for a century. We all know he can play one day cricket.

  • on July 2, 2013, 21:57 GMT

    Good to see Rogers doing well. Australia are getting more out of this than the farce at Chelmsford. Suddenly their preparation seems better than England's.

  • Chris_P on July 2, 2013, 22:23 GMT

    His mouth, as usual, is still performing far better than his batting deeds. When the opposite starts happening at a more frequent rate, I might take notice, but he still needs a LOT of catching up to do before he gets into credit following his list of poor performanaces over the past 3 years..

  • on July 2, 2013, 22:55 GMT

    I like this lineup a lot better with Watson and rogers opening. Clarke at 4 and I would go Warner at 6 with Haddin 7. still not sure if I leave hughes at 3 or play him at 5. if he plays at 5 then cowan bats at 3, if hughes bats at 3, then khawaja at 5

  • on July 2, 2013, 22:59 GMT

    HUGE praise to be likened to Katich who was Australia's best performing batsmen when he was shockingly dropped. Shameful move by selectors and Cricket Australia when they did this. Australia suffered the consequences of this as well. Our top order batting and overall performances in tests have spiraled downwards since then.

  • bobagorof on July 2, 2013, 23:34 GMT

    This article highlights something that has become increasingly obvious in recent years - that Watson is mentally fragile. If Rogers can keep Watson concentrating, we may see him finally put together some hundreds. Rogers is worth a place just for that. If he is able to consistently score runs himself, which he seems more than capable of doing, then Australia may have found a great opening combination for the next two years or so.