England v Australia, 2nd Investec Test, Lord's, 2nd day July 19, 2013

Watson's a myth as he never learns

Shane Watson's innings was so predictable as to be sad; flattering to deceive then an lbw that was nothing but out yet he still reviewed it
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Shane Watson's ESPNcricinfo profile is smiling at me. It shouldn't be. It should be looking sheepish. It should be apologising. It should be trying to show me that he's changed, that he's learnt and that in the future things will get better.

I don't know how you convey that in a picture, but Shane Watson needs to learn it. But Shane Watson doesn't learn, does he.

If he was a learner, he might not put his front foot in the exact same place every single delivery. If he was a learner, he might not continually fail to turn starts into bigger scores. If he was a learner, he would not decide to review decisions based on no actual evidence, or to ask his partner when the answer is already obvious.

There is no current player in world cricket who should understand the Laws of lbw more than Shane Watson. Shane Watson is a walking lbw against seam bowling. That massive trunk he calls a leg slams down in front of off stump and dares bowlers to hit it. And they do. Even in a game where he goes out in another way, or dominates the attack, they hit his pad repeatedly.

He should know the Laws inside and out. He should, just by feel of where the ball hits him, now know whether he is out or not. I mean his leg never moves, so he's more reliable than the blue stripe on the pitch or any weapon technology that a TV company can pay for. He is the constant.

And yet, he never seems to believe it is even possible for him to be out lbw. This was his sixth review of such a dismissal. That is six times Shane Watson has believed he will overturn the umpire's decision on a form of dismissal that he is out to almost 30% of the time. Does he think his pad is being picked on, or does he really just not understand the Laws of the game?

Or is it the playing conditions of the game?

Thanks to Charlotte Edwards, even the Queen now understands DRS. Yet it seems that to Shane Watson it is a mystery. To get a decision overturned on an lbw, the ball needs to be missing the stumps completely, hitting 100% outside the line of off stump or to have pitched outside leg stump.

Being that Watson's kind of lbws never really include the leg side, he has picked the two 100% rules of the DRS to overcome. That is stupid. And to do it twice or even thrice, borders on unprofessional and egotistical. We've all seen the Hawk Eye, it's like that digital ball always nicks the stumps, no matter what the situation. So taking that on seems joyless.

And as for being outside the line of off stump, Watson should know that the chances are if you put your foot in the same place every single time, your leg isn't about to be outside off stump that one time. Watson could even just look at the hole on the pitch he has made from the repetitive footprints to double check.

Now even if, as Darren Lehmann has said, Chris Rogers told Watson to review it - that may have happened, even if it didn't look like it when watching the incident happen - none of this changes the fact that Watson clearly wanted to review it. He is a senior player who was hit dead in front. It is his responsibility to the team to choose the best option.

If you've never seen a batsman use a review based purely on his own ego, you've not watched modern cricket. But to do it so often and recklessly with so little chance of redemption in a team with more managers and staff than a Tina Turner gig is nowhere near good enough. Australia should be better, Shane Watson should be better.

When you have a weak batting side, you need to use your reviews smartly. Overturning lbws that you haven't smashed onto your pads is not smart. The follow on effect from a shockingly idiotic review is that the next person doesn't want to use the review for fear of using both of them. So Rogers, who could have gone about his quiet quirky accumulation on his home pitch, was instead sent off the field confused having missed one of the worst balls to get a wicket in Test cricket history.

All the reviews were gone by the time Michael Clarke came in.

This pitiful batting performance reminds us again just how ordinary Australia's batting line-up is. It doesn't need a batsman using a review based on the fact that he simply cannot believe he might be out lbw.

That was the review of a petulant child not a 32-year-old veteran of world cricket.

Some ex players leapt to his defence when Pat Howard said: "I know Shane reasonably well - I think he acts in the best interests of the team - sometimes." Those same players would find it hard to defend Watson on grounds he was acting in the best interests of the team. He was hit plumb in front of the stumps. Rogers seemed to tell him not to refer it. The English players openly laughed at him as he referred it. Yet, Watson still did.

This is a man who has dominated world tournaments. Who can bowl immaculate dry spells. Who has a safe pair of hands. Who can change the shape of a match in so many ways.

But Shane Watson is a Test opener with an average of 35. He regularly gets out in the same way. He has tried to retire from bowling a few times. He was suspended while vice-captain. He has issues with his captain. He bowled in the IPL after stating he wouldn't bowl in Tests. And he uses reviews in a way that does not help his side.

It's hard to be on his side.

Shane Watson may have the natural skills and confidence to win Australia Test matches, but he has the behaviour and results of a man who virtually never has.

Since I first heard his name, I've wanted to believe in Shane Watson. But in Test cricket he's a myth. And he can review my findings if he wants, but right at this moment, I'm pretty sure the evidence backs me up.

8.15pm, July 19: This article was updated after Darren Lehmann's press conference

Jarrod Kimber is 50% of the Two Chucks, and the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • tpjpower on July 20, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    Kimber is spot on here. The problem is, though, that Australia can't drop Watson. Even though he gets out after making a start, even though he can't wrap his head around the review system, and even though he plants his front foot in front of off to almost every delivery, Watson is Australia's second best batsman. Those who are calling for him to be dropped are overlooking a major flaw in their argument - there is no obvious candidate in Australian domestic cricket who would do as well.

  • on July 19, 2013, 18:34 GMT

    I feel the article is spot on. From the DRS horrors of last test Watto should have learned something, and from his poor form(lasting more than 2 years) too. Making 25% of your team's runs totalling 128 is not enough when you are always touted as a match winner, always expected to make a big hundred. His statistics as well as his technique don't make him the right candidate to be a test opener. Same can be said about the eligibility of Hughes and Khwaja. Their fans are always harping favourable tunes, but seldom these two have backed them with performances. And I just don't understand when Bailey and Voges are among your best players any given day, then what hesitation you have in presenting them with baggy greens? Why are they always labelled as ODI or T20 specialists? With present team I think Aus should play with Clarke, Haddin and 9 bowlers as their bowlers almost always make runs.

  • 214ty on July 19, 2013, 17:07 GMT

    I think Kimber is right on track. This is exactly what I've been preaching about Watson in my many comments. Watson is not test material and he belongs to the one day squad. Not playing straight was also the demise of Ponting. Unless the Australian batsmen follow the rules of the game ie, playing straight, not fishing, bowling straight I am still seeing a whitewash as I predicted. The better bowling attack will always win the series and that's England. Australian batsmen go out there in fear cause they have too much respect for England bowlers. They play too much defensive cricket and that will not even give them a win in the series. Poor batting coach and poor bowling coach is also a factor.

  • cricket_ahan on July 23, 2013, 3:01 GMT

    Spot on Kimber and said in words that sum up my exact frustration with Shane Watson. He could end up becoming one of the greatest players Australia never had. And a large part of that I believe is linked to his sub-par behaviour and attitude, examples of which are littered through the article. Even Michael Vaughn noticed his negative body language in the recent test and noted that he would have been in his ear about it. You can't refute behaviours and numerous incidence of failure in judgement (both with reviews and general batting technique) - the stats tell the story. Many others are quick to point out that the rest of the team is not performing as well, but by that argument you are weighting every player's merit equally, which is hardly ever the case in any team. Watson has talent / ability, and experience (and probably a higher pay grade to go with it), and has not delivered what he should have in relation to those. I feel his place in the Test team should go.

  • on July 22, 2013, 17:28 GMT

    Watson is the Rohit Sharma of Australian cricket. All his career we have heard repeatedly about his "potential" -- well when a player gets to 30 people should stop talking about his potential and judge him on performance alone.

    In general, I think Australia is giving too much credence to the U19/ center of excellence road to international cricket rather than relying on players who have done the hard yards through the grades and Shield cricket. It doesn't help that Shield cricket is crap right now -- the pitches are lotteries and the season is being taken over by T20. Even in India they keep the Ranji and the IPL separate. Same in England. But in countries like Pakistan/West Indies/Australia T20 is taking over their domestic cricket. I never thought I'd say this, but the BCCI must be praised for at least trying to care about the Ranji Trophy. T20 is important for the survival of the game through the next generation, but a sane balance should be struck between T20 and first-class.

  • sunhooks on July 22, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    Anyone who has been given out in the same manner as Watson is often out would recognise what is happening and at the time would want to review the decision too. Watson feels like the ball is missing leg stump. In fact, he's choosing to play across that ball because it feels like its angling in to his pads. Its not missing, but because his weight is so far across, he will always feel like it is.

    Further, the suggestion that Shane Watson cannot learn is fanciful. We're talking about a man who has rebuilt his bowling and preparation from scratch following numerous debilitating injuries. He's gone from a 145km/h quick to a scheming swing bowler who gets batsmen out with accuracy and guile.

    Good batsmen limit the impact of the faults in their techniques rather than fix them. Maybe Watson hasn't done enough, but this article isn't about that- its a cheap character assassination. I'm no huge fan of Watson but I have come to expect better from Cricinfo.

  • StuartDiscotheque on July 22, 2013, 11:48 GMT

    @cricketfanindia You say Watson is a good 5th bowler (which I agree with) but in your lineup you are taking a bowler out of the line-up to make way for Warner. This would mean Watto is the 3rd seamer of you're asking Steve Smith to be the main spinner. Both options aren't appetising.

    Australia have a frail batting line-up but sacrificing a good seamer to shore it up is not the answer. One option is to bring in Faulkner but he has to come in for either Watson or Smith, probably Watson.

  • on July 21, 2013, 21:39 GMT

    Watson is a talented bat, he just lacks concentration and application. Last 14 ashes innings 544 runs at 41.85. As a opener especially you'd probably take that as a selector. Only problem is in those 14 innings he's got 4 fifties and never once passed 100. He's been out 9(!!) times out of 14 between 30-60 runs.

    But when the rest of the side is so bad can you drop a guy who averages 40+??

  • cricketfanindia on July 20, 2013, 19:18 GMT

    Kimber is wrong. Watson is a Peter Principle problem and the think-tank got it wrong. See Clarke was at 5 and Hussey at 6, then Haddin/Wade. So to slot Watson in Australia picked the opening spot. Kimber is right that Watson does not have the technique or the temperament to open, but he would be a talented 5th bowler. He should have got the No.6 spot. Now he has to compete for it with Steve Smith. Actually Haddin might also make a good No.6, or Wade.. This is Australia's No.6 problem. So they should say, Watson/Smith/Haddin 6/7/8. That leaves 1-5, if Clarke is 5, then warner/rogers/hughes/khwaja are 1-4. Chappell should not have pushed Watson to open. And Agar still needs to work on his bowling and stake his claim against Smith. Australia has talent but the think tank has failed.

  • bjg62 on July 20, 2013, 14:36 GMT

    @Coldcoffee123: Yes - I still think this is a brilliant piece. My point about the non-striker calling for the review is made all the more important given that Rogers incorrectly told Watson to review his lbw decision. Obviously, if Rogers had already burnt one of the DRS 'lives', he didn't want to possibly burn the remaining chance on account of himself. So, what was Khawaja doing? He was the one in best position to tell Rogers to review his 'clanger' lbw decision.

    As for not doing my research, I don't think I need to do any research to agree with the writer's assertion that "This pitiful batting performance reminds us again just how ordinary Australia's batting line-up is. "

    As I said to someone earlier today, that performance in the Australian first innings made me embarrassed to be an Australian (and 12 hours later, I still haven't changed my mind).

  • tpjpower on July 20, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    Kimber is spot on here. The problem is, though, that Australia can't drop Watson. Even though he gets out after making a start, even though he can't wrap his head around the review system, and even though he plants his front foot in front of off to almost every delivery, Watson is Australia's second best batsman. Those who are calling for him to be dropped are overlooking a major flaw in their argument - there is no obvious candidate in Australian domestic cricket who would do as well.

  • on July 19, 2013, 18:34 GMT

    I feel the article is spot on. From the DRS horrors of last test Watto should have learned something, and from his poor form(lasting more than 2 years) too. Making 25% of your team's runs totalling 128 is not enough when you are always touted as a match winner, always expected to make a big hundred. His statistics as well as his technique don't make him the right candidate to be a test opener. Same can be said about the eligibility of Hughes and Khwaja. Their fans are always harping favourable tunes, but seldom these two have backed them with performances. And I just don't understand when Bailey and Voges are among your best players any given day, then what hesitation you have in presenting them with baggy greens? Why are they always labelled as ODI or T20 specialists? With present team I think Aus should play with Clarke, Haddin and 9 bowlers as their bowlers almost always make runs.

  • 214ty on July 19, 2013, 17:07 GMT

    I think Kimber is right on track. This is exactly what I've been preaching about Watson in my many comments. Watson is not test material and he belongs to the one day squad. Not playing straight was also the demise of Ponting. Unless the Australian batsmen follow the rules of the game ie, playing straight, not fishing, bowling straight I am still seeing a whitewash as I predicted. The better bowling attack will always win the series and that's England. Australian batsmen go out there in fear cause they have too much respect for England bowlers. They play too much defensive cricket and that will not even give them a win in the series. Poor batting coach and poor bowling coach is also a factor.

  • cricket_ahan on July 23, 2013, 3:01 GMT

    Spot on Kimber and said in words that sum up my exact frustration with Shane Watson. He could end up becoming one of the greatest players Australia never had. And a large part of that I believe is linked to his sub-par behaviour and attitude, examples of which are littered through the article. Even Michael Vaughn noticed his negative body language in the recent test and noted that he would have been in his ear about it. You can't refute behaviours and numerous incidence of failure in judgement (both with reviews and general batting technique) - the stats tell the story. Many others are quick to point out that the rest of the team is not performing as well, but by that argument you are weighting every player's merit equally, which is hardly ever the case in any team. Watson has talent / ability, and experience (and probably a higher pay grade to go with it), and has not delivered what he should have in relation to those. I feel his place in the Test team should go.

  • on July 22, 2013, 17:28 GMT

    Watson is the Rohit Sharma of Australian cricket. All his career we have heard repeatedly about his "potential" -- well when a player gets to 30 people should stop talking about his potential and judge him on performance alone.

    In general, I think Australia is giving too much credence to the U19/ center of excellence road to international cricket rather than relying on players who have done the hard yards through the grades and Shield cricket. It doesn't help that Shield cricket is crap right now -- the pitches are lotteries and the season is being taken over by T20. Even in India they keep the Ranji and the IPL separate. Same in England. But in countries like Pakistan/West Indies/Australia T20 is taking over their domestic cricket. I never thought I'd say this, but the BCCI must be praised for at least trying to care about the Ranji Trophy. T20 is important for the survival of the game through the next generation, but a sane balance should be struck between T20 and first-class.

  • sunhooks on July 22, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    Anyone who has been given out in the same manner as Watson is often out would recognise what is happening and at the time would want to review the decision too. Watson feels like the ball is missing leg stump. In fact, he's choosing to play across that ball because it feels like its angling in to his pads. Its not missing, but because his weight is so far across, he will always feel like it is.

    Further, the suggestion that Shane Watson cannot learn is fanciful. We're talking about a man who has rebuilt his bowling and preparation from scratch following numerous debilitating injuries. He's gone from a 145km/h quick to a scheming swing bowler who gets batsmen out with accuracy and guile.

    Good batsmen limit the impact of the faults in their techniques rather than fix them. Maybe Watson hasn't done enough, but this article isn't about that- its a cheap character assassination. I'm no huge fan of Watson but I have come to expect better from Cricinfo.

  • StuartDiscotheque on July 22, 2013, 11:48 GMT

    @cricketfanindia You say Watson is a good 5th bowler (which I agree with) but in your lineup you are taking a bowler out of the line-up to make way for Warner. This would mean Watto is the 3rd seamer of you're asking Steve Smith to be the main spinner. Both options aren't appetising.

    Australia have a frail batting line-up but sacrificing a good seamer to shore it up is not the answer. One option is to bring in Faulkner but he has to come in for either Watson or Smith, probably Watson.

  • on July 21, 2013, 21:39 GMT

    Watson is a talented bat, he just lacks concentration and application. Last 14 ashes innings 544 runs at 41.85. As a opener especially you'd probably take that as a selector. Only problem is in those 14 innings he's got 4 fifties and never once passed 100. He's been out 9(!!) times out of 14 between 30-60 runs.

    But when the rest of the side is so bad can you drop a guy who averages 40+??

  • cricketfanindia on July 20, 2013, 19:18 GMT

    Kimber is wrong. Watson is a Peter Principle problem and the think-tank got it wrong. See Clarke was at 5 and Hussey at 6, then Haddin/Wade. So to slot Watson in Australia picked the opening spot. Kimber is right that Watson does not have the technique or the temperament to open, but he would be a talented 5th bowler. He should have got the No.6 spot. Now he has to compete for it with Steve Smith. Actually Haddin might also make a good No.6, or Wade.. This is Australia's No.6 problem. So they should say, Watson/Smith/Haddin 6/7/8. That leaves 1-5, if Clarke is 5, then warner/rogers/hughes/khwaja are 1-4. Chappell should not have pushed Watson to open. And Agar still needs to work on his bowling and stake his claim against Smith. Australia has talent but the think tank has failed.

  • bjg62 on July 20, 2013, 14:36 GMT

    @Coldcoffee123: Yes - I still think this is a brilliant piece. My point about the non-striker calling for the review is made all the more important given that Rogers incorrectly told Watson to review his lbw decision. Obviously, if Rogers had already burnt one of the DRS 'lives', he didn't want to possibly burn the remaining chance on account of himself. So, what was Khawaja doing? He was the one in best position to tell Rogers to review his 'clanger' lbw decision.

    As for not doing my research, I don't think I need to do any research to agree with the writer's assertion that "This pitiful batting performance reminds us again just how ordinary Australia's batting line-up is. "

    As I said to someone earlier today, that performance in the Australian first innings made me embarrassed to be an Australian (and 12 hours later, I still haven't changed my mind).

  • on July 20, 2013, 14:21 GMT

    Seriously John Nelmes, you don't think Watson can bat, you don't watch much cricket then or your a poor judge. He's the best bat in the side at the moment behind Clarke, the only problem is he doesn't go on with it to get the really big scores. When he first went to opener he had a great record except for the fact he didn't go on with it enough, he then got injured and they stuffed him around instead of putting him back there, don't you think he deserves a few more chances then 3 innings. Also him and rogers have looked a dam site assured in the last 2 innings then cowan and warner looked for the past 2 seasons.

  • on July 20, 2013, 12:19 GMT

    First of all I would like to remind you guys that whole Australian Batting is failing and Watson is not the only one who should be blamed. I agree that Watson is struggling as an opener and its ACB's responsibility to find a good opener and give Watson a chance down the order saving him from the new Ball. Just because he has used the DRS doesn't give right to the people to blame him. As lehman said that Roger's advised him to review it and there are numerous other factors which no one can determine by relaxing in their couch. Its easier said than done. All the critics should look at other batsmen who are struggling. Why do people forget that he adds to the bowling strength and he has constantly picked wickets when needed. You guys forgot the recent cook's wicket? Shame on the critics. Go watch your face and pick out other non performing guys instead of blaming Watson. Name one player who can confidently replace Watson. Heights of Criticism.

  • Rahul_Paharia on July 20, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    "If you've never seen a batsman use a review based purely on his own ego, you've not watched modern cricket", how true. Players known to have big egos are the ones who use of DRS reviews unsuccessfully the most. Broad, Haddin, Clarke, Dilshan are other names that come to mind instantly.

  • on July 20, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    Don't care if Rogers told him to review it. Watson is more of a problem to the test team than any other factor at the moment. He is not an opener, he is not a test batsman either. He should only be in the test team as a bowler. Can't make it as a bowler, he's not in the team...

  • Wacco on July 20, 2013, 9:54 GMT

    Aussies need to build the team around Clarke like the same way when Border took charge after Kim Hughes left. Agar could play the role of a smiling version of Steve Waugh in the whole building process. They are 2-3 years away!

  • coldcoffee123 on July 20, 2013, 9:37 GMT

    @Andrew Dixon...Spot on mate. Everyone here is a cricket expert, you know !!

  • Oldpunk on July 20, 2013, 9:26 GMT

    Two points: 1. people who keep writing these Shane Watson stories never learn. He is not a test class batsman. That is the problem. If the ball swings, seams, spins he is a walking wicket. All the criticism of failure to capitalize on starts or convert 50's, all the anger/frustration directed at this "enigma", simply misses the point that he is useless against the moving ball. 2. Re DRS, clearly the Australians and the backroom entourage have not got a DRS policy in place, and haven't done an analysis of DRS performance and stats.

  • coldcoffee123 on July 20, 2013, 9:25 GMT

    @bjg62. Rogers told Shane to review. Go see Lehmann press conference. Now, do you still think Jarrod wrote a brilliant article?? Most comments here just show that people are ready to punch keys on their computers w/o doing any research. Also, Watson is a Sehwag-type batsman. The risk/reward are both high. Do not blame Watson if the entire continent of Australia does not have one opening batsman.

  • Jediroya on July 20, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    If only there was some way he could bat at a time when the ball no longer swings into his pads. oh wait...

  • on July 20, 2013, 8:37 GMT

    So is anyone, especially the author going to apologise to Watson, now that we all know that Rogers told him to review it............................No, didn't think so.

  • UndertheGrill on July 20, 2013, 8:37 GMT

    Jarrod Kimber; currently by far the best writer on Cricinfo

  • Ch-Sandhu on July 20, 2013, 8:13 GMT

    Watson is a great talent - has to be one of the best all rounders in world cricket at the moment. He should bat at no.6 though. To suggest that he is self indulgent would not be too far off the mark. I have seen him frustrated when he has been subject of humiliation. For example, he got a first ball yorker from Roach and he was looking towards the on-field umpires as if to suggest that balling a first ball yorker should not be allowed and be called a no-ball. On another occasion, he was constantly being made look silly by Ajmal's doosras; Watson was swearing lout of frustration on that occasion too. Watson thinks that he is better than he actually is - he wants a bigger role. Perhaps he wants to be Australian captain - I don't see anything wrong with that. Some people flourish with responsibility. Cricket has seen many self-indulgent individuals who proved to be great captains - examples: Imran Khan, Richards, Cronje - why not Watto. Make Watson Australian Cricket captain!

  • CoverDrive88 on July 20, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    Agree completely. The only argument for Watto is that he's a bit better than some of the other batting options and he adds to the bowling. However in a strong side he'd be lucky to get in the team at 7. He's a similar cricketer to Broad - reasonable player, over-hyped, over-confident, similar record. I usually agree with Ian Chappell's views but I have never seen Watson as an opener. His technique and patience are not good enough. And on bad decisions, how many people has he run out with stupid calls. We've fallen in love with aggressive starts - Watson, Warner, Hughes, but those guys look a lot better on rock-hard, straight-as-a-die 1-day pitches. They're techniques are dubious and don't cope well at Test level. Our problems started when Katich was dropped. Cowan isn't up to it - good team player and trier don't cut it either. At the moment I would bring Katich in to partner Rogers and tell them to bat as long as possible.

  • Ray24 on July 20, 2013, 7:04 GMT

    Being too harsh I guess. The only decent player in the side who would make it to any test side. Aus downfall is the result of Clarke's selfish behavior - the downfall started when he was made captain. The guy just doesn't have what it takes to be captain. Waugh would've grinded his and Aus way out of this situation and he would've made the others grind it out too. Great leaders make great men and weak leaders make weak men.

  • millsy24 on July 20, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    Rock-Rock. Too harsh on Shane because is in the opener's slot and not scoring big? Are you serious. He is there because that is where he thinks he should bat. Don't you remember his media campaign where he didn't give a crap about Cowan or team harmony for that matter. No, as long as he bats where he wants that is OK and that is opening the batting.

  • RJHB on July 20, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    Absolutely SPOT ON! Can't understate how weak that batting lineup is. Just one world class batsman, not even one good international batsman after him. In fact barring a thirty five year old Rogers, barely even a top shelf first class batsman in that lineup. And who got left behind? No one. These are our best. There's no Dean Jones left behind like 85, no Siddons in 89/93, or Hodge or Hussey after that. The cupboard suddenly got very empty. And don't get me started on Watto please!

  • TRabbs on July 20, 2013, 6:27 GMT

    Spot on. If a more self-centered player has represented the Australian cricket team, he escapes me. Its no surprise he didn't get along with Arthur as he clearly has no interest in listening to the advice of others. If he did, someone would have told him to stop planting his foot and he would be a test standard batsman.

  • Robert1612 on July 20, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    Pretty simple really, ONLY DRS an LBW if you know you HIT IT! Otherwise given "umpires call", there is virtually only 5-10% chance of being overturned. Watson selfish again ... cost Rogers his wicket and ultimately set the tone for the rest of the innings. Mind you what was umpire Erasmus thinking?? There must be a change to allow umpires to check LBW with 3rd umpire, so those shockers don't occur. All said at least Australia get to bat again on this wicket, although will probably lose. All we Aus fans can hope for is a couple of batsmen find form in this game and get some momentum for the rest of the series.

  • on July 20, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    Watson must videos of selfless players like Rahul Dravid and Steve Waugh to see what it takes to win test match for his country in abroad conditions.

  • azzaman333 on July 20, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    @Optic, I wouldn't take Anderson ahead of Siddle, Harris, Pattinson or Bird. I wouldn't Broad ahead of Starc, Faulkner or any of our Australia A fast bowlers. Swann's a good bowler, but I'd still rather a 4 man pace attack of Siddle, Harris, Pattinson and Bird than picking Swann. I'd take just about every English batsman (not Root, not Bairstow) over any Aussie batter bar Clarke.

  • on July 20, 2013, 5:40 GMT

    First time commenter as well. So disappointed with Watson and couldn't agree more with the general sentiment here. Constant selfishness and under-achieving (can you call it under achieving if that's all he does, though?) the sooner he gets booted off the team the better. Hell, back Ed Cowan, anyone but Watson.

  • croneyes on July 20, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    The heroics of Agar at Trent Bridge masked over how bad this batting line up really is. You often hear commentators speaking of potential about some players, how with time and experience they will eventually flourish. A bit like a cheap wine, some will only reach a certain threshold. I feel sadly that the talent scouts have gone for players that exude flashy brilliance and style rather than substance. Kwahja has been spoken about for some years now, but his figures don't support him being in the team. His dismissal was the most worrying of all to me, a crack under the pressure. Watson is simply an enigma. All the big shots, gelled up hair, 2 Alan Border medals to his name, the face of Brut 33, senior member of the team yet he couldn't see off 6 balls before lunch to steady his team. His dismissal and waste of a review started the rot and I don't believe I have witnessed a more selfish individual play the game than him. Appalling performance all round by an overrated bunch.

  • on July 20, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    Watson is not a test opening batsman. A test opening batsmen should lay the foundations of the team, get them off to a good but watchful start by seeing off the new ball and building on an innings. So far he only has 2 hundreds after 43 tests at an average of 35. Most decent openers will average 40 plus and be able to convert starts to 50s and convert 50s to 100s. Watson looks as if he is trying to emulate Matthew Hayden by trying to attack every ball. So far he has done that as a One Day opener but not in the test arena. But if it wasn't for Watson's 30, Australia could be out for less than 100.

  • Winsome on July 20, 2013, 5:19 GMT

    Watson's batting technique is poor so his talent is irrelevant. Most Aussie fans have known for years what a massive LBW candidate he is, is just a case of waiting for it to happen. His batting average is 25 for the past 2 years and his bowling around 50. Luckiest player imaginable to be playing in this era as he is proving to be not good enough for test cricket but I guess you could say that about a lot of the Aussie batsmen.

  • Rock-Rock on July 20, 2013, 5:16 GMT

    Too harsh on Shane. Why do you put an all-rounder in opener's slot and blame him for not scoring big. Look at his batting stats in limited overs cricket... Absolutely brilliant. Hitter can't be a success as opener in longer version. Sehwag was an exception but he too struggled for most part in alien conditions.

    Respect test cricket. Let specialists play in openers' slot. When Australia don't have too many batsman knocking the door of national team, why blame a player who is supposed to contribute as all-rounder. Combine his bowling and batting stats and he is always a consistent contributor. Put him in lower order, I bet you will get to see Gilly back.

    About referrals...... Only few understands DRS better these days..... Including players, umpires, ICC officials, cricket boards. Why blame one player by showing few things in exaggerated way.

    Concentrate on all other top order players who are failing like anything... Including Clark.

  • bjg62 on July 20, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    Absolutely brilliant piece here, Jarrod. The first thing the Aussies must adopt is that the non-striker has the only say on LBW review. He is in a better position to judge LBW than the batsman anyway, and if in doubt can ask the batsman if he nicked it before hitting the pads. This will hopefully remove the ego from all of this.

  • Alexk400 on July 20, 2013, 5:12 GMT

    Only guy in cricinfo who say the hardcore in your face truth in really funny way.

  • venkatesh018 on July 20, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    Kimber, You are simply too harsh on Watto. He is an honest lad trying to do well for his country. It isn't his fault if the batters after him aren't upto it. He is their second best batsman in this line up after Clarke.

  • on July 20, 2013, 5:04 GMT

    Andrew Simon Carr. How is Hafdin a problem with ego? One of the most respectedplayers in the game. WWade is a fine batsman but a poor keeper. Sam Whiteman from WA will be a great keeper and batsman. Keep Haddin in the team until Whiteman is ready.

  • Thegimp on July 20, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    Albert Einstein foresaw the emergence of Shane Watson when he quipped his definition of insanity "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results"

  • GloryDaysReturn on July 20, 2013, 3:31 GMT

    The current batting woes the Aus test team is experiencing comes from ONE thing: lack of emphasis on the importance of Shield cricket in Australia. The selectors (and public?) are plucking guys from COE/Limited over cricket based on potential, rather than having them earn their stripes playing 4-day shield or Aus-A matches. Averages in state games MOST often reflects what happens in Tests: Waugh, Hussey, Lehmann, Hayden, etc. all averaged 50+ for both levels of the game. Yes, it took several goes for guys like Hayden and Waugh to get there, but MENTAL toughness was honed playing for their state. I worry about guys like Khawaja, Smith, Watson, Ferguson, Marsh, and the like, who don't have that mental toughness and averages less than 45 in FC cricket.

    If you want to see better batsman, get out and support your SHIELD teams!!!

  • OneEyedAussie on July 20, 2013, 3:12 GMT

    Shane Watson has not modified his behavior because there is no incentive for him to do so. He throws a tantrum and gets everything he wants. Take the homework incident for example. Instead of being punished (as Warner has been), he has been rewarded by being promoted to his pet batting position without any regard for whether he is actually suited to it. The results will speak for themselves. Will he be punished if he finishes this series averaging 25? Probably not because people will say there is nobody better to replace him, so he will keep getting what he wants. It's that mysterious "talent" he has, the kind that fortunately (for Watson) requires no evidence to back it up.

    Agree with previous commentors that the umpires seem much more comfortable giving LBWs when the batsman is forward since the addition of the DRS. This has hurt Watson's output dramatically. Bowlers know that Watson and Clarke are prone to LBW dismissal from an inswinging delivery.

  • on July 20, 2013, 3:04 GMT

    Whatto !! Take this piece of advice from me........The best chance of you surviving a LBW appeal and review here after is by decreasing the size of your leg......You've got to put your leg on Diet mate !! #ashes

  • Mike_Tyson on July 20, 2013, 2:46 GMT

    I can understand the Aussie frustration but did anyone seriously think Aus were going to be a threat in this series! Eng batsman and bowlers are far superior to their counterparts. The only aussie that could get into the Eng side is Clarke. Ponting, Katich etc should still br around. Im all for going with youth, however experience still has it's place. I will be extremely surprised if Aus win even 1 test and thats not being big headed, it's just that Eng are much stronger. Aus may win a test in te return seres but Eng will still win it.

  • on July 20, 2013, 2:43 GMT

    All this, yet he still top scored. All this, yet the referral wasn't his choice. The fact is these guys are the best Australia have at the moment and they just have to stick with them and hope theydeliver in time. there is no quick fix, no magic selection, just this.

  • on July 20, 2013, 2:40 GMT

    I bought a SW signed Tasmania shirt and ball ten years ago... any takers for it? Anyone?

  • balajik1968 on July 20, 2013, 2:36 GMT

    Maybe Australia should confine Watson to the limited overs team. Clearly he is not suited to the Test arena. Come on, a guy with an average in the mid-30's does not deserve to be a Test opener. It is time Australia bites the bullet and takes some hard decisions. This should be among the first decisions Lehmann takes post this series. Pick guys with the right attitude and some brains, be prepared to lose for some time. Simpson did this in the 80's and by the end of that decade, the core of the team that went on to dominate cricket for about a decade and more had been formed. The players who came in later bought into the vision, and there was d a great Aussie team.

  • HumilityCounts on July 20, 2013, 2:33 GMT

    As wix99 said and so many others here and elsewhere have opined (many like myself for quite some time), Watson is more about himself than the team. After the ridiculous review in the first test, here was the perfect opportunity for him to at least garner a minuscule amount of respect. But what does he do? He risks wasting a review on a LESS THAN even-money chance that the umpire got it TOTALLY wrong. Thus, yet again, putting himself ahead of the team. There's a saying, "Actions speak louder than words." Watson can say whatever he likes and Lehmann and others may try and cover for him, but the actions are there for all to see. P.S. Am I the only one who gets annoyed at how slowly he walks off the field with that "woe is me" look on his face each time he gets dismissed?

  • Jagger on July 20, 2013, 2:15 GMT

    Great article. GET RID OF WATSON, SUTHERLAND.

  • on July 20, 2013, 1:57 GMT

    Well said Sir . Why he is held in such esteem as a test player is beyond me. He is a glorified. 1 day player. An all-rounder at best that doesn't bowl at test level.

    How many games has he ever taken by the scruff if the kneck. Good to watch though :-)

  • satyam.sharma on July 20, 2013, 1:56 GMT

    The current shambolic team has made the once-proud Aussie cricket into the laughing stock of the world! PS: Almost 30-40% of ALL Cricinfo articles nowadays deal less with real cricket than with reviews and DRS-related drama. I think that's sad.

  • Governor on July 20, 2013, 1:25 GMT

    I am a Shane Watson fan. He plays his best cricket as an opener and most people on social media forget that a Cricket XI contains 11 to 12 different characters with different values and traits. The captain's job or Darren Lehmann's job is to understand these people and get them to play for the common cause.

    Our great sides of the past contained players who were not on the best of terms. Keith Miller never got along with Sir Donald Bradman whilst Shane Warne had differences with Steve Waugh and Adam Gilchrist.

    The funny part is Ian Chappell got the best out of Doug Walters. Doug Walters was KD Walters. He played cards and had a drink and a smoke. He was a larrikin. Ian Chappell understood and accepted KD Walters.

    I can say that Michael Clarke is a poor off field captain. He loves to have YES men and Shane Watson is not a yes man.

  • AjaySridharan on July 20, 2013, 1:00 GMT

    Reminds me of one Mr.Sehwag who would instantaneously review his LBWs, even without checking with his partner - smacked of an ego that believed that he was the only match winner in the team and with him would go India's chances. Glad to see where he is now!

  • Mr_Truth on July 20, 2013, 0:58 GMT

    What's the go with the people who say 'leave poor Shane alone he top scored'? That's like saying pick Agar and Lyon for their batting - they have both top scored from #11 for this team. The job of an opener is to see off the new ball. Every time the top order is shot out, the team gets exposed. To say nothing about the pressure that it adds to those coming in after a poor start.

    As to the people posting here who live in denial about the validity of batting and bowling averages - no, the numbers don't lie. You can't say that a player is only any good when he reaches a milestone of, say, two hundred wickets. That is the most bizarre viewpoint imaginable - every great player has to start somewhere, and usually their stats start finding their final form with as few as ten or twenty matches.

  • Chris_Howard on July 20, 2013, 0:50 GMT

    Watto has become the spoilt child because he was spoilt and pampered by CA too much. They convinced him he was the next Freddie Flintoff or Ian Botham. They convinced him he was the saviour of Australian cricket.

    Every time he was out injured they talked him up about how important he was. In 2009 they couldn't cut Hughes fast enough to give Watson the opener's role he wanted.

    And now, he can't ever believe he's out lbw. It's no surprise when you've been made to think you are a cricket god.

  • on July 20, 2013, 0:49 GMT

    Shane Watson would love to bowl at himself. As a stump to stump bowler he attacks the stumps a lot and gets many lbws. As a batsman he gets out often to stump to stump bowlers. As an Australian I am very disappointed that he reviewed. It was so costly considering the impact it had on Chris Rogers' decision to sheepishly not review his decision. Umpire Erasmus made the correct on-field decision on Rogers though; assuming the flight of the ball goes straight on when struck on the full, but hawk-eye clearly showed it not hitting the stumps

  • on July 20, 2013, 0:32 GMT

    It was appalling to see Watson review the decision. as a kid growing up, one always hoped that the indian team would pick up the professionalism and work ethic of the Australians, but by god Watson seems to be so far in his bubble that i would not want anybody to learn professionalism from him. u could see his body language, he was going to review it no matter what. thats not what responsibility means. its sad to see that mental toughness is not a forte of this team. like all team sports its gonna take some time to build this aussie team. i suspect that micheal clarke is not as cool as captain as they make him out to be. somehow he seems to get a negative response from the team. maybe the team, maybe the captain. looks like they would need the allan border kind of guts to work through this one.

  • Mr_Truth on July 20, 2013, 0:26 GMT

    Shane Watson is a naughty little boy. He doesn't do his homework and he doesn't share - he thinks that he is entitled to one review, and the other players in his team can squabble over the other one. Naughty little boys need boundaries. The team management need to tell him that he is forbidden from reviewing at all, ever. They should pass this onto the umpires as well - if this is embarrassing for Watson, too bad - he has had ample time to sort out his issues and never does.

  • Hyderabadi_Nawab on July 20, 2013, 0:21 GMT

    Shane Watson is overrated and needs to go. I still do not understand why George Bailey does not even merit a mention in any Australian selection debate. He to me looks like a man who not only has the technique (he has given ample evidence in his one day innings of that) and temperament but also seems to be one of those level headed blokes who would give Clarke the kind of support that he is looking for. If Warner comes back get him to #3, get Cowan in place of Watson and opening with Rogers - does not matter that both are staid, I think its high time Aussies just batted and batted and not worry about the flying starts that never seem to materialise. Fitting in Bailey would not be a problem with the likes of Khwaja and Hughes being eminently dispensible.

  • Paul_Somerset on July 19, 2013, 23:35 GMT

    Watson's addiction to DRS resembles a gambler chasing losses. I don't think he's ever got over being given out LBW to Jerome Taylor for a duck at Brisbane in Nov. 2009 in the first game he ever played under DRS. Replays showed that if he had used a review in that case, he would have been not out. Now he seems to be throwing the dice again and again in an attempt to even out that one piece of misfortune.

  • on July 19, 2013, 23:26 GMT

    Your comment on Watson is so accurate. A man with talent but not the averages to prove it. The man thinks of himself first and team last. Sadly the side around him lacks talent. I thought I saw the lows after the Chappells retirement era but at least they showed some guts and grit - this current squad shows nothing of it at all in batting. Thanks to our bowlers who not only slave away to get teams out but then turn around and score more runs than the batsmen. Only 2 centuries by Australian batsmen in 2013 - Wade & Clarke. Last 3 completed tests top scorers - 1st Test Trent Bridge - Agar 98; 4th Test India - Siddle 51 & 50; 3rd Test India - Starc 99. Perhaps drop the batsmen who average less than Agar, Pattinson & Starc at test level and replace them with someone who has the courage to fight for their wicket not just play one day cricket in the test arena.

  • on July 19, 2013, 22:55 GMT

    Reckon it's about time for Boof himself to suit up and play....

  • Yevghenny on July 19, 2013, 22:20 GMT

    Australia would be best off just forgetting the DRS exists. They don't have to use it as it just seems to be causing too much negative feeling at the moment. It can't be that often players are so 100% convinced it's out. But DRS incidents seem to be following these players around as much as the ball follows a fielder around when he's just dropped a sitter. It's a crazy game at times how mistakes are so unsympathetically exposed time and again.

  • VerbosityAbridged on July 19, 2013, 21:54 GMT

    I'd hate to read what you plan to write about him when he's not the top scorer in an Australian innings.

  • coldcoffee123 on July 19, 2013, 21:43 GMT

    To all Watson bashers, this is what Darren Lehmann said in the press conference: "Bucky Rogers got that wrong with Shane, he told Shane to take it," Lehmann said.

  • on July 19, 2013, 21:36 GMT

    So is he a child or a man. You seem confused.

  • philvic on July 19, 2013, 21:29 GMT

    Watson is a decent number 6 or 7 as an allrounder - he is no opening batsman and it is only bvecause Oz is so weak at the moment that he has been given that role. While he is bowling he is a useful allrounder but as a batsman he would not merit inclusion, even in this Australian side. Regarding the Oz bowling it is reasonable and on a par with England - the pace bowling is stronger with much more depth (Broad and Bresnan are no more than average at this level) but Swann makes a big difference to the English attack.

  • on July 19, 2013, 21:09 GMT

    Couldn't agree more. He needs to go. Too many chances and gives us nothing

  • SidsIPLTeam on July 19, 2013, 21:06 GMT

    I agree to what the author has to say about Watson. And I agree that Watson & Clarke are the seniormost batsmen so their performances should be more critically reviewed than the others. But, then Watson & Clarke were the only batsmen to reach close to 30. The others can barely make even half of that at this stage. So, Watson might be tempted to use a review howsoever stupid everytime just to find that inch or that frame to save him, so that the Australian score gets somewhere. Coz he almost half knows by now, that the others are gono be no good even if they survive using DRS. Yes, one can only feel for Rogers who could've had his decision reviewed. Otherwise, the only other proper batsman to get some runs - Hughes looked like the tailender instead of Agar in Trent Bridge. So, if Watson doesn't deserve it drop him but where's the replacement. Agar is probably the only positive. And they keep talking about keeping Katich, Hodge & Voges out of the team. Can the author please respond??

  • wix99 on July 19, 2013, 21:05 GMT

    Shane Watson doesn't play for Australia. Shane Watson plays for Shane Watson. He doesn't really understand what it means to be part of a team.

  • nervousnineties on July 19, 2013, 21:02 GMT

    I'm starting to believe that the main reason Clarke wants to bat at no.5 is to be as far from Watson in the batting order as possible- to reduce the chance of actually having to bat together...

  • on July 19, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    Like the WI, Australia donot have the luxury today of branding players as 'limited overs only'. Everything about their selection is horribly skewed and quite frankly mesmerising ! Why on earth is Adam Voges not playing tests, and for god sake bring in Cameron White !!! Watson will never be successful as a test opener so has to make way. I would not make Clarke captain too.

    My eleven ( in order) :

    1. Chris Rogers 2. Simon Katich 3. Michael Clarke 4. Cameron White (captain) 5. Brad Haddin (wk) 6. Moises Henriques 7. Steve Smith

    Batsmen on bench : Voges ,Watson, Maxwell, Aaron Finch

    Bowlers (out of) : Agar/Hilfenhaus/Siddle/Pattinson/Boulinger/Starc/Cummins/Faulkner/Jhonson/Harris/Cutting/Sandhu/Fawad Ahmed

  • Derek_Haines on July 19, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    I never comment on Cricinfo, but the time has come. As an Aussie cricket tragic, I just have to say what I have felt for some time. It is that the sad fall of Aussie cricket is the 'cancer', for want of a better word, that is Shane Watson. I'm sorry to have to say this, but selfishness has never been a successful Aussie trait. It's high time to cut the tumour out. Aussie cricket, as in much of Aussie life, is about guts and the courage to stand up and be counted. Being beaten by a better team is something that one learns to accept. Being beaten by your own though, is something that is never easily swallowed. Especially if you're an Aussie. At 41 Bob Simpson showed Australia what it meant to have guts. Steve Waugh sweated guts. Justin Langer took pride in every bruise and wore them with guts. On the other side, I remember Colin Cowdrey and his guts and bravery against Lillie and Thompson. I'm sorry to have to say this, but this Aussie cricket team lacks only one thing. Guts.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 19, 2013, 20:25 GMT

    A new cricket bat - £150. Watching Watson get out the same way for roughly the same score to the English bowlers over an over again - Priceless.

  • on July 19, 2013, 19:53 GMT

    If Clarke and Lehmann want authority and respect within the squad they need to lead by example. It is clear that there are ego issues with Watson and with Haddin which need to be dealt with and a line drawn underneath...I wonder whether dropping both of them and bringing in Faulkner and Wade might help with team harmony?

  • DragonCricketer on July 19, 2013, 19:46 GMT

    I said to a mate Watson was very selfish in 1st innings, requested a review instantly. What a waste. I've played 40 years of A grade park cricket and no one thinks they are out LBW. They move their feet after the shot then look down and say how can that be out? I bat a bit like Watson. Plant the front foot down. 20 years ago you were safe. "To far forward" to be given out. That line of thinking doesn't work anymore due to technology. But interesting its filtered down to park cricket as well. Being down the wicket seems to mean nothing anymore.

  • Kitschiguy on July 19, 2013, 19:45 GMT

    His bowling and batting figures flatter him. Why do people insist that he has talent? We keep hearing about it. We never see it. Sooner or later, Australia will have to come to terms with the fact Watson is an also ran.

  • Optic on July 19, 2013, 19:33 GMT

    @azzaman333 No I think you're kidding yourself if you think the Aussies bowling line up is better than England's and show a lack of cricketing knowledge if you're going off just averages. Averages don't tell you much in the grand scheme of things, especially not when guys like Harris and Pattinson have played so few games between them. It's just like when Bresnan was averaging 45 with the bat and 23 with the ball af ter 13 test matches, did that make him the best all rounder ever. No because you use more than averages to judge players. Anderson is the best bowler on either side, then Swann's right up there. Siddle's a good bowler don't get me wrong and Harris is too when fit but I'd rather have Broad than Pattisnon any day of the week and as a attack England have the clear advantage imo. Obviously you have missed the biggest flaw in what you say, Swann makes England's attack that much better, Oz haven't got nothing close to him.

  • Beertjie on July 19, 2013, 19:18 GMT

    Totally agree about Watson. Time for Lehman/Clarke to do a 'Warner' with him. Last chance saloon - one more misused review and you might as well go home because that it!

  • OttawaRocks on July 19, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    Great insightful comments by Deepanjan Datta. Totally agree that although Jarrod might be correct in his assessment, the tone seems too personal and bordering on unprofessional.

  • Rahul_78 on July 19, 2013, 19:09 GMT

    Watto got caught in "Hand in cookie jar" moment. For his defense he seems to have asked Rogers before referring it. But again someone who is supposed to be a senior member of the side it reflected very poorly and selfishly on Watto. Somewhere down the line he is emerging as a 'Stuart Broad' of Australia. People love to hate him. Leehman has big job in his hand. If the team looses badly and the infighting between two senior most members of the team will only add to the teams woes. Watto never came across as brightest bulb in the room in his career but he is a real talent and Aussie's at the moment are very,very short on it. It looks like a real test for Clarke and Leehman. But none will deny it that the referral was poor, selfish and sucked all the momentum of Aussie innings.

  • donovancarragher on July 19, 2013, 19:08 GMT

    @azzaman333 Siddle is a solid bowler who always works really hard, and Harris is quality, but that doesn't make oz' s attack as good as England's. Sure, Pattinson has potential, but he's only played a handful of tests. Anderson has 300 wickets in tests, Broad pushing 200 and Swann over 200. You say the aussies have better averages, but I'm sorry - it's irrelevant. If you want an illustration of why, try this: Graeme Swann has a better test average that Anil Kumble. But who says Swann is better? No-one. Because Kumble took 600 test wickets.

  • on July 19, 2013, 18:57 GMT

    Australia are pretty ordinary. They are beginning to look like the West Indies team when all they had were Lara and Walsh. There is simply noone of true test capabilities there at present. For an Aussie team to subside the way they did today, reminded me of the English teams of yore. England aren't even playing well and its like the Aussies are holding the ankle in place on the neck pleading with the foot not to be taken away......... But yes the rot does start with Watto, Smith is also another contender for WOTA.

  • MrCynical on July 19, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    The waste of the review is maddening - though we should remember that Clarke wasted several in the first test - however I would think that with Watson being top scorer in the Aussie innings there are more deserving candidates for an attack article like this

  • Ninety9 on July 19, 2013, 18:55 GMT

    Shane Watson always has a look on his face of a guy who has been a victim of some grave injustice. That and only that annoys me to watch him play cricket.

  • Aussasinator on July 19, 2013, 18:54 GMT

    I've said this before that Watson is meant for T20 and that too only IPL, played on the benign Indian pitches. He lacks the temperament, fitness and consistency for anything serious.

  • CapitalMarkets on July 19, 2013, 18:53 GMT

    I actually have some sympathy for Shane Watson, who has always seemed an honest and personable character when interviewed. What's amazing is that the way to use the DRS reviews for LBWs hasn't been firmed up in the Australian camp. It's obvious that "if you hit it, call for the review and if you didn't and the non-striker doesn't call for the review, you're out and you walk away." Not hard to do. It's a bit like calls for running between the wickets. It was Agar's call and Haddin should have answered it. He didn't and it cost Australia Agar's wicket. Haddin then gave his wicket away attacking Swann. Someone of his experience should know better on both counts. The best thing Lehmann/Clarke can do is relax and tell their players that cricket is a game that is played to be enjoyed. I'm not suggesting they give up but they should remind themselves that they get another chance to win the urn during their home series. Sort the principles out, pull together, enjoy the game and the weather.

  • on July 19, 2013, 18:42 GMT

    I also thought Ashton Agar's run out was shameful and disgustingly selfish-astonishing that it came from one of the seniormost players like Haddin. It shows the depths of team spirit that they cannot follow the basic tenets of running between the wickets. Sadly this selfishness is seen in most teams nowadays of not respecting the partner's call. In my school days, someone who did that would be thrown out of the team after a tongue lashing...unfortunate that international cricketers set such bad examples. This is still a TEAM game!

  • on July 19, 2013, 18:35 GMT

    This is spot on, you have voiced what all of us feel. I think it is clear that Watson and Clarke together do not make a better Australian team.Although I am disappointed by Clarke's man management-not talking about Watson, but Clarke has not inspired the other players. However, since he is by far the best batsman and an excellent tactician, you have to keep him, and throw out Watson.I would have David Warner opening with Rogers.The batsmen chosen are ridiculous-why Voges is not there is beyond me. If this tour is a disaster, Simon Katich should come back-as captain. The team is crying out for strong leadership. Unfortunately, Michael Clarke won't let that happen.

  • Nmiduna on July 19, 2013, 18:26 GMT

    I think many people who have comment here, not the writer, have missed the point here..@ ravan dyson: it should be clear to you if you read the entire article properly, that kimber is frustrated that watson is not performing par with all that talent and to make things worse, is not acting as a team player plus this is the way kimber writes, he's straight and to the point, he doesn't mince words, if you have read and seen him over the years, you know he's not one who writes public articles out of personal hatred, he hates the failure and the causes of failure of Shane R Watson, NOT the him! (and i am just a cricket fan!)

  • azzaman333 on July 19, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    @214ty; If you think England has a better bowling attack than Australia, you're kidding yourself. Siddle, Harris and Pattinson each have a better average than any of England's bowlers. The difference between the two sides is batting ability, plain and simple. Clarke is the only Australian batsman to average over 36 at test level. That is pathetic. England have Cook, Trott, Pietersen, Bell and Prior all averaging between 43-50. When you look at the numbers, it's no wonder they're able to generate greater totals than Australia.

  • coldcoffee123 on July 19, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    Jarrod, stop blaming "no reviews left by the time Clarke came in" for the pathetic 128 runs. By the way, Watson score almost 25% of the teams runs. What are the other 10 players there for? Oh right... they are there to use DRS reviews when they are out.

  • on July 19, 2013, 17:43 GMT

    Knew this article was coming J-Rod as you always talk about Watto getting wrapped on the front pad whenever I listen to your shows, but got to agree totally with you. Is there a more frustrating player than Watson out there?

  • shillingsworth on July 19, 2013, 17:39 GMT

    @Robert Roemer - Watson was underperforming long before Clarke became captain. As a senior player, he's accountable for his own performance. The article hasn't missed the point. You have.

  • Deuce03 on July 19, 2013, 17:32 GMT

    @saravanan.s If only Steve Martin had played Test cricket...

  • paapam on July 19, 2013, 17:29 GMT

    All that is said by Kimber is true BUT it is upto the captain to bring out the best in his men. Let Kimber analyze the on field and off field performance of all the regulars in the Aussie team. Has Clarke, even remotely, got the best out of his men?

  • on July 19, 2013, 17:21 GMT

    Right, I agree with the content .. but unfortunately, the intent is all wrong, and if I may say so, almost personal sort of dislike. He still top-scored for the entire innings, didn't he? If we continue in same tone - despite buckets of domestic cricket runs in ENG, Chris Rogers never learns to play international cricket, Phil Hughes never learns how to NOT edge behind ...

  • gregjones on July 19, 2013, 17:14 GMT

    Absolutely 110% spot on article. I have been shouting all along that Watson is at best a No. 6 or No. 7 batsman in Test matches and if he is not ready to bowl in Tests, then he does not deserve to be in the side, however weak the Aussie side is. No doubt he is a very good one day opener and T20 specialist, hia temperament and concentration as a test opener has been poorly exposed. Superb players like Shaun Marsh, George Bailey, Ferguson, Voges have been sacrificed for out of form players like Watson, Khwaja, Hughes etc., Watson has proved to be a very selfish player by forcing upon everyone from Captain to Coach to be selected as an opener as he knows that if he cannot bowl then the only way to be in the team is as an opener!!

  • on July 19, 2013, 17:09 GMT

    Watson is being stifled by Clarke; and I am sure he isnt the only one in the team. Nobody wants to play under Clarke. Nobody *wants* to fire, excpet Clarke, because its Clarke's gig. And he's a mafi-boss type leader. Players dont want that kind of atmosphere. I think Watson is underperforming - like others in the team - because of Clarke. They don't want him as captain. I think that although there may well be technically correct points in this article, it is essentially missing the point.

  • ihaq1 on July 19, 2013, 17:04 GMT

    well he should appeal if he causes so much turmoil...the ball could have missed the stumps which he wanted tobe clear about...since it was so important that he and clarke score he should have gone automatically for the review

  • coldcoffee123 on July 19, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    By the way, It was Rogers who should be blamed for giving misleading feedback regarding LBW call, that led Watson to review. Rogers share/blame in that review was 95%.

  • on July 19, 2013, 16:48 GMT

    Wow Jarrod, Shane really ticked you off here, eh?

    And to everyone else: the statistics are simply damning. Six unsuccessful LBW appeals, when you know you get out LBW 1 out of 3 times? Sorry, but that can only point to either the ignorance of the Laws or ego. Time for Watto to drop down the order, where he is less likely to be exposed to the new ball.

  • coldcoffee123 on July 19, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    Wow. The guy top scores and gets bashed. That is exactly what is wrong with Australia. Aussies are quick to bash their best. Gilly when he dropped a catch or two, Ponting when he had a lean patch, Katich when he was the best batsman in the Aussie line up, and now Watson. Clarke single handedly destroyed Katic, Ponting and now Watson's career and confidence with "team dynamics" speeches. What do you want Watson to do? Score 700 not out and 18 wickets for 6 runs? He is not superman. How about the other 9 players (Agar is doing great) in the team stand up and be counted.

  • on July 19, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    Spot on. Nothing can be added. Nothing can be taken away. The guy needs to go.

  • Batmanindallas on July 19, 2013, 16:46 GMT

    It is elementary my dear watson :)?

  • ChandraaR on July 19, 2013, 16:45 GMT

    Watson thinks the 'R' in DRS is 'Reversal'. Every time he gets out, he tries his luck with that magical new gesture invented by the ICC that will buy him another chance to bat. So far no luck. When will he learn?

  • EnglishCricket on July 19, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    Overrated player! 43 test matches and still can't get 100 test wickets and only a mere 2 100s.

  • Jayco on July 19, 2013, 16:28 GMT

    Wow, very angry Jarrod. I like it. One thing that was telling about Watson, was after that tour game when he said he liked batting with Rogers for the first time because of all the wise old advice Rogers was giving him. Well, Watson is 32, Rogers 35...and Watson has been around a heck of a lot more international cricket than Rogers, and been Vice-Captain. So if Watson still needs some kind of Obi-Wan for his game at this stage...well, big problem.

  • armchairjohnny on July 19, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    I agree with many of the points made in the article, but I don't like the ad hominem attack on Shane's character. It's merely stating the obvious to say that he's a talented cricketer who's failed to live up to his potential -- but the more pertinent question is 'why has this happened ? '. Sadly, I fear Shane will suffer a similar fate as did cricketers like Chris Lewis (once touted to be the heir of Botham) and Irfan Pathan (who was likewise supposed to be the next Kapil Dev). I think when these types of cricketers achieve some initial success too many people; coaches, ex-cricketers, fans etc tell them what to do and try to mold them to their vision. These players then become confused about their role and try to be all things to all people, but this is impossible. It's easy for an allrounder to lose sight of what they do best, especially when they are experimented with so much like guinea pigs. Confusion makes these players lose whatever it was that made them talented to begin with.

  • saravanan.s on July 19, 2013, 16:22 GMT

    Aus Captain/Cricket team has all the expectation in world with their bowlers to WIN the match both with Bat & Ball. I can only dream of having another player likes of Hayden, Gilli, Ricky, Hussy, Steve, Martin etc.

    Get Craig McDermott as Bowling Coach, and get Mr. Cricket a Batting Coach, Identify top 10 Bowler & Batsman across country (Including current XI) and let them get Trained well under these 2 Greats for 12 months, otherwise

    I don't see current set of Aug team going to WIN a Single test match in near future. They at least got good set of bowlers who can control the opponent less than 450 even on a Flat batting track. But they are never supported by Batsman. Is this the TOP 6 Batsman Aus as a Country has?, If ACB says YES then they are Joking.

    Get Warner Back to playing XI, and ask him to open with Watson (Dump Roger). Ask both the player to go after, when the opponent bowler gets that little fear, one must cool down and ask the other one to continue going after.

  • SidLovesIndia on July 19, 2013, 16:20 GMT

    I'm sorry to say that Shane Watson has absolutely no temperament. He is ill suited to playing long innings, and if he cannot get his head around to it when he is 32 he never will. He is good for T20 where you need to stay for 10-15 overs to make an impression in a match.

  • on July 19, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    I think it is a general batsman thing, as often the first two lbws of an innings are reviewed, though surprisingly Cook (correctly) and Rogers (incorrectly) rather broke the mold this test.

    For instance, I cannot remember one single instance of Pietersen missing a flick across the line and getting pinned on the crease in front of the stumps and him not reviewing, only to be shocked that the ball (as expected by the rest of us) is hitting middle and leg half way up.

  • Barnesy4444 on July 19, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    Watson should be averaging 60 in test cricket with the amount of talent he has. He doesn't want to bowl much: done. He wants to open: done. He doesn't want to be VC: done. Rodgers' decision was a howler but he didn't review because of Watson, this isn't much different from running Rodgers out. Watson needs to make big runs.

  • Cyril_Knight on July 19, 2013, 16:16 GMT

    Nice to finally get a Cricinfo columnist openly criticising a player, his ability, his technique, his attitude, his maturity. Too often we are treated to neutral articles and bad news sandwiches. Watson is just a flash, arrogant Aussie. Australia sport is full of them, James O'Connor, Quade Cooper, and untold rugby league stars. Thank you Kimber for having the guts to tell it like it is.

    Now can the comments section allow personal attacks? If it's okay for the writers it's got to be okay for us!

  • analyseabhishek on July 19, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    This is a harsh indictment- extremely well written of course. Cricket fans in general and Aussie fans in particular are really disappointed. Watson's mis-review started a slide that might have killed the entire series.

  • on July 19, 2013, 16:05 GMT

    Hope watson can become a better team player if he executes what Jarrod had pointed out.

  • ashlatchem on July 19, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    That right there is some immaculate analysis thrown into 1 helluv'an article. Great cricket writing!

  • Narbavi on July 19, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    Why does this 'bowled in the IPL' thing getting blown out of proportion? Watson didn't bowl during the first few matches of the IPL, after a few games he started bowling two overs per game for sometime, then as the tournament approached its end he started bowling all of his 4 overs, he is bowling now in the Ashes and has done a decent job so far, give him a break!!

  • on July 19, 2013, 16:02 GMT

    I tend to agree with facts etc of this article but the tone and agenda borders or enters into hate.

  • lala_fan on July 19, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    australia is the new pakistan, get ed cowan in so that he can do what misbah is doing

  • Narbavi on July 19, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    The LBW part was spot on, but i do feel the Aussie supporters are trying to divert the entire blame on Watson, he did look good and assured long as he lasted, he desperately needs to convert his starts in to big scores especially in test cricket, but Australia still needs to persist with him, i don't see any young aussie batsman out there who is breathing down his neck, and regarding bowling in the IPL, you are being harsh, he didn't bowl in the first 5 or 6 games, even from the 7th game he bowled only two overs for a few games, only at the business end of the tournament he started bowling his full quota of 4 overs!!

  • on July 19, 2013, 16:00 GMT

    Were any of the 6 LBWs that Watson has referred overturned or has he a 100% record of wasting referrals?

  • on July 19, 2013, 16:00 GMT

    Were any of the 6 LBWs that Watson has referred overturned or has he a 100% record of wasting referrals?

  • Narbavi on July 19, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    The LBW part was spot on, but i do feel the Aussie supporters are trying to divert the entire blame on Watson, he did look good and assured long as he lasted, he desperately needs to convert his starts in to big scores especially in test cricket, but Australia still needs to persist with him, i don't see any young aussie batsman out there who is breathing down his neck, and regarding bowling in the IPL, you are being harsh, he didn't bowl in the first 5 or 6 games, even from the 7th game he bowled only two overs for a few games, only at the business end of the tournament he started bowling his full quota of 4 overs!!

  • lala_fan on July 19, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    australia is the new pakistan, get ed cowan in so that he can do what misbah is doing

  • on July 19, 2013, 16:02 GMT

    I tend to agree with facts etc of this article but the tone and agenda borders or enters into hate.

  • Narbavi on July 19, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    Why does this 'bowled in the IPL' thing getting blown out of proportion? Watson didn't bowl during the first few matches of the IPL, after a few games he started bowling two overs per game for sometime, then as the tournament approached its end he started bowling all of his 4 overs, he is bowling now in the Ashes and has done a decent job so far, give him a break!!

  • ashlatchem on July 19, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    That right there is some immaculate analysis thrown into 1 helluv'an article. Great cricket writing!

  • on July 19, 2013, 16:05 GMT

    Hope watson can become a better team player if he executes what Jarrod had pointed out.

  • analyseabhishek on July 19, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    This is a harsh indictment- extremely well written of course. Cricket fans in general and Aussie fans in particular are really disappointed. Watson's mis-review started a slide that might have killed the entire series.

  • Cyril_Knight on July 19, 2013, 16:16 GMT

    Nice to finally get a Cricinfo columnist openly criticising a player, his ability, his technique, his attitude, his maturity. Too often we are treated to neutral articles and bad news sandwiches. Watson is just a flash, arrogant Aussie. Australia sport is full of them, James O'Connor, Quade Cooper, and untold rugby league stars. Thank you Kimber for having the guts to tell it like it is.

    Now can the comments section allow personal attacks? If it's okay for the writers it's got to be okay for us!

  • Barnesy4444 on July 19, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    Watson should be averaging 60 in test cricket with the amount of talent he has. He doesn't want to bowl much: done. He wants to open: done. He doesn't want to be VC: done. Rodgers' decision was a howler but he didn't review because of Watson, this isn't much different from running Rodgers out. Watson needs to make big runs.