The Investec Ashes 2013 July 23, 2013

Watson misses Hove for London nets

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Shane Watson will remain in London to work on a technical hitch rather than join the rest of the Australia squad to play against Sussex in a three-day match starting on Friday. Chris Rogers will also stay with Watson who is trying to erase the fault that has seen him dismissed lbw three times in four innings against England.

Alongside Watson and Rogers, fast bowlers Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and the injured James Pattinson have also remained at the team's Kensington base to recover from their exertions in the first two back-to-back Tests. For Pattinson it will be the start of his long road to recovery from a back stress fracture that has ended his Investec Ashes series. He and Harris will remain in London until Thursday before joining the rest of the squad at Hove.

The decision to keep Watson in London and not furnish him with the chance for another pair of innings is largely related to his recovery from the overs bowled in the first two Tests. But it will allow him time to concentrate intensively on the technical issues that have been exposed so ruthlessly by James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan.

So far on this tour the Australians have shown a willingness to break-up their squad at times, leaving the tourists spread widely across England in the aftermath of their early Champions Trophy elimination. Pat Howard, the team performance manager, said Watson's place in the side was secure and that in his eyes the group remained united despite the horrors of Lord's.

"I'm not going to go into Shane but he and I had a lovely chat for an hour last night," Howard said. "The team is galvanised. I appreciate outside the tent, we played poorly, and we can't buck away from that. The fact that we batted for 50 overs meant that some young bowlers had to go out again.

"When you've got young bowlers backing up from Test to Test and turning around, that has flow on effects beyond not scoring runs. But in terms of the team, I don't think administrators sitting in the change rooms is a great thing but when you lose you have got to be part of it, and they are together, they're good."

David Warner, who was sent to play for Australia A after his disciplinary issues, will eventually join the squad in Sussex. He will take part in one further fixture for Australia A in South Africa before flying back to England on Sunday.

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

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  • Chris_Howard on July 24, 2013, 0:39 GMT

    Not optimistic for Watto. This problem has clearly been evident since 2009 when he first started opening. Back then he was getting out lbw or bowled most of the time. He went off to work with Greg Chappell on it but all that's happened is he's getting out lbw even more.

    The BEST thing that can be done for Watto's batting is to take the pressure off. Bat him down at #6 as an all rounder. He's not a Test opener, and never has been (despite some marginal success). Trying to be what he's not is just stressing him and making it harder. I know it's what he wants, but as we grow older we start to accept there's some things, as much as we'd try, that we just aren't good at. Watto's got to accept he's not an opener, and so do all those people out there telling him he is.

  • hycIass on July 24, 2013, 0:32 GMT

    Hopefully Watson and Rogers fix the issues they are having, we need them to fire. I thought Khawaja showed some ticker surviving many more balls spitting out of the rough than I expected him to at Lords -- certainly more grit against Swann in tough conditions for a leftie than the experienced Rogers who no one would accuse of not having ticker. I was also impressed with his perseverance in the Jo'burg run chase when both openers were out cheaply and he plugged away with Ponting to lay the platform for our victory. On what performances are you basing this "no ticker" stuff? We may have our future number 3 in Khawaja. And for those folks thinking that Rogers and Watson won't fire might be surprised, these 2 in my opinion are our best openers.

  • Beertjie on July 28, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    Watson will need more than a week to sort out his batting. Pick him at #4 in place of Hughes and have one of Hughes/Warner open. Imo all 3 (+Cowan and Rogers) should be axed for Ashes II if they don't take their chances. In that event a better line-up would be Doolan, Khawaja, Burns, Clarke, Smith, Paine, Faulkner, Pattinson, Cummins, Bird, Fawad Ahmed. That lot on Aussie tracks should be persisted with for two tests before some tinkering for the rest of the series becomes necessary.

  • farkin on July 28, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    "Watson misses Hove for London nets" if he is that bad then drop him sport because only low grade matches will he be able to get his form back

  • Reececonrad on July 25, 2013, 13:20 GMT

    Ive heard a lot of people calling for Watson to be dropped, which is quite fair in all honesty because he hasn't been performing, which is a great mystery given how effortless he makes bating seem at times, but he is forever playing in front of his front pad and planting his foot down the track. The problem is there is no one putting up their hand to replace him. I've read fellow cricinfo users talk about Marsh, Forrest, Bailey, Voges, Hussey and Ferguson coming in to replace him and others in the squad, apart from Voges none of them have shown any form in shield cricket this year, most of them haven't played for 2-3 months. Katich has been thrown up a lot in the comments, but it would be difficult, not to mention very awkward to throw him back into a squad with Michael Clarke. People have to accept there is no quick and easy fix to their problems and that it will be a few rough months/years ahead of them, they just have to show faith in an inexperienced side as they did with Border.

  • Chris_P on July 25, 2013, 12:39 GMT

    @H_Z_O. Agree with the talk about Warner at 6 , but really, I have no idea what the selectors are thinking so nothing they do will surprise me. Not sure if this match will show up much, batting wise, perhaps it may give Cowan to rediscover the reason he was initially selected. It doesn't concern me which quick bowler they bring in as I rate them all, & Lyon has another opportunity albeit will have Wade keeping to him.

  • coldcoffee123 on July 25, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    @niroshw, If you think Test average of 35 is no good and Shane must be removed, then you obviously have not seen the Aussie Shield averages.

  • on July 25, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    It's more Watson's attitude than a technical hitch. Finding the middle of his bat is not a problem, because of the boundaries that he's struck. He wants to dominate the new-ball bowlers and that's all well and good if you have the temperament of a Hayden, Sehwag or Gayle. I use those three as a example because despite their attacking nature, they have scored triple-centuries. They have the capacity to go big, once they play themselves in, Watson's got a bad habit of switching-off and playing across the line of a accurate-length ball on the stumps or being a little slow in defence, with the ball's getting him pad-first. He's your typical Aussie-type batsman, whose full of confidence and likes coming hard at the ball, but he just needs to be more weary of his shot-selection and concentration-powers when the bowler is getting the better of him. There's no doubting his ability, but if he's serious about opening in Test Matches, then he needs to play each ball on it's merits.

  • H_Z_O on July 25, 2013, 9:00 GMT

    @mondotv oh don't get me wrong, from what I saw of him Paine's got a very sound technique, especially defensively as you say, and I agree he looked very classical. I would say Wade's a better batsman, but I didn't mean to imply Paine can't bat. He's probably more of a guy to shepherd the tail (and since pretty much all your bowlers bat, that's more than enough) than to win a match off his own bat, but he looked a vastly superior gloveman to Wade, and I'd argue he looked better than Haddin with the gloves too.

    @Chris_P well if Paine can come through with the gloves, Wade looks to be a good shout as a specialist batsman. It's not like you're stacked with quality middle order players. I don't understand this idea of Warner at 6. It might have made sense back in the old days when the top 6 were solid and Gilly came out to blast away but right now Australia are much more likely to be 50-4 than 500-4.

    If he comes back, it surely has to be to partner Rogers at the top of the order.

  • niroshw on July 25, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    How long will it be for us to realize that investment in Watson is a myth..... 43 test at Avg of 34.94. Time to move.... Quicker the better. Invest time and energy for a younger player who understands team game.

  • Chris_Howard on July 24, 2013, 0:39 GMT

    Not optimistic for Watto. This problem has clearly been evident since 2009 when he first started opening. Back then he was getting out lbw or bowled most of the time. He went off to work with Greg Chappell on it but all that's happened is he's getting out lbw even more.

    The BEST thing that can be done for Watto's batting is to take the pressure off. Bat him down at #6 as an all rounder. He's not a Test opener, and never has been (despite some marginal success). Trying to be what he's not is just stressing him and making it harder. I know it's what he wants, but as we grow older we start to accept there's some things, as much as we'd try, that we just aren't good at. Watto's got to accept he's not an opener, and so do all those people out there telling him he is.

  • hycIass on July 24, 2013, 0:32 GMT

    Hopefully Watson and Rogers fix the issues they are having, we need them to fire. I thought Khawaja showed some ticker surviving many more balls spitting out of the rough than I expected him to at Lords -- certainly more grit against Swann in tough conditions for a leftie than the experienced Rogers who no one would accuse of not having ticker. I was also impressed with his perseverance in the Jo'burg run chase when both openers were out cheaply and he plugged away with Ponting to lay the platform for our victory. On what performances are you basing this "no ticker" stuff? We may have our future number 3 in Khawaja. And for those folks thinking that Rogers and Watson won't fire might be surprised, these 2 in my opinion are our best openers.

  • Beertjie on July 28, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    Watson will need more than a week to sort out his batting. Pick him at #4 in place of Hughes and have one of Hughes/Warner open. Imo all 3 (+Cowan and Rogers) should be axed for Ashes II if they don't take their chances. In that event a better line-up would be Doolan, Khawaja, Burns, Clarke, Smith, Paine, Faulkner, Pattinson, Cummins, Bird, Fawad Ahmed. That lot on Aussie tracks should be persisted with for two tests before some tinkering for the rest of the series becomes necessary.

  • farkin on July 28, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    "Watson misses Hove for London nets" if he is that bad then drop him sport because only low grade matches will he be able to get his form back

  • Reececonrad on July 25, 2013, 13:20 GMT

    Ive heard a lot of people calling for Watson to be dropped, which is quite fair in all honesty because he hasn't been performing, which is a great mystery given how effortless he makes bating seem at times, but he is forever playing in front of his front pad and planting his foot down the track. The problem is there is no one putting up their hand to replace him. I've read fellow cricinfo users talk about Marsh, Forrest, Bailey, Voges, Hussey and Ferguson coming in to replace him and others in the squad, apart from Voges none of them have shown any form in shield cricket this year, most of them haven't played for 2-3 months. Katich has been thrown up a lot in the comments, but it would be difficult, not to mention very awkward to throw him back into a squad with Michael Clarke. People have to accept there is no quick and easy fix to their problems and that it will be a few rough months/years ahead of them, they just have to show faith in an inexperienced side as they did with Border.

  • Chris_P on July 25, 2013, 12:39 GMT

    @H_Z_O. Agree with the talk about Warner at 6 , but really, I have no idea what the selectors are thinking so nothing they do will surprise me. Not sure if this match will show up much, batting wise, perhaps it may give Cowan to rediscover the reason he was initially selected. It doesn't concern me which quick bowler they bring in as I rate them all, & Lyon has another opportunity albeit will have Wade keeping to him.

  • coldcoffee123 on July 25, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    @niroshw, If you think Test average of 35 is no good and Shane must be removed, then you obviously have not seen the Aussie Shield averages.

  • on July 25, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    It's more Watson's attitude than a technical hitch. Finding the middle of his bat is not a problem, because of the boundaries that he's struck. He wants to dominate the new-ball bowlers and that's all well and good if you have the temperament of a Hayden, Sehwag or Gayle. I use those three as a example because despite their attacking nature, they have scored triple-centuries. They have the capacity to go big, once they play themselves in, Watson's got a bad habit of switching-off and playing across the line of a accurate-length ball on the stumps or being a little slow in defence, with the ball's getting him pad-first. He's your typical Aussie-type batsman, whose full of confidence and likes coming hard at the ball, but he just needs to be more weary of his shot-selection and concentration-powers when the bowler is getting the better of him. There's no doubting his ability, but if he's serious about opening in Test Matches, then he needs to play each ball on it's merits.

  • H_Z_O on July 25, 2013, 9:00 GMT

    @mondotv oh don't get me wrong, from what I saw of him Paine's got a very sound technique, especially defensively as you say, and I agree he looked very classical. I would say Wade's a better batsman, but I didn't mean to imply Paine can't bat. He's probably more of a guy to shepherd the tail (and since pretty much all your bowlers bat, that's more than enough) than to win a match off his own bat, but he looked a vastly superior gloveman to Wade, and I'd argue he looked better than Haddin with the gloves too.

    @Chris_P well if Paine can come through with the gloves, Wade looks to be a good shout as a specialist batsman. It's not like you're stacked with quality middle order players. I don't understand this idea of Warner at 6. It might have made sense back in the old days when the top 6 were solid and Gilly came out to blast away but right now Australia are much more likely to be 50-4 than 500-4.

    If he comes back, it surely has to be to partner Rogers at the top of the order.

  • niroshw on July 25, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    How long will it be for us to realize that investment in Watson is a myth..... 43 test at Avg of 34.94. Time to move.... Quicker the better. Invest time and energy for a younger player who understands team game.

  • on July 25, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    What is baffling that Australian Cricketers who looking world beaters when they started are all in the realms of mediocrity. Player like Shaun Marsh who looks world class when he is not part of Australian set up, looks mediocre in Aussie colors.

    Promising players who emerged under Ricky Ponting's leadership, like Ferguson, Paine, White could not improve their game for various reasons. Their records became relatively worst after a while. Peter Forrest looked rock solid and started well his ODI career, but just look at his last season? Beyond mediocre.

    Some player surely will not be able to cope the pressure of high level Cricket, but is there a pattern emerging with Australian Cricket?

  • Chris_P on July 25, 2013, 3:09 GMT

    @H_Z_O . Totally agree that Paine is the best man for the job, but right now, the Aussie team is devoid of senior experienced players, that is needed, short term, given Haddin fits that mould, (and has come off our last domestic season as one of our leading batsman). I can't see Haddin lasting too long. What worries me about Wade was, during the Sri Lankan series, he owned up he had a lot of work to do with the gloves & was taking intensive lessons to improve. The result in India was embarrassing, very much so. I have followed Prior's career & am well aware of his early struggles, but even back then, he had the basics, Wade, I am afraid does not. He really should toss them away, like Hughes did early in his career (actually, Hughes was gloving them better than Wade when he took over the keeping duties when Wade bowled in Hobart!).

  • mondotv on July 25, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    @ H_Z_O Can't agree on Wade being a much better batsman than Paine. Paine has a much better defensive technique and is classical looking right hand bat while Wade is yet another left handed power hitter with questionable technique outside off. Wade probably does just shade Paine in the batting but is miles behind as a keeper. For test match cricket I'd plump for Paine every time.

  • D-Ascendant on July 25, 2013, 2:09 GMT

    Drop Clarke and bring back Katto.

    Entice Hussey to come out of retirement for 8 Ashes Tests.

    Problems solved.

  • CricketChat on July 24, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    Chris Rogers just didn't look he belongs at this level. Aus should include Warner for next test. Watson should bat lower down the order. He is playing too many shorts early in innings which contributed to his downfall. Phil Jaques and Warner should open followed by Clarke, Watson and Khawaja.

  • willsrustynuts on July 24, 2013, 20:55 GMT

    Great prep for a test match in England.... fly to Zimb then to SA before heading back to the UK... nice one!

  • H_Z_O on July 24, 2013, 20:15 GMT

    @Chris_P from what I've seen of him, Wade's a better batsman than Paine or even Haddin, but I've also seen some of the horrendous wicketkeeping you mentioned.

    To be fair, Prior's not our best gloveman either. And when he first started, he was a fairly ordinary keeper, at best. Even now he's probably, at best, our third best (if we are talking purely about the gloves; Foster and Read are both better).

    But given your team's strength is clearly in the bowling department, having a better keeper who can do a job with the bat (like Paine, from what I saw of him) might be the best way to go, long-term.

    Alternatively, I guess you can just hope Wade's career follows the same trajectory as Prior's. Prior was actually dropped for his poor glove work in the early days. He went away, worked on it, and now we have a keeper who's perfectly capable with the gloves (albeit his technique isn't the best) but who can bat as well as anyone.

    Maybe Wade needs to do the same.

  • Chris_P on July 24, 2013, 16:08 GMT

    @H_Z_O. Tim Paine had a serious finger injury 2 seasons back & missed nearly a season's worth of matches over 2 seasons. He came back at the start of last season & put together a pretty sound season, his keeping & batting in the Shield final was top quality, top scoring in Tasmania's 2nd innings with 87 as he helped secure the Shield in holding out Queensland in a 5 day match (Faulkner scored 89 with him). As he wasn't about when Haddin had to return home to care for his daughte, Wade was drafted. Last season, Paine scored 359 @ 35.9, an honest player, so probably a solid #7. Wade's inclusion, (and resting Haddin) would be more for his batting which I actually rate. So, injury was what stopped Paine when he was ready to step up.

  • LeggieLefty on July 24, 2013, 15:18 GMT

    @Chris_Howard, I totally agree. Watson's not an opener, never has been and never will be. Australia really needs him at 6. That way he can also contribute with the ball. I've always seen him as a bowling allrounder anyway.

    And Clarke has got to stop protecting his averages and reputation and move up to 3, especially since he's reluctant to trust Khawaja. Hughes will never be a Test batsman. And Steve Smith needs to work out what he is.

    In fact, the entire lot from 1 through 7 don't know what they are. Why are there so many openers playing together and taking up the middle order?

    And bringing Warner back is not going to help. I don't see the talent there.

    And when I hear that *he* may bat at 6 - I'm done believing the Aussies have any idea what the hell they're doing.

    All that's left is to open with Steve Smith and Ashton Agar!

  • H_Z_O on July 24, 2013, 15:06 GMT

    @Mitty2 and @Chris_P Wade's just been given the gloves against Sussex. Doesn't necessarily mean he'll get the gloves at Old Trafford, but it does suggest they are considering him playing (either as a batsman or the gloveman).

    Haddin had a poor match with the gloves at Lord's, but he did well enough at Trent Bridge. Of course there's nothing, afaik, stopping you giving Wade the gloves at the start of the Test, having Haddin play as a specialist batsman and then, if he doesn't do well, having Haddin take the gloves from Wade mid-way through.

    Whatever happened to Tim Paine? Looked a very sound keeper, decent enough with the bat. Injury or loss of form?

  • Chris_P on July 24, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    @Al Willmott. Jaques quit Australian cricket a number of years ago & is currently living in England happy & contented playing for Yorkshire. In other words, he has retired from Australian cricket. @HansonKoch. Maddinson is not ready for higher honours, not by a long way, & I am a true blue NSW fan who watches a lot of Shield games. @H_Z_O. I disagree with Mitty2 as Wade the gloveman probably doesn't even rate amongst the best 10 in Australia. We saw how bad he was against SA, how much worse he performed agianst Sri Lanka. He was a positively abysmal in India, even costing Lyon a hat-trick with an awful attempt of a leg side stumping. As a batsman I actually rate him, but he would have to be (IMHO) the worst test gloveman in the past 30 years of watching test cricket, and by some margin too.

  • on July 24, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    Still baffled why they called up Chris Rogers and not Phil Jaques.

  • Edwards_Anderson on July 24, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    @Hyclass don't think anyone is writing off Rogers and Watson yet, also feel they are due for big ones as well and i would have played them in this warm up. Khawaja also impressed me as well, very gritty knock in lords and would have won ove a few of his critics. Who do you think we will bring in for Pattinson, i am leaning towaqrds Bird, he deserves a go, and his bowling suits english conditions.

  • HansonKoch on July 24, 2013, 11:03 GMT

    Nic Maddison to replace Watson.

  • Mitty2 on July 24, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    @HZO, this is one of the few occasions that I have to disagree with you. If ever there was a player that I put near the category of Watson and Starc... it's Wade. It's easy to make scapegoats I know, but he most definitely lost us the Adelaide test match against SA and he is the only reason that Nathon Lyon isn't bowling right now with an average of below 30. In the Adelaide test he missed a stumping off Smith in his 30's when he ended up making 122, he also dropped Du Plessis twice in the last innings. I can remember 10 definite chances off Wade's keeping off Lyon that he fluffed up even before the Indian series, and we all know how Wade's Indian series went (3 dropped catches off Lyon in a chase of 80...). In fact, there's only one thing i've ever agreed with FrontFootLunge on and that's the Wade issue. There is no doubt that Wade isn't even in the best three keepers in the country, let alone Haddin.

    Khawaja has opened, but for the sake of continuity he has to stay at three

  • reddawn1975 on July 24, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    Send Rogers home and get Shaun Marsh over there and get Mitch Johnson on a plane ASAP he should have been on the tour anyway and george baily

  • H_Z_O on July 24, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    @Ozcricketwriter I could see that. Agar can bat, Watson can bowl (and has a bunny in Cook), so two spinners and three seamers, on a pitch that's likely to spin, may be the way to go. England's plan isn't too dissimilar; Bresnan is in the side as much for his batting as his bowling (like Agar), while Root is in the side primarily for batting, but offers a genuine option with the ball (like Watson).

    Smith's a useful shock option, but as we saw at Lord's when Clarke pulled the quick men off and bowled Smith and Agar in tandem, he's still not a genuine Test spinner just yet. A nice "ace in the hole" to have, though, while Agar and Lyon would be the frontline spinners. Still think Agar's got a way to go as a spinner, but he's generally tidy and Lyon, I think, is a genuine wicket-taker. People keep calling him a "holding" bowler, but I think he's better than that. Hauritz was a "holder", Lyon is far better.

    Weakens the batting a bit, but how much weaker can it get? ;)

  • H_Z_O on July 24, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    @Mitty2 only difference I'd make is give Wade a go with the gloves at Hove. Haddin missing that catch off Root probably cost you your best chance of getting back into the match (bowl us out cheaply).

    I know Wade's had his issues keeping to spin (especially in India) but even if there is spin (and there almost certainly will be), the pitches aren't as slow and low. Prior had similar issues on his first few tours to the subcontinent, but he's improved.

    Haddin being VC complicates things, obviously, but even if he has to play, he could play as a batsman (everyone shuffles one up the order, Khawaja opening, Hughes 3 etc, with Haddin at 6 and Wade 7). I said before the series, to howls of derision by a lot of Aussie fans, that I rate Khawaja. Last time we toured he looked a compact and technically sound batsman. You don't have many of them, and he could be just the guy to blunt the new ball.

    You won't do that, of course, Watto will play, and if someone makes way for Wade it won't be him.

  • king78787 on July 24, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    His only technical fault is poor shot selection. He plays across the line before he is set which leads to a LOT of LBW's. AS a England fan I never get worried when Watto makes a start as I know he'll always give it away.

  • thebrotherswaugh on July 24, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    Watson has always had the natural ability. However, it's a little late in his career to work on a technical issue that has plagued him for over 3 years! What has the team management been doing for the last 3 years? I'm sure Justin Langer went through this process with him time and time again, all to no avail. Watto, I hope you prove me and all of your critics (of which I am one of the biggest) wrong, but I just can't see it happening. He has been brought up on a steady diet of hype over substance, way too much remuneration for actual results, and being judged on his ability with the bat in the T20 & ODI formats and expecting that to translate back into the much tougher arena of Test match cricket. Good luck with that Watto, I reckon you're going to need it. Two centuries from 78 (0r 79) innings is nowhere near world-class and nowhere near good enough!

  • ghostcall on July 24, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    @joking44 well said mate

    "Put him in the nets without any pads and he'll soon learn how to avoid lbw dismissals"

  • BenGundry on July 24, 2013, 5:48 GMT

    So why is Rogers also staying behind? He's not recovering from bowling, is he also getting special net sessions or are they trying different opener options against Sussex. Let's face it, at his age he doesn't have time to get comfortable in the position, he either performs or is replaced by someone else. Both Cowan and Warner could come in to open with Watson (if we assume his position is safe for one more test at least).

  • on July 24, 2013, 5:03 GMT

    he and I had a lovely chat for an hour last night............... Now can you imagine Sir Alex and say Rooney having a lovely chat after repeated failures ?

    thigh slapping stuff for English ears I am sure

  • Clyde on July 24, 2013, 4:58 GMT

    Australia also needs to consider that a bowler who breaks down, like Pattinson, is not a good bowler who broke down. He is simply not a very good bowler. It is part of a bowler's abilities not to break down, and this means playing within himself, à la Federer, or, as I particularly remember, Statham. Playing within oneself also allows long spells, which also I recall, even though overs were eight balls in those days. In fact, by the way, six-ball overs may have made it harder for bowlers, making the task more stop-go.

  • Ozcricketwriter on July 24, 2013, 4:42 GMT

    The word on the grapevine is that Lyon and Wade will play in the 3rd test, at the expense of Pattinson and Hughes. Trent Copeland is joining the squad in place of Pattinson. I am not sure that this is true though but that is what people are saying. I understand that Wade will be keeping wicket while Haddin will be playing as a specialist batsman, but that is not confirmed either.

  • joking44 on July 24, 2013, 3:54 GMT

    Put him in the nets without any pads and he'll soon learn how to avoid lbw dismissals.

  • funkybluesman on July 24, 2013, 3:39 GMT

    Re: ShankarAnand - Follow on's aren't enforced all that often these days, and usually when they are it's because they rolled the team quickly in the first innings so the bowlers are still pretty fresh. So it's a bit different.

    Watson's big issue is that the technical problem he has is at the core of his technique, not just a little thing he does sometimes that he needs to address. It gives him great power driving through the offside, but leaves him vulnerable to the LBW when the ball dips back in. He plants his front foot well down the pitch and then swings the bat through. If the ball moves it's too late as his front foot is already fixed in place. To play the swinging ball you really want your foot to hit the ground almost simultaneous with the bat hitting the ball.

  • pulkit10 on July 24, 2013, 3:35 GMT

    Warner should come in. Simple reason: he'll average exactly what any other batsman is averaging right now but if he does work, he'll do wonders and I'm not basing this on any magical cliche - it's just the way he is. Either he'll really work or he'll really suck and that won't be too different from the entire line up right now.

    The only man I can think of that he'll replace would be Hughes but since Hughes battled hard for a 80 in the first test, it seems a little harsh to boot him out. Rogers, Watson, Khawaja and Smith are all okay and Clarke obviously selects himself which only leaves Hughes...

    And Watson isn't 18 anymore. He'll have to sort the dam problem out himself or say goodbye to the team. You can't keep living off the promise of potential - hold up one end, work hard and make an innings count. Don't just drive on the front foot to a fuller ball if you know it'll get you out. Put a price on your wicket.

  • farkin on July 24, 2013, 3:07 GMT

    the only thing more shameful then the Australian batting line-up is the people keeping this lot of batsmen in the batting line-up

  • Mitty2 on July 24, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    Well, unfortunately it looks like Watson will play and it will be a bowl off between Bird and Starc, with them in comparison having such a discrepancy in records that it is unfathomable that the one with the worst would be considered above the one with the better. For all purposes, I think that a sustainable team that should be persisted with is one is Cowan, Rogers, Khawaja, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, SOK (in reality, Lyon), Siddle, Harris (when injured, Sayers), Bird. The problems of the team in being the lack of right/left handed partnerships and batting experience, and maybe a lack of pace in the attack - although that's needed against Eng, but both Bird and Siddle can bowl long spells.

    I've always stated my dislike of Watson and there literally are no reasons why he should be in the team, and thankfully, if he fails in this test, we'll never see him in tests again. To top off his playing inadequacies, he is a divisive figure - "cancer" lol - and kills any team unity.

  • Jeremy303 on July 24, 2013, 2:03 GMT

    If Warner learnt how to keep wicket, then we would have an exciting prospect on our hands! lol

  • on July 24, 2013, 0:26 GMT

    It is sad to see the Aussies struggle to put out a strong batting line up. People may disagree but a lot of the blame should be lain on the selectors during Andrew Hilditch's regime. The rotation policies at the time just didnt make sense at all. Eventually no one was sure who was deserving to be in the side or not. There was no continuity and the team was a continuous hotch-potch. Phil Hughes was hailed as a great talent when he came in first time so its sad to see him struggle - his footwork at the moment is like a cat on a hot tin roof - total lack of confidence. Michael Clarke's various difference of opinions with Katich and other senior players didnt help I guess. What Australia need and the similarity of the situation is hauntingly similar - is a Bob Simpson (maybe Lehman's the man) and a Alan Border type to be managing the team. Not sure Clarkes the Border type.... What Australia need is to identify their best 11 and stick to them over 2 series like they did in 1985/6.

  • landl47 on July 23, 2013, 23:54 GMT

    The LBW issue is just a symptom- the way the problem presents itself. His problem is he doesn't have any patience or application. He sticks his front foot down the wicket and tries to hit the ball hard. He usually succeeds a few times and everyone exclaims what a talented player he is. Then he gets one which moves a little- it moves in and he's LBW or it moves away and he's caught behind the wicket. Everyone wonders why such a talented player gets start after start but almost never goes on to a big score.

    Test cricket needs thought. It needs work. It needs judgement, to know when to attack and when to rein yourself in. It needs unselfishness. Watson doesn't have any of those qualities. If he makes a technical change to make him less likely to be LBW, he'll only get out bowled or caught behind more often.

    He's 32. The time to learn the mental side of the game was 10 years ago.

  • MinusZero on July 23, 2013, 23:42 GMT

    Its a good idea. Tour matches are next to worthless when you are beating up on a lower grade team. There was lots of hype about Watson after he beat up on a division 2 county side before the first test, against quality bowlers his flaws show. Still, I hope he continues to flounder. He is not a test batsman.

  • RodStark on July 23, 2013, 22:15 GMT

    Why on earth would Watson not play at Hove? In the unlikely event he succeeds, then he gets valuable time in the middle. If not, then he could just as well work on his problems in the nets there after he gets out for 20 (where I assume the coaches would be available to help).

  • blink182alex on July 23, 2013, 22:13 GMT

    Don't think it's a bad thing Watto working on his technique in this break, but i would of played Rogers in the tour match unless he has an injury we don't know about. Our batters are all short of runs so making Rogers sit out at Sussex is a strange one for me.

    Hopefully they can bounce back and at least bring a sense of respectability back in our defeat this series that may help us at least in the returning series in a few months.

  • wibblewibble on July 23, 2013, 22:10 GMT

    What odds he overcompensates and starts getting out fiddling outside off again?

  • Beertjie on July 23, 2013, 20:54 GMT

    Warner at #6 for Smith won't work. He's unlikely to counter Swann any more effectively than he could playing spinnners in the Caribbean. However, there's no one else so what the heck! I agree with you @ MartinC on (July 23, 2013, 19:17 GMT) that there should be very people in the current Aussie team whose place is not in question, but just continue to pick from the limited batsmen in the squad. Then whoever shows that they just can't cut it should be culled for the home series. After all, there are players who can put up their hands in the earlier part of the season. A different team would then get a shot and the process continue. If you are given a few tests and can't cut it, someone different deserves that chance. This applies perfectly to Cowan who has been given sufficient opportunities. Rogers should have played earlier, but if he can't make it, he must go. I won't mention names in advance of the season, but those who put up their hands last season just need to keep scoring runs.

  • H_Z_O on July 23, 2013, 20:41 GMT

    @Ahsan Rafiq Err, I don't know what Watson you've been watching, but if you think Shane's issues are on the back foot you're sadly mistaken. His issues have not been the short ball at all, they've been the full straight one rapping him on the pad as he walks at the bowler and plays across the line.

    If anything, playing off the back foot would probably be the best way to resolve the issue. He'll never hang back as much as Root (who's also had similar issues against the full ball aimed at the stumps) but if he stops planting that big front foot across the stumps, that'll go a long way to alleviating the issue.

    He should probably be looking to plant his foot more on middle than off, and bring the bat down on the line of off instead of playing towards mid-wicket. Pietersen is another big lunger, but his bat comes down straighter and that's a big difference.

  • on July 23, 2013, 20:21 GMT

    Watson definatley needs work hard and make some adjustments. he is getting lbw too many times. im sure he will be back at his best once he fix this issue.

  • Batmanindallas on July 23, 2013, 20:17 GMT

    So we have chastised warner coming to join the squad..awesome

  • Stubbzie on July 23, 2013, 19:57 GMT

    Dave Warner is never a test player, no matter what number he bats... and as for Watson being assured of his place, I can only say as an English cricket fan that is music to my ears!!! Australia should wind their neck in and recall Katich to the squad if they want any chance of winning a test this series. He just scored a double ton and is averaging over 80 in the county league.

  • 2MikeGattings on July 23, 2013, 19:51 GMT

    It was enough with Dennis Lillee's aluminium bat, but now the whole team is galvanized.

  • ShankarAnand on July 23, 2013, 19:32 GMT

    What does Howard mean when he says we batted for only 50 overs and the bowlers had to go out again? Will Australia never enforce a follow on anymore (in years to come - not now obviously)? That's a bad excuse.

  • on July 23, 2013, 19:24 GMT

    SIMPLE TECHNICAL SOLUTION: Watson only gets out as soon as he plays of back foot. Yes back foot play gives him a few boundaries too but it always proves to be his mode of dismissal. Watson is too good a player of the front foot that he can score quickly enough even if he does without all back foot shots. So that is exactly what he needs to do. Play shortish deliveries of front foot & leave/miss shortish deliveries on length & do not attempt any aggressive back foot shot at all even against spinners. His front foot pull & slog sweep is much more rewarding & safe than his back foot cut & pull.

  • MartinC on July 23, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    So he had "a lovely chat" - marvelous, that should sort things out!

    Swriously I think he should have played in the tour game - time in the middle is worth more than any amount of time in the nets in my opinion. Finally why on earth is his place in the team not in question? There should be very people in the current Aussie team whose place is not in question!

  • Thefakebook on July 23, 2013, 19:12 GMT

    Davo will likely feature at no.6 in the next game and Lyon may return too.Warner is flawed and at times an enigma but no one can deny his natural ability to take a game away from oppositions in matter of overs.So at 6 or even 7 he can do just so.His new role is of just that an impact player!

  • Thefakebook on July 23, 2013, 19:12 GMT

    Davo will likely feature at no.6 in the next game and Lyon may return too.Warner is flawed and at times an enigma but no one can deny his natural ability to take a game away from oppositions in matter of overs.So at 6 or even 7 he can do just so.His new role is of just that an impact player!

  • MartinC on July 23, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    So he had "a lovely chat" - marvelous, that should sort things out!

    Swriously I think he should have played in the tour game - time in the middle is worth more than any amount of time in the nets in my opinion. Finally why on earth is his place in the team not in question? There should be very people in the current Aussie team whose place is not in question!

  • on July 23, 2013, 19:24 GMT

    SIMPLE TECHNICAL SOLUTION: Watson only gets out as soon as he plays of back foot. Yes back foot play gives him a few boundaries too but it always proves to be his mode of dismissal. Watson is too good a player of the front foot that he can score quickly enough even if he does without all back foot shots. So that is exactly what he needs to do. Play shortish deliveries of front foot & leave/miss shortish deliveries on length & do not attempt any aggressive back foot shot at all even against spinners. His front foot pull & slog sweep is much more rewarding & safe than his back foot cut & pull.

  • ShankarAnand on July 23, 2013, 19:32 GMT

    What does Howard mean when he says we batted for only 50 overs and the bowlers had to go out again? Will Australia never enforce a follow on anymore (in years to come - not now obviously)? That's a bad excuse.

  • 2MikeGattings on July 23, 2013, 19:51 GMT

    It was enough with Dennis Lillee's aluminium bat, but now the whole team is galvanized.

  • Stubbzie on July 23, 2013, 19:57 GMT

    Dave Warner is never a test player, no matter what number he bats... and as for Watson being assured of his place, I can only say as an English cricket fan that is music to my ears!!! Australia should wind their neck in and recall Katich to the squad if they want any chance of winning a test this series. He just scored a double ton and is averaging over 80 in the county league.

  • Batmanindallas on July 23, 2013, 20:17 GMT

    So we have chastised warner coming to join the squad..awesome

  • on July 23, 2013, 20:21 GMT

    Watson definatley needs work hard and make some adjustments. he is getting lbw too many times. im sure he will be back at his best once he fix this issue.

  • H_Z_O on July 23, 2013, 20:41 GMT

    @Ahsan Rafiq Err, I don't know what Watson you've been watching, but if you think Shane's issues are on the back foot you're sadly mistaken. His issues have not been the short ball at all, they've been the full straight one rapping him on the pad as he walks at the bowler and plays across the line.

    If anything, playing off the back foot would probably be the best way to resolve the issue. He'll never hang back as much as Root (who's also had similar issues against the full ball aimed at the stumps) but if he stops planting that big front foot across the stumps, that'll go a long way to alleviating the issue.

    He should probably be looking to plant his foot more on middle than off, and bring the bat down on the line of off instead of playing towards mid-wicket. Pietersen is another big lunger, but his bat comes down straighter and that's a big difference.

  • Beertjie on July 23, 2013, 20:54 GMT

    Warner at #6 for Smith won't work. He's unlikely to counter Swann any more effectively than he could playing spinnners in the Caribbean. However, there's no one else so what the heck! I agree with you @ MartinC on (July 23, 2013, 19:17 GMT) that there should be very people in the current Aussie team whose place is not in question, but just continue to pick from the limited batsmen in the squad. Then whoever shows that they just can't cut it should be culled for the home series. After all, there are players who can put up their hands in the earlier part of the season. A different team would then get a shot and the process continue. If you are given a few tests and can't cut it, someone different deserves that chance. This applies perfectly to Cowan who has been given sufficient opportunities. Rogers should have played earlier, but if he can't make it, he must go. I won't mention names in advance of the season, but those who put up their hands last season just need to keep scoring runs.