England v Australia, 1st Investec Test, Cardiff, 4th day July 11, 2015

Watson's place under threat for Lord's

Australia's selectors will be compelled to consider the position of Shane Watson and are also likely to have to draft in Peter Siddle to replace Mitchell Starc for the Lord's Test, though it is now unlikely that the left-arm new ball bowler will have to be sent home for treatment to an ankle injury.

The captain Michael Clarke, who said his side needed to treat their unexpected 169-run hiding at English hands in the same manner they did a loss to New Zealand midway through their ultimately successful World Cup campaign, admitted that Watson would be under the selection spotlight after he fell twice lbw for scores of 30 and 19, a worryingly repetitive set of results for the allrounder.

There was an element of sad theatre about Watson's dismissal lbw to Mark Wood, followed by a referral made largely because he was the last remaining specialist batsman at the crease. To widespread cheers around the ground he appealed against Kumar Dharmasena's decision, only to be sent on his way by the ball-tracker. Watson looked wistful as he wandered off the ground, and it is debatable whether he can keep his place for Lord's when his claims are lined up against those of the younger Mitchell Marsh.

"He's been a very important senior player and all-round player," Clarke said of Watson's past contributions to the side. "Someone who can bat and bowl is always a great weapon to have in your team. Watto, like the rest of us, I'm sure the selectors will sit down and talk about each individual player as they do after every game. We obviously didn't perform anywhere near as well as we want to or need to, to have success here.

"Shane is an extremely hard worker, he wants to have success like the rest of it. I think it's the hardest part of this game - the longer you play the more ups and downs you go through. Through the good times you've got to try and ride that wave for as long as possible because you know the longer you player there's the other side as well.

"When things aren't going to plan you've got to stick to your processes, work hard, cop a few smacks on the chin and keep backing your own ability. I think that's exactly what Watto is doing. He's been a big part of the Australian cricket team in all three formats and has had a lot of success as well in all three formats."

Starc needed painkillers to get through the match with the ball after suffering an ankle problem on the first day, and Clarke said the fact he had been able to bowl suggested he was not completely out of contention for the second Test. However, Siddle was clearly being primed for a second Test inclusion, having been the outstanding bowler in the nets ahead of this match.

"I think the positive is the fact that he was able to bowl in that second innings and still pick up wickets," Clarke said. "He just walked out and batted and ran between the wickets fine. The concern is obviously how close the second Test match is away but the medical team and the selectors will assess Starcy over the next few days and they'll make whatever they feel is the best decision for the team."

Clarke admitted the match had confounded his expectations, but looked back to the loss against New Zealand at Eden Park during the World Cup group stage - something that was turned around dramatically in the tournament final - as proof the Australians could regather themselves and regain the ascendancy over a younger England XI.

"I certainly didn't come here expecting to lose, that's for sure," he said. "I think you have to respect and credit England with the way they played. From ball one I thought their performance with the bat in the first innings set the game up for them. I think their discipline with their execution on that wicket with the ball and then they held onto their chances - it's a good way to set up a victory.

"If you're doing those three things pretty well you're generally winning a lot of Test matches. We need to improve in all three areas and I look forward to Lord's. I don't want us to change the way we play. I like each individual player backing themselves and playing the way we have done over the past few years which has given us success.

"The advantage and the positive for us is we're only four days away from the second Test. I think that's a good thing for this team. All the boys now, like losing to New Zealand in the World Cup gave us a bit of a kick up the backside, they'll probably see this game very similar. This gives us a bit of a kick up the backside and we look forward to this second Test match."

Aside from Watson and Starc, Brad Haddin also endured a poor match, which began with the drop of Joe Root on the first morning and ended with an ugly smear at Moeen Ali to be caught by England's captain Alastair Cook. Despite a meagre recent record as a batsman and emerging flaws in his glove work, it appears unlikely Haddin's place will be taken away from him before the destiny of the Ashes is decided.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

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