Door not shut on Watson - Lehmann
Australia's coach Darren Lehmann has insisted that Shane Watson's Test career is not over despite being replaced by Mitchell Marsh for the critical Lord's Test.
Lehmann stated that Watson had only narrowly won selection for the first Test at Cardiff, and after a poor match in which he was twice out cheaply lbw and was unable to take a wicket, the selectors decided the younger Marsh deserved a chance having made two centuries in the warm-up matches.
"Obviously Shane has been a little bit disappointing with his runs and it's a tight call," Lehmann said before play on day one. "He's been an experienced player for us. Mitch Marsh has done everything we could ask for behind scenes and first two tour games he's in good form.
"Tight call first Test, we went with experience, this Test we've gone with Mitch Marsh. Tough call on Shane but I'm sure he's got plenty of cricket left in him."
Many have concluded this decision marks the end of Watson's time in the Test side, but Lehmann said the allrounder could still win his way back into the XI on this tour if he presses a hard enough case in the remaining tour matches. Lehmann drew parallels with the World Cup earlier this year, when Watson was dropped for Marsh midway through the tournament and then reinstated.
"I think it's a case of him getting back and obviously got a county game next week he'll play in and try find some form back and keep putting his name in front of selectors," Lehmann said. "A chance very much like the World Cup where he got dropped and came back into side, so really form will dictate what Shane does."
Whatever happens in Watson's Test match future, he remains a central player in the ODI and Twenty20 teams, meaning he is likely to be around the national squads for some time yet.
With Mitchell Starc passed fit, the Australians made two changes to the team for Lord's, also bringing in wicketkeeper Peter Nevill for his Test debut in place of the unavailable Brad Haddin. Nevill's cap was presented to him by a fellow New South Welshman in Steve Waugh.
"Player 443 for us and gets his cap presented by Steve Waugh, one of the greats of the game," Lehmann said. "We wish him a great and long career."
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig