Victoria's coach Greg Shipperd believes Cameron White, the state's captain, would have been a better replacement for Andrew Symonds on Australia's tour of India next month. Instead Shane Watson was picked in the squad for the four-Test series, which also includes two promoted Bushrangers in the legspinner Bryce McGain and the fast bowler Peter Siddle.
Shipperd was disappointed White, who played in the one-day series against Bangladesh, missed out when Symonds was dropped because of disciplinary issues. "Cameron looked ideal to fill the aggressive role vacated by Symonds - he is a great counter-puncher," Shipperd said in the Herald Sun. "His batting has matured fabulously during the past 12 months, he is a wonderful fieldsman and he bowls legspin. We in Victoria find it difficult to understand, particularly on a tour of India, that Shane Watson has filled the allrounder's spot."
Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, said Watson, who has played only three Tests, fitted into their plans. "He's someone who bats very well and also provides us extra flexibility with the bowling attack," he said. "As we all know, he has great potential and has recently performed strongly at one-day and Twenty20 level for Australia."
Beau Casson and Ashley Noffke were also surprised to miss the squad that included the rookie Tasmania offspinner Jason Krejza. Australia will play two warm-up games before the first Test in Bangalore from October 9.