Watson a favourite for No.6 - Border

Allan Border has tipped Shane Watson for the No. 6 spot in Australia's batting order ahead of the Ashes

Cricinfo staff

Shane Watson's hard approach has impressed many © Getty Images
Allan Border, a Cricket Australia board member, has tipped Shane Watson for the No.6 spot in Australia's batting order ahead of the Ashes. Watson's Test graph has been horizontal largely owing to injury, with three Tests yielding a top score of 31 and two wickets at 61.50, but his recent domestic and one-day international form has left many impressed.
Australia are on the lookout for an allrounder as cover for Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee during the highly anticipated Ashes return series at home. Watson clamed seven wickets and hammered a career-best 79 from the opening slot during the tri-series in Malaysia, and Border liked what he saw.
"It would be fantastic if we can unearth that quality of allrounder other countries have had in recent times," he told reporters. "He's the guy that we're looking at very closely. He's got the early running, there's no doubt. But that's not to say someone mightn't come out of the woodwork in the early Sheffield Shield games. If [Watson] can get in there with both bat and ball that's the ideal scenario. It makes the balance of the side a lot better."
John Buchanan echoed Border in his praise for Watson. "Undoubtedly he's made some big strides in both departments, but I think his bowling [was] exceptional in this tournament," he said. "I think [the selectors] have made it pretty clear they want someone to be able to be selected as a batsman first, and then the bowling option provides them with flexibility to go with three quicks, one allrounder and a spinner, or two quicks, one allrounder and two spinners. So the work he's done on his bowling will certainly make the selectors sit up and smile."