With the squad for India about to be picked, one of the biggest questions is should Shane Watson come back into the Test team? Obviously there are two answers to this question.
First, the reasons he should come in:
Foremost, he is an experienced Test opener, averaging 43 in the position. He also averages 44 at first class level. He has won the Allan Border medal twice and is an established figure in the Australian camp.
Furthermore, if Watson came back in he would replace Ed Cowan, the worst player in the Australian team. Watson averages more than Cowan at first class and Test level, with Cowan averaging less than 40 at first class level, which shouldn’t get you a Test spot.
Finally, he is a good slips fielder. With both Mike Hussey and Ricky Ponting coming out of the slips/gully cordon, we need new people to replace them there. Phil Hughes has settled into Ponting’s position but we need another slip/gully to come in. Nathan Lyon has been tried there but Watson would be a much better fit.
As to the reasons he shouldn’t come in?
He doesn’t make big scores, often freezing up in the 90s and getting out. Watson has passed his half century 21 times but has only made two centuries – 120 and 126.
There’s a possibility he should be a limited overs specialist. Watson is a very powerful player, once hitting 185 not out off 96 balls, including 15 fours and 15 sixes. In the Twenty20 World Cup he got four man of the match awards in six games. He could concentrate on limited overs cricket and try to improve even more.
Perhaps most importantly, he gets injured too much, leading to an unsettled team. He has given up bowling now but that doesn’t guarantee he won’t be injured.
Having assessed both answers, Watson should come back in for Ed Cowan.
Over to you Roarers.