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Watson becomes Test captain, undeservedly

Matt Watson Roar Rookie

By Matt Watson, Matt Watson is a Roar Rookie

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    Shane Watson - if his days aren't already numbered, they should be. (AFP PHOTO/William WEST)

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    Just when we thought this tour of India could not get any worse, Cricket Australia has decided to install Shane Watson as the 44th Australian Test captain.

    This is an embarrassing decision that reeks of weakness and hypocrisy and can only cripple the culture of the Australian cricket team.

    Yes, Michael Clarke was unavailable and yes, Shane Watson was next in line thanks to his role as vice-captain. However, this should have changed during homework-gate last week to ensure that Watson would not be able to become captain in the likely case of Clarke’s back playing up.

    Shane Watson was disciplined for not completing a team order, an order that as vice-captain he should have been the second to complete only behind Pup.

    Instead, with complete disregard for the responsibility bestowed upon him, he decided to completely disrespect his fellow teammates as well as those in charge by ignoring that now infamous instruction to hand in a personalised report on how the team could improve.

    Now unless Shane Watson decided to not do the work as he thought he might pull a hamstring again, which although possible is highly unlikely, he should have been stripped of his vice-captaincy then and there.

    If the vice-captain cannot respect authority then he does not deserve it himself.

    He was not though. He then compounded his senselessness with his petulant behaviour when he arrived back home.

    Rather than accepting his light punishment gracefully like James Pattinson, Mitch Johnson and Usman Khawaja, he declared he would have to reconsider his immediate Test future.

    What a spoilt brat. (Note his decision to return home for the birth of his child was not what I deem petulant; it was his declaration that he would have to “reconsider his Test future”, all because he had done the wrong thing).

    All of this behaviour makes it blatantly obvious that is he is not fit to be leading our nation out on to the field, particularly in a time of crisis. Yet somehow, here we are.

    Shane Watson did the wrong thing by his coach, his captain, his teammates and his nation, yet as a punishment he has been rewarded with the highest honour that an Australian cricketer could receive, the Australian captaincy – the second most important job in the country behind the PM.

    This situation should never have been allowed to happen and Cricket Australia should be highly embarrassed. It is hypocritical and sets a horrible example to cricketers in Australia.

    Only leaders who put the team first and respect authority should have the honour of leading Australia. After all, if the now captain will not respect it then why should those playing under him?

    Australia needs to stop making decisions in regards to the Ashes and start making the correct decisions that will reinstate Australia as the best cricketing nation in the world.

    Or at least the least ridiculous.

    Eds’ note: This piece was submitted before the first day’s play of the fourth Test in Delhi

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    The Crowd Says (10)

    • March 23rd 2013 @ 1:24am
      Johnno said | March 23rd 2013 @ 1:24am | ! Report

      Well if it’s not Watto, who else have we got, what is your option, Ed Cowan .

      • Roar Rookie

        March 23rd 2013 @ 9:26am
        Matt Watson said | March 23rd 2013 @ 9:26am | ! Report

        My pick would be Siddle. There is no bloke prouder to lead his country and he leads from the front all day with his bowling and bats his heart out, currently saving this test himself. Siddle would set the example and make the bowling changes, and Wade would set the fields, taking some of the pressure off whilst Siddle is having his spell.

    • March 23rd 2013 @ 1:49am
      Anon said | March 23rd 2013 @ 1:49am | ! Report

      ‘ACTING’ captain in more ways than one.

    • March 23rd 2013 @ 3:19am
      robdowney said | March 23rd 2013 @ 3:19am | ! Report

      Watson is a very ordinary test cricketer and in another era probably would not have played a single test.

      • March 23rd 2013 @ 3:35am
        Johnno said | March 23rd 2013 @ 3:35am | ! Report

        What era. 80’s and 90’s. I don’t know if Watto is a better batter than Grahame Wood, but he is surley better than Mike Veletta, and Tom Moody, and Simon O’donnell, maybe Geoff Marsh, and Greg Matthews. Greg Matthews has a good average around 41, but against top fast bowling it hover around the 8 mark, yes 8 vs the west indies or just very low apparently.

        90’s would of been tough but I still think Watto would of got a game at least a handful of tests, then again maybe not, the 90’s were an exceptional time for OZ cricket 1990-2005 in fact. Andrew Symonds got a run in 2004, and I think Watto is as good as Andrew Symonds who is a good batter

        Remember for the ASHES 2006/7 series in OZ, Shane Watson was picked for the 1st test broke down injured, Micheal Clarke wasn’t in the starting 11 but came in for Watto when Watto withdrew, and has been in the team ever since. Hard to believe now Watto was picked ahead of Pup. I suppose they wanted the all-rounder and pup was out of form, and Watto was showing a lot of promise.

        Watto would of struggled to play test cricket in the 90’s no question.

        A guy like Stuart Law is better than Watto. Maybe Jimmy Maher and Martin Love too, and defiantly Jamie Siddons. Katich is better than Watto, as is Micheal Bevan who would of played more test cricket in any other era but the 90’s and early 2000’s.

        Same with Brad Hodge. David Boon is better than Watto too.

        But Watto would of played plenty of test cricket in the 80’s. Greg Ritchie was very talented, Kim Hughes was better than Watto, and Dirk Wellham could of done better he was quite talented.

        Watto is better than Peter Cantrell and Trevor Barsby, 2 other Queensland legends, who never played test cricket.

        Dean Hills and Jamie Cox would defiantly breathe down Watto’s neck , for claims to be a better batter.

        And for those that forget Watto was a Queenslander, even though he is way more New Southwelshman now, Berrick Barnes drew Mitchell style, you forget they were cantoads like Watto.

        But out of this current aussy team which is the worst aussy squad this touring group in the last 25 years 1987-2013, Watto is the most senior batsmen for this test.

    • March 23rd 2013 @ 8:11am
      Browny said | March 23rd 2013 @ 8:11am | ! Report

      This would be great if Matt was apart of Shane’s immediate family.

    • March 23rd 2013 @ 12:00pm
      St Mark W said | March 23rd 2013 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

      Completely agree, being stripped of the vice captaincy should have been the minimum penalty for a Vice Captain NOT taking part in an exercise designed to improve the teams performance for the next Test.

    • March 23rd 2013 @ 2:54pm
      Sal said | March 23rd 2013 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

      Selectors’ reckless decision making at its best. This is yet another example where I think Arthur and Clarke have failed the team putting Watto at the wheel when he can’t even qualify as a specialist batsman.

      This series has been an utter failure and travesty filled with controversies and mismanagement.

      Best for Australia’s future to hold them accountable and show them the door from their responsibilities immediately after this test match.

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