Shane Watson’s finally run out of rope

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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    Australia's Shane Watson may have played his last Test. (AFP Photo/Paul Ellis)

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    Australian all-rounder Shane Watson has been given plenty of chances, and faces the chop. There’s no doubting his talent, but it’s not showing on the scoreboard.

    This calendar year Watson, predominately a batsman who sometime bowls, has scored 28, 17, 23, 9, 17, 5, 13, 46, 30, 20, 19, and 18 to average a tick over 20 in a dozen digs.

    He hasn’t scored a half-century since December last year, with 83 against Sri Lanka at the MCG, nor a Test ton since Mohali against India in October 2010.

    In fact, he has only reached three figures twice in 81 visits to the crease, although there are four 90s and three 80s in that time.

    But lack of consistent runs isn’t Watson’s only problem; it’s where to bat him.

    He prefers to open, where he averages 41.79, well above his career average of 34.50. But when he bats down the order, he’s only averaging in the mid 20s.

    But in this Ashes series there are five Australia opening batsmen: Watson, Chris Rogers, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, and Phil Hughes.

    So selectors face the almost impossible task of finding the right combination to get the baggy greens off to a decent start.

    When Watson should be a bonus, he’s actually become a liability.

    He batted four in the second dig at Old Trafford, when the Australians were robbed of a deserved victory by rain.

    Skipper Michael Clarke’s 187, Steve Smith’s 89, Rogers’ 64, Mitchell Starc’s 66*, and Brad Haddin’s 65 proved on the opening days there were runs there for the taking, while Watson made 19.

    But the 32-year-old isn’t the selectors’ only problem with the Ashes gone, two Tests to go in England, and five in Australia.

    They can start with what to do with offie Nathan Lyon after his 1-103 off 38 overs at Old Trafford, and the 19-year-old left-armer Ashton Agar’s 2-248 off 84 overs in the first two Tests.

    Neither figures are too flash.

    But Agar’s the best bet. He will be a vital part of the future, and he can bat, as he proved on debut with an all-time Test best 98 for an 11 batsman.

    He’s averaging 34 in the Sheffield Shield in his 13 appearances for Western Australia in the lower order.

    Deadly accurate paceman Jackson Bird cannot be ignored any longer.

    In his only two Tests before he was injured, Bird claimed 11 wickets at 16.18, and in 22 Shield games for Tasmania, 107 at 19.99.

    Roughly five first-class wickets a match for virtually nothing. How can he possibly be just a nets bowler and a drinks-waiter?

    If Watson keeps being selected with his figures, how can Bird be denied his?

    The fourth Ashes Test begins on Friday at Chester-le-Street.

    It’s a dead rubber, but the selectors can make it work to the team’s advantage with a mixture of form players, and looking to the future.

    Try Rogers, Warner, Khawaja, Clarke, Hughes, Smith, Haddin, Agar, Siddle, Harris, and Bird.

    Rod Marsh and Darren Lehmann, make your move.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn?t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world?s great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (154)

    • August 6th 2013 @ 5:38am
      James P said | August 6th 2013 @ 5:38am | ! Report

      How Starc continually gets picked baffles me. He averages over 30 with the ball in both first class and test cricket. Bird, on the other hand, averages under 20 in both first class and test cricket. I know Starc can bat, but I want my bowlers to be able to take wickets and put pressure on the batsmen to help the other bowlers take wickets.

      Not at all convinced about Agar. Remember Lyon’s 9 wickets in his previous test? Lyon has been clearly the bet spin bowler we have had since Warner and MacGill retired and yet he has been treated like crap by the selectors.

      I am not sure why we would bring back Hughes to replace Watson straight after dropping Hughes. Perhaps we could play Starc as a batsman – he has a better record than both of them over the last couple of years

      • August 6th 2013 @ 5:51am
        John said | August 6th 2013 @ 5:51am | ! Report

        You’ve hit the nail on th head twice. They apparently picked Starc so as to create foot marks for Lyon to bowl into, yet neither we’re effective. So on that basis they should try Bird.

        There is no-one to replace Watson with. They just dropped Highes. There is no one else pushing for selection. I personally think Smith has performed the best, taking his chances both in India, on the Australia A tour and now in three Tests. Yet opinion on him is mixed. A lame as it seems, there is no one else.

        • Columnist

          August 6th 2013 @ 6:24am
          David Lord said | August 6th 2013 @ 6:24am | ! Report

          James P and John, why was Phil Hughes dropped? At the time he had scored, on this tour – 47, 11, 76*, 50, 19*, 86, 81*, 0, 1, 1, 84, and 36 to be the leading run-getter.

          As for Mitchell Starc, he’s a far better bat than a bowler. The way he sprays his deliveries, giving new batsmen plenty of sighters, is beyond belief. Jackson Bird is the alternative and the answer with his pinpoint accuracy, and economy, although he will never match Starc with the bat.

          James P, you can only take into selection account what has happened on this tour. Neither Nathan Lyon, nor Ashton Agar, have set the world on fire with the ball.

          But as I mentioned, Agar is the better all-round selection for now, and the future.

          • August 6th 2013 @ 7:13am
            John said | August 6th 2013 @ 7:13am | ! Report

            David, are you saying they dropped Hughes just to make room for Warner? His quick forty something was ok but does it justify his retention?

            I don’t get why Bird was not picked for this Test. Starc was dropped last Test, only to bring him back due to someone else’s injury.

            I hate to say it, but different coach, same inconsistencies.

            • August 6th 2013 @ 7:19am
              A Mans Not A Camel said | August 6th 2013 @ 7:19am | ! Report

              “I hate to say it, but different coach, same inconsistencies.” – so you are aware – the coach is not a sole selector… or a soul selector either 🙂 Can’t blame boof, he can recommend and has a vote, but if he gets voted down, tuff.

              • August 6th 2013 @ 10:51am
                Disco said | August 6th 2013 @ 10:51am | ! Report

                I’m guessing Agar’s ridiculous selection was Lehmann’s idea.

          • August 6th 2013 @ 8:19am
            Lukeling said | August 6th 2013 @ 8:19am | ! Report

            David that list of runs scored by Phil Hughes has alot more going for it than Watson’s dismal returns. Sure Hughes looks like he’s out there trying to kill snakes & Watson looks like a million bucks but runs are currency. I really hope the selectors make the big call for the future & give Watson the heave. I can imagine Watson with his lip out saying …”but Boof you said I was the opener ; (…”

            • August 6th 2013 @ 9:44am
              AlanKC said | August 6th 2013 @ 9:44am | ! Report

              ”but Boof you said I was the opener ; (…” Chuckle!

          • August 6th 2013 @ 8:19am
            Freddy of Bondi said | August 6th 2013 @ 8:19am | ! Report

            David…with all due respect…you are a lunatic!

            1. “But in this Ashes series there are five Australia opening batsmen: Watson, Chris Rogers, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, and Phil Hughes”… Khawaja has never opened for Australia David…do you have him confused with Ed Cowan perhaps?? I guess they look similiar….

            2. “As for Mitchell Starc, he’s a far better bat than a bowler”… This is a ridiculous statement. Starc is a handy lower order batsman, but he is not a batting allrounder!

            3. “Agar is the better all-round selection for now, and the future”… I dont want the more competent batsman to be our no.1 spinner…I want out best spinner. Granted Agar has got a bright future ahead of him, but atm Lyon is still our best option. You dont pick a 19yo kid with next to no experience to be our first choice spinner bc he bats a bit…sheesh!

            I seriously don’t know why I read your articles, but for some strange reason I keep coming back…

            • Columnist

              August 6th 2013 @ 8:45am
              David Lord said | August 6th 2013 @ 8:45am | ! Report

              Freddy, I don’t rate Cowan anymore as an opener, and I never said Khawaja was an Australian opener, but I believe he would be better placed at the top of the order than shuffled through it.

              Starc is more consistent and dangerous with the bat than ball, when it should be the other way around. And as for Agar he’s a better prospect now after just two Tests than Lyon after 23,

              • August 6th 2013 @ 9:03am
                A Mans Not A Camel said | August 6th 2013 @ 9:03am | ! Report

                Agree 100% David on all of the above

              • Roar Guru

                August 6th 2013 @ 8:06pm
                Rob na Champassak said | August 6th 2013 @ 8:06pm | ! Report

                ‘And as for Agar he’s a better prospect now after just two Tests than Lyon after 23,’

                See, now that is the exact stupidity that has seen us go through spinner after spinner since Warne left. We pick players on the basis of their ‘potential’ after two matches, and drop them with disappointment after a few more matches for the latest up-and-comer.

                Anybody suggesting that Agar is a better spinner than Lyon is completely ignoring the fact that Lyon turns and flights the ball more, and gets the batsmen to play. He has dismissed plenty of good batsmen (including Tendulkar four times), and has three five-wicket hauls to his name. He is the fastest Australian off-spinner to fifty wickets too. His record is actually not that different to Graham Swann’s at the same stage in his career.

                Lyon just needs a bit of faith and persistence. And we need Lyon.

              • August 6th 2013 @ 9:41pm
                Darren said | August 6th 2013 @ 9:41pm | ! Report

                Don’t pick bowlers on potential nor because they bat better. Pick the best bowlers for now. Lyon is a better option than Agar -now. Lyon was clearly more dangerous than Agar. Starc takes wickets and with Harris and Siddle provdes good variety. Keep the top 6 and back them in for the remaining two tests. The openers have not been the problem this serious – albeit they haven’t gone on with the job. We’ve got much more from our opening partnerships than England have. Watson should be backed until at least the end of the series.

            • August 6th 2013 @ 9:38am
              Ret said | August 6th 2013 @ 9:38am | ! Report

              Agree with all of this Freddy. David calls Watson an all-rounder, and then totally ignores the contribution he makes with the ball. (Most economical bowler of either side so far).
              Lyon is our best spinner by far at this stage, and should be retained. Sure he only took one wicket, but was more dangerous than Agar has ever been.
              I read David’s articles for the same reason I occasionally tune into talkback radio-the perverse pleasure of being outraged!

              • Columnist

                August 6th 2013 @ 10:14am
                David Lord said | August 6th 2013 @ 10:14am | ! Report

                See below Ret, Watson is just 10.8% of the Australian attack in taking 1-114.

              • August 6th 2013 @ 1:35pm
                Freddy of Bondi said | August 6th 2013 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

                Haha Ret…Alan Jones I bet!!

                David you cant wholly rely on statistics to tell the full story. There were times (particularly in the first 2 tests) where Pattinson, Starc, Smith and Agar were wayward and far too expensive. Watson comes on, stems the tide, builds pressure and bang, wicket at the other end. Bowling, like batting is about partnerships. I have no doubt Warne would not have taken as many wickets without McGrath being so measly at the other end!

                And whether you agree or not, fact is, Cowan is in the squad as an opener. Perhaps Khawaja is a potential opener, but when we already have 5 in the team, its a no-brainer to leave him in the middle order as he has a technique more able to adapt than any of the other candidates.

              • Roar Guru

                August 6th 2013 @ 2:56pm
                Simon said | August 6th 2013 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

                Spot on Freddy.

                David, you’re not the brightest writer on this website.

                Watson’s economy rate after the 3 Tests is below 1.5 runs per over. He has double the amount of maidens than any other bowler. If you think that is not contributing, then you should stop watching Test cricket.

              • August 6th 2013 @ 3:04pm
                Red Kev said | August 6th 2013 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

                The problem is that Watson can’t bowl long spells, he’s too fragile. Jackson Bird can do exactly the same as Watson with the ball and do it for long spells like Siddle – look at his Sheffield Shield record for confirmation.
                Bird in for Starc removes the need for Watson’s bowling, removes the “four balls” that Starc routinely serves up, and allows you to drop Watson for an actual batsman.

          • August 6th 2013 @ 8:24am
            Ads said | August 6th 2013 @ 8:24am | ! Report

            Bit rich to suggest that Hughes was only dropped for his form on the current tour. I would suggest he was dropped because since coming back in to the side he has played 9 tests in 3 countries without much success in any of them. Prior to that he has played more than 20 tests without much success and been dropped twice. He has been given every opportunity to succeed including being picked for the Australian test side on 3 different occasions and given a good run only to continue to disappoint, and even after being held back from facing SA he still hasn’t found a way to score consistent runs at this level. I suspect that he won’t get back in this series and with the luxury of being able to select anyone during the home series, he won’t get a look in then either. Bailey or Voges just need to start the shield season with a few runs to be given a go. My gut tells me that Hughes needs 1-2 seasons in shield and score consistent runs before he will be picked again.

            • August 6th 2013 @ 8:44am
              Johnny Banter said | August 6th 2013 @ 8:44am | ! Report

              My gut tells me Ads is a Hughes-hater?

              No way should Hughes have been the one to make way for Warner as he was one of the only batsmen to show some ticker and fight for his runs on this tour. He would have been far more beneficial than Watson on the faster and bouncier pitch at Old Trafford.

              However, it was merely a continuation of the poor treatment Hughes has received over his time in the national side.

              I seriously hope they now give him a full season of Shield cricket with no prospect of a return to the national side. However, we all know he’ll be reinstated for a game or two in the home series – probably score a hundred or a fighting half century, then get dropped shortly afterwards. Another day in the office.

              • August 6th 2013 @ 9:13am
                Felix said | August 6th 2013 @ 9:13am | ! Report

                Hughes exemplifies the gap between a solid first class player and step up test level. You don’t need to look to far to find people in domestic cricket who rate him extremely highly, those some praisers are a lot fewer at test level.

                If it wasn’t for Watson’s bowling I don’t think he’d find himself in the team at present, but he holds down and end, so until his hamstrings snap he’ll be there.

          • August 6th 2013 @ 5:09pm
            davos said | August 6th 2013 @ 5:09pm | ! Report

            iagree with u david ..it is watso that should have been dropped not the leading tour run scorer…but im afraid Boof is letting himself down already and playing favs with a pair of qlder’s…fair enough persisit with khawaja …but watso just doesn’t make any sense any more

      • August 6th 2013 @ 3:54pm
        Mick the Clown said | August 6th 2013 @ 3:54pm | ! Report

        Seriously? – You give Starc a serve for an average over 30 with the ball, but praise Lyon, who in his past 15 test innings has taken just 23 wickets at an average of 48!!!! Including the worst ever figures by an Australian in a 5 day test.

        To make matters worse, this was in Spin friendly India, Against the rubbish Sri Lankans, and on spin friendly Manchester.

        Lyon is the reason we lost the Manchester test as without his bowling we would have forced England to follow on and one.

        If Lyon is the best spinner we have, then we should not play a spinner. – He is a waste of time.

        • August 6th 2013 @ 6:47pm
          James P said | August 6th 2013 @ 6:47pm | ! Report

          Last 7 tests – 23 at an average of 42. Yep. It isn’t pretty but there were in the order of 6 catches or stumpings missed during the summer by Wade which, if we were using a decent keeper, would make it 29 at an average of 33. But in his last test before he was dropped (again) he took 9/165 against the best players of spin in the world. Dropping him after that performance for a debutant who has minimal experience is ridiculous. I didn’t see all of the match but my understanding from the commentary was that Lyon was bowling well. I think he is clearly the best spinner we have.

          Starc, on the other hand, is one of the most overrated bowlers I have ever seen in test match cricket. There are 118 Australians who have taken over 20 wickets. Starc is number 84 – he is currently in the Kasprowicz/Bichel class of bowlers. Siddle (who many people wanted out of the side) takes more wickets per innings (2.075 compared to 1.8) at a significantly better average (28.15 compared to 32.57).

          Wades missess off Lyon
          1st test v South Africa
          51.5 Lyon to Amla, 3 runs, edged between the keeper and first slip! Amla cut hard and the ball flew past Wade, Clarke barely reacted before the ball was past him. Mark Waugh would have got a hand to it

          1st test v Sri Lanka
          First Innings
          11.3 Lyon to Pujara, 1 run, ends in a drop, and Lyon is left kicking the ground. He draws the edge with one that doesn’t turn much, but Wade fails to collect it, and the ricochet lobs over the leaping Clarke at slip

          3rd test v Sri Lanka
          Second Innings
          21.5 Lyon to Karunaratne, 2 runs, Dropped by Wade! Tossed up and the batsman was forward to defend and the outside edge brushes Wade’s glove and beats slip as well
          51.4 Lyon to Prasad, 2 runs, chance! Drives away from the body and the outside edge brushes Wade’s glove and goes over first slip

          1st test in India
          Second Innings
          3.4 Lyon to Pujara, no run, that explodes from the rough outside off. Pujara is looking to pad it away. The ball hits the top of the pad, then the glove, and then Wade’s mid-riff. It would be cruel to call it a drop
          11.3 Lyon to Pujara, 1 run, ends in a drop, and Lyon is left kicking the ground. He draws the edge with one that doesn’t turn much, but Wade fails to collect it, and the ricochet lobs over the leaping Clarke at slip

          • August 6th 2013 @ 7:26pm
            Evan Askew said | August 6th 2013 @ 7:26pm | ! Report

            If we had played the full day Lyon would have being a good chance at bowling England out to achieve victory. Root had no idea against him and he was geting significant turn of the normal parts of the wicket without the aid of the rough. I think he is averaging somewhere around the Vettori like average of 33. Along with Hauritz who was unfairly dropped, he is the best spinner we have had since the retirement of Warne and McGill. Expecting Lyon to be as good as Warne and Haddn to be as good as Gilchrist with the batt is folly. And that is what I feel the Australian cricket public is doing.

        • August 6th 2013 @ 6:53pm
          JBtoo said | August 6th 2013 @ 6:53pm | ! Report

          Australia didn’t lose the Manchester test – it was drawn. You are aptly named.

    • August 6th 2013 @ 6:44am
      A Mans Not A Camel said | August 6th 2013 @ 6:44am | ! Report

      I believe the only reason they may possibly stick with Watson would be his bowling – he has been very economical the whole series and assisted in pressure build up. If thats the case, and he stays in for that – he needs to bat down the order. I’m thinking either after Haddin, or even further below Starc. A drop in the order may actually just be the kick in the pants he needs to start performing with the bat again. Treat him as a bowler, not an all-rounder, and see what he does to better himself.

      Given his lack of runs, I think it proves however that Aus can go in without him, and another specialist bowler, if he’s good enough to be it, have him down the order. Otherwise, bring in Bird, bring in someone else. Why keep kidding ourselves his a batsmen? I keep saying to myself, it’s his bowling that’s keeping him in the squad – that may be so, his bowling has been tight – so, why is he still opening? Would we open with Starc because his forms better than Watsons?

      • August 6th 2013 @ 9:20am
        Nick Inatey said | August 6th 2013 @ 9:20am | ! Report

        AMNAC,

        I agree with almost everything you say. And I never thought I would say that.

        • August 6th 2013 @ 9:37am
          A Mans Not A Camel said | August 6th 2013 @ 9:37am | ! Report

          *screenshot taken* 🙂

      • August 6th 2013 @ 1:42pm
        iambunney said | August 6th 2013 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

        Before the series started, I floated the possibility of picking Watson solely as a bowler and having him bat at 8…
        But has Hughes done enough to come back in? I don’t think so. His 80-odd not out was gold @ Trent Bridge, but Beefy and co were very critical of the Poms bowling strategy & fielding placements, so perhaps it’s a tad over-rated, or at least thought by some (i.e. selectors) as over-rated. His next three digs he scored a total of 1 or 2 runs – that’s his real problem.

        And yes, Starc can bowl wicket balls, but he bowls FAR too much junk in between them. If Shield is our development series, then the stats from those games must demand attention. Bird is not the only one streets ahead of Starc (and Hazelwood and Cummins) statistically, and should be in the team ahead of him / them.

      • August 6th 2013 @ 7:31pm
        Aussie in London said | August 6th 2013 @ 7:31pm | ! Report

        I agree AMAC. This side’s full of blokes, not for the position they play but because of the potential they bring with the oposite disciplin. Watson, Smith, Warner are picked not because they are the best test bats, but because they can bowl a bit. Agar and Starc etc aren’t great but are handy with the bat. Haddin is the worst pair of gloves in the land but he is suposedly handy with the bat. It’s like everything is a compromise. Why cant we pick a side where all 11 are best at their position and if they can do a bit with the ball or the bat, then it’s a bonus.

        Getting back to Watto, I like his bowling, his economy is impressive, but his batting is pants. He either has to go down the order or go. My preference is he has to go. In terms of bowling, he can’t deal with the demands of test cricket and bowl spells. In terms of his batting, as David points out, no ton since 2010 (22 tests), this is glaringly sh*thouse for an opener! Someone asked in a previous article about comparing Watson’s batting to others with 43 tests. I thought about this in another way… Mattehw Elliott is considered as a bit of a test failure, but how does Watto stack up against him?

        Elliott: 21 matches, ave 33.5, 3×100′s, 4×50′s, highest 199
        Watson: 43 matches (not inc. the last test), ave 34.9, 2×100′s, 19×50′s, highest 126

        Obviously the situation is different, Elliott was in a great side and any poor performance is really highlighted and Watto’s performance can hide in the current side, but numbers wise, he’s not an opener.

        I just don’t see what the selectors see in this guy? I can’t believe they are that blinded by his bowling to continue with him as an opener. He’s 32 and we dont really know what he can bring to the test side.

    • Roar Guru

      August 6th 2013 @ 6:46am
      no show said | August 6th 2013 @ 6:46am | ! Report

      spot on with your team, Watson is goooone.

      But if they do pick Hughes and Agar they have to take the ‘pick and stick’ mentality and give them a good go at cementing their position

      • Columnist

        August 6th 2013 @ 6:53am
        David Lord said | August 6th 2013 @ 6:53am | ! Report

        Craig, you have nailed the one missing link – stability.

        • August 6th 2013 @ 9:14am
          MadMonk said | August 6th 2013 @ 9:14am | ! Report

          I assume you are being ironic.

          Australia just outplayed England and you are advocating 3 guys to be dropped.

          Watson will play the next test because (surprise surprise) Clarke rates him. His bowling has been valuable if unlucky. His batting output has been poor but they wont go back to Hughes or Cowan for the sake of it. If they had a right handed middle order batsman he might be at risk. Lest find out Friday.

          As for Starc he got runs and wickets. He wont be dropped.

          • August 6th 2013 @ 12:17pm
            rl said | August 6th 2013 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

            + 1. Not sure dropping 3 players from a team that basically dominated the match is sending a great message. But the message should be “that is the standard we expect of you” (with a very direct word in Haddin’s shell-like to pick up his act).

          • Roar Guru

            August 6th 2013 @ 5:49pm
            no show said | August 6th 2013 @ 5:49pm | ! Report

            we have lost the ashes, lets get ready for the next series in Aus.

            and

            even if we won it is no reason not to drop serial under achievers like Watson.

        • August 6th 2013 @ 12:01pm
          zatoo77 said | August 6th 2013 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

          Pick and stick crap is wrong. If you want to pick and stick use the current 11.
          Agar needs far more cricket. I still think we need a leg spinner not off spinner.
          Hughes needs to go as much as Watson they have both underperformed. Pick Faulkner we need Harris fit so bowling needs to be shared.
          Pick and stick is fine but players like Elliot, Beven, Love and Blewert were all determined to be not good enough for test cricket. What is saying that Hughes does not belong on that list.

    • Roar Guru

      August 6th 2013 @ 7:25am
      Tim Holt said | August 6th 2013 @ 7:25am | ! Report

      Watson should have been dropped after he walked out on the team in india, and never been allowed to wear the Baggy Green again

      But to underline how flawed the running of the team has become, he was not only allowed back, but then made Captain…..

      He was pandered too before this series by allowing to open, but has not only struggled with form, but had an effect on the rest of the Team with his selfish decisions revolving around DRS…..

      Then his bowling has been great from a defensive point of view, but lacked penetration, by memory he averages nearly 60 with the ball in his last two years of Test Cricket

      So, with the Ashes lost, what possible reason can be given to retain him?

      • August 6th 2013 @ 9:15am
        Nudge said | August 6th 2013 @ 9:15am | ! Report

        I agree Watson has been selfish. But Tim do you have family I’m guessing not. But if you do, do you give a crap about your kids I’m guessing not. Watson walked out on the team in India when he was suspended and unavailable to be at the birth of his first child. I’d hate to think what you would think of ponting bell and Anderson for missing a test when they were available to race home and be by the side of there wives for the birth of there kids

        • Roar Guru

          August 6th 2013 @ 9:56am
          Tim Holt said | August 6th 2013 @ 9:56am | ! Report

          You are drawing a long blow here Nudge, i am indeed a grand Dad, but back to Watson, he was surely entitled to be at the birth of his child ( family comes first in everything ). But by memory was gone for 2 weeks – that is one LONG LABOUR- lol…

          i think the first thing that Australian Selectors/Coachs/Fans/etc etc need to do is to stop making every excuse under the sun for watson, and admit defeat. he is not, and will never be test class. move on, give faulkner a run

          • August 6th 2013 @ 10:57am
            Nudge said | August 6th 2013 @ 10:57am | ! Report

            Congrats on being a grandad mate but stick to the real reasons he shouldn’t be in the team. His misses produced a couple of days after he arrived surely its ok to spend a week at home and arrive back 4 days before a test. Pattinson is a better bat than Faulkner

          • August 6th 2013 @ 2:37pm
            david said | August 6th 2013 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

            Agree, Watson is not good enough for test cricket (I’ve said this so often, I think I sound like a broken record). It’s not just his bowling and batting that let him down but he is a liability in the field and doesn’t chase. He can catch but why should he stand in slips all day? The problem with his bowling is not the lack of penetration – I think that is not his role, the problem is, you can’t rely on him to bowl 20 overs in a day if you need him (he maybe able to do it but you can’t bank on it).
            I’m not a Watson hater – he would be one of the first players picked in my one day or T20 side. He just doesn’t belong in test cricket.
            Unfortunately, Warner and Starc are also both experts at the shorter forms of the game but not reliable enough for test cricket (although I’m not so black and white on them).

          • August 6th 2013 @ 6:48pm
            davos said | August 6th 2013 @ 6:48pm | ! Report

            when watso ..Stormed out of his hotel room ostensibly for the return journey home to be with his wife …it was a bit of the blurring of the lines ..it allowed him the classic dummy spit he craved…but he had the tailor made excuse he needed to cover his a..e …and if any one was to criticise his behaviour …they would look like a very poor excuse for a father /family man …it was all so very convenient….none of that really matters ..his continued poor form is really starting to become the brunt of numerous jokes

      • August 6th 2013 @ 9:16am
        MadMonk said | August 6th 2013 @ 9:16am | ! Report

        lack of alternatives!!

        • Roar Guru

          August 6th 2013 @ 9:58am
          Tim Holt said | August 6th 2013 @ 9:58am | ! Report

          I disagree there Mad, for their might not be ones with watsons talent, but their are endless with better attitudes than him. And when you are down, you pick ppl with attitude over frustrating talents

          • August 6th 2013 @ 10:51am
            MadMonk said | August 6th 2013 @ 10:51am | ! Report

            I am not happy to be defending him but who are these people with attitude.

            I am sure the selectors regret taking all those left handers given how they have all played Swann. For that lame reason alone I expect we will see 3 lefties in the top 3 and the four righties to follow. For that reason alone there is no spot for hughes and Watson will contunie to get a spot.

        • August 6th 2013 @ 10:56am
          Disco said | August 6th 2013 @ 10:56am | ! Report

          If only they’d given McDonald some of the opportunities they’ve wasted on Watson.

          Watson the allrounder only seems to surface when his struggles with the bat have lead people to question his spot in the side.

          • August 6th 2013 @ 2:09pm
            Nudge said | August 6th 2013 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

            McDonald is a player who Watson could get dropped for. If he is fit for the start of the shield and scores some runs on the Adelaide deck Watson could be done.

            • August 6th 2013 @ 5:04pm
              Disco said | August 6th 2013 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

              Nah, McDonald’s never been fashionable.

        • August 6th 2013 @ 7:04pm
          davos said | August 6th 2013 @ 7:04pm | ! Report

          hughes warner cowan klinger katich silk maddinson… robson even ..just to name a few

      • Roar Guru

        August 6th 2013 @ 3:01pm
        Simon said | August 6th 2013 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

        Walked out on the team? You mean to be with his wife at the birth of their first child?

        I suppose Haddin was being selfish for walking out on the West Indian tour last year to be with his sick daughter.

        You’re a disgrace. Even for an Irishman.

        What reasonable human being would sit on the bench, suspended, when they could be home at the birth of their child. Shane’s wife didn’t let on to him how far she was due, as she knew how important the Indian Test series was.

        • August 6th 2013 @ 7:21pm
          davos said | August 6th 2013 @ 7:21pm | ! Report

          Simon….I can feel your feaux confected outrage ….. a bit like watso himself .. somehow I think you protesteth too much

    • August 6th 2013 @ 7:51am
      Klee gluckman said | August 6th 2013 @ 7:51am | ! Report

      yes Warner should be retained. Warner is an opener. Warner averages 40 opening the batting. When opening he can play his own game and hes fine.

    • August 6th 2013 @ 7:53am
      jamesb said | August 6th 2013 @ 7:53am | ! Report

      Watson to be dropped for Phil Hughes……………….ummmm maybe not.

      Watson to be dropped for Damien Martyn………now thats a good idea.

      Hang on, ………..it’s 2013, not 1993.

      I don’t know if Hughes and his homespun technique is the answer. He has been dropped 3 or 4 times already and is only 24.

      Again, it also highlights Australias lack of depth in batting. It would be great to drop Watson, but for who…..Ed Cowan?

      • August 6th 2013 @ 8:07am
        Emax said | August 6th 2013 @ 8:07am | ! Report

        Would probably not be the worst move bringing Cowan in to pair with Warner again, Rogers at 3. Cowan was dropped for poor shots in the first test. I hate to say it but the top 6 played worse shots in the second test.

      • August 6th 2013 @ 7:15pm
        davos said | August 6th 2013 @ 7:15pm | ! Report

        james what about …. warner ,rogers hughes khawaja, Clarke haddin faulklner starc siddle lyon harris

        • August 6th 2013 @ 7:38pm
          davos said | August 6th 2013 @ 7:38pm | ! Report

          sh.t I forgot smith..he should play

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