Melbourne, March 26 (IANS) Despite his elevation as the Australian Test captain, Shane Watson’s place in the side – both as vice-captain and batsman – will be hotly debated due to his poor form during the disastrous tour of India.
John Inverarity, Cricket Australia (CA) national selection panel chairman, said Watson’s position in the team is not guaranteed — either as Michael Clarke’s deputy or as a specialist batsman.
“Things will always be discussed. Every aspect of the team will be discussed, players and leadership roles, that is absolutely normal and it will be done so again,” Inverarity was quoted as saying by The Australian.
Inverarity was the selector on duty for the first two Tests in India and flew back home before four cricketers, including Watson, were dropped from the third Test for disciplinary reasons.
The chief selector backed coach Mickey Aurthur’s decision to drop Watson, Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Johnson and James Pattinson over breach of discipline.
Inverarity also said that the selectors did consider alternatives before asking Watson to lead in the absence of Clarke, who skipped the fourth Test due to a chronic back injury.
“I won’t go into details there but it was all carefully considered. There were a couple of other options and that was the preferred option. He was tour vice-captain and he was the one who had captaincy experience at international level, and from all quarters that was the preferred option,” he said
Asked whether Watson could be chosen for the Ashes, Inverarity said the selection committee was concerned about his performances in India.
“We’re concerned about his performances. In those ODI matches back in Australia his form looked to be outstanding, and in the first couple of Test matches when I was there he was playing well until the ball of his dismissal. But his performances, we need him, he is one of those senior players, and talented players and experienced players, and we need him performing,” he said.
Inverarity said the selection panel will have discussions later this week and through April about the performances of the players who were part of the India tour.