Not interested in being used for fixing Oz middle order malaise: Watson

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

SYDNEY - Australian opener Shane Watson has said that he does not want to be used as a fix for Australia’s middle-order malaise.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Watson has told senior figures within the Australian set-up that he sees his future as an opener, but stressed he had not been asked to move to prop up deficiencies elsewhere.

“I would be putting forward a very strong case to stay at the top of the order and, to be totally honest, I have in the last three or four months. That is exactly where I do want to bat,” Watson told the Herald.

“More than anything you need to perform wherever you’re batting to solidify what you re saying as well. They haven’t asked me to move down, just asked me what my thoughts were about where I see myself at. I love the challenge of taking on the world’s best quick bowlers with the brand new ball, it’s an amazing challenge. I’m really enjoying it,” he added.

Watson’s strong stance highlights the difficulty selectors face in convincing the 29-year-old the team would be better served with him at five or six in place of either Michael Hussey or Marcus North, who are under pressure to retain their place for this summer’s Ashes.

Captain Ricky Ponting said late last year: “Shane’s style of play, he’s better suited down the middle order and giving us 15 to 20 overs a day as well. That’s the sort of cricketer I always thought he’d be.”

So far, the numbers have done the talking for Watson, who has averaged 50.44 in 14 matches since being reincarnated as an opener in England last year.

In that time, he and Simon Katich have opened together 24 times and passed 50 on 11 occasions.

Their average of 56.5 compares favourably to the Hayden-Langer and Taylor-Slater combinations, though those pairs had longevity on their side. (ANI)

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