Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Shane Watson's Baggy Green Days Are Over

Initially, you were distracted by the seeming farce of the 'Homework Gate' scandal engulfing the Australian Team which saw 4 players suspended for not submitting a report.  Then, as you listened to the reactions from the key players you gained a great clarity by seeing it as a 'smokescreen' with only one key target in mind

That being Shane Watson and his removal from the Australian Test Team

There has been a litany of examples that have rankled the powers that be over Watson. But this seemingly irrelevant event was symbolically the cap that was left off the toothpaste leading to the divorce courts. 2 nil down in India with the very real prospect of a humiliating whitewash with the Team set a mundane task. As Vice Captain, even if he saw this as Mark Waugh viewed it 'as the biggest joke he has ever heard of' it was his role as leader to support it. Instead, he chose to pay the task little respect and then rather than show remorse and leadership by remaining in India to take his medicine and support his Team Mates he fled with these words

'At this point in time I am at a stage where I have to weigh up my future with what I want to do with my cricket in general.'

Painting himself as being selfish in the extreme with him being in denial over his actions and responsibility to the team in the wake of them. His only thought was having Shane Watson first, second and third in his priorities and the Australian Cricket Team as a distant last. To the point of turning his back on the Team in its hour of need and threatening to forsake the ultimate honour of the Baggy Green by walking a way from it

A point bemoaned by High Performance Coach Pat Howard

I know Shane reasonably well. I think he acts in the best interests of the team sometimes. 

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/sport/cricket/watson-on-the-verge-of-test-oblivion-20130312-2fy3c.html#ixzz2NOGkYQu5

The reality of this cannot be denied and was seen in the lead up to this Tour with his offensive 'sense of entitlement' to be in the Australian Team being heard loud and clear.

Taking up all the pre tour coverage with his constant views of where he should be batting in the top 6 which only served to put the focus and unneeded pressure on the Aussie top three. With him stating that is his preference. It was apparent that these constant noises coming from his Vice Captain was not well received from Captain Michael Clarke with him responding in this manner

The injury-plagued all-rounder's decision to return to international cricket as a batsman exposes him to a much bigger fight for a Test berth. 

Reading between the lines, Clarke is questioning Watson's right to be in the team solely as a batsmen with his average of 25.2 in his 13 Tests since the conclusion of the Ashes in 2011 supporting this view.  As a bowling all rounder he morphs into one of the most dangerous players in the game with his mastery of reverse swing. A talent that at stages of this series could have been used with great effect to  stave off the tidal wave that has engulfed the Team.

Damning to Watson once more was the admission from the Aussie Team that his inability to bowl was not at their behest, but rather a choice of the player.

Hard to forgive that choice by a Vice Captain Watson when the Team was in need with it pointing to his lack of intent as seen in Michael Clarke's comments during the Hyderabad Test

Clarke made it clear that he wasn't pleased with the fact that a genuine all-rounder wasn't pulling his weight at all with the ball. "Shane has made it clear right now that he's concentrating on his batting and batting only. You know that wasn't Cricket Australia making that decision."

It seems in the wake of this that Coach Mickey Arthur's reference to the 'line in the sand' is a revert back to the ethos of Bobby Simpson and Allan Border from the dark days of the mid 80's. Where they sought out only players who had a rabid desire to do anything for the Baggy Green with the players lacking this zelotry cast aside.

Meaning Watson's threat of retiring from Test Cricket might be all in vain with it more than likely being already retired from him

Hopefully, he does not miss out on those huge pay days in the T20 cash Leagues from the paper cuts he might incur from signing the huge contracts.......

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