# Thread: Solving the Watson conundrum

1. ## Solving the Watson conundrum

So benchy says he'd pick Watson as a specialist bat for India/the Ashes whatever happens. Burgey'd move him to #6. I say that he's not picking his own place in the side without his bowling. I'm sure spikey had something useful to say, but I must have missed it, and uvelocity won't read the debate for six hours anyway.

Safe to say that there's conflicting thoughts on what we do with the all-rounder who often resembles a particularly thoughtlessly laid out china shop during an earthquake.

Thoughts, ****s?

2. Originally Posted by Spark
So benchy says he'd pick Watson as a specialist bat for India/the Ashes whatever happens. Burgey'd move him to #6. I say that he's not picking his own place in the side without his bowling. I'm sure spikey had something useful to say, but I must have missed it, and uvelocity won't read the debate for six hours anyway.

Safe to say that there's conflicting thoughts on what we do with the all-rounder who often resembles a particularly thoughtlessly laid out china shop during an earthquake.

Thoughts, ****s?

Let me just put my thoughts here first:

Watson as a specialist bat alone is in Australia's top six batsmen... However I think that can only be achieved if you tell him he won't bowl and he needs to give it up. I don't think that should happen though, because he's a more valuable package with his bowling, and without this bowling he's by no means a lock, but I'm still confident he's in the best 6 bats.

3. Thing is, though, where does he bat? I'm with Burgey insofar as I think that, given his injury record - and if you make him bowl then I think you have to accept that - he has to bat #6 and his game is just so ill-suited for #6 at Test level for whatever reason it's not funny. But bat him anywhere else and he becomes a destabilising influence on the batting order at precisely the time we need to lock it down. Tricky tstl. I definitely agree that he's more valuable with his bowling but I'm not really cool with him going in and out of the order all the time in such key positions.

And I say that as someone who once strongly advocated him batting #4 in the first place.

4. If he bowls, he should bat at four. As a bat alone, probably opener.

5. Quite so.

Watson shouldn't be batting at #6, IMHO. No lower than four. Him starting against spin, for all his improvment in that regard, is never going to be pretty so the chances of it happening should be minimised as much as possible

6. Drop him from the Test side and be done with it already.

Watson's of more value as a ODI and T20 opener and all-rounder than he is in the Test team. His batting is thoughtless - he feels for the ball early, plays around his front pad with alarming regularity, can't play quality spin and doesn't make any bloody hundreds. Yes, he's a gun Shield bat, but we can't persist with an all-rounder in the top 4 who can't make tons, can't bowl overs and can't stay on the park.

Having Watson coming in-and-out every second Test destabilises the squad; Hussey suddenly gets more bowling thrust upon him, and a new batsman gets introduced to the XI every five minutes as we pick then discard them.

In ODIs, his batting can be devastating as he can get away with his mediocre footwork by using his great eye and power, and his bowling is the equivalent of a front-liner, without the strain of 20+ overs on a day. He can't get through more than 10 without breaking down, as we've now seen.

He just doesn't have the concentration to bat for long periods; he's had more than enough chances to rectify it. Keep him as a gun limited-overs player and blood someone in the Test squad.

Do we bring in Khawaja or an all-rounder (Maxwell, Henriques the frontrunners)?

7. Doesn't he have stacks and stacks of big FC hundreds, though? Can clearly bat for a long time. I just think his technique makes him easily tied down for long periods even when set, and that just puts far too much constant pressure on him as he's not getting off-strike. I'm sort of with benchy in that his best spot is still #4 IMO but it's so annoying.

As I said, the *real* problem with him batting anywhere other than #6 is more the fact that you'll have to have him going in and out of the order all the time.

8. On a side note, there's this Tasmanian bloke by the name of Ponting making runs and taking wickets. Shame he isn't playing.

Or we SOS Katman. Best all-rounder in the country still.

9. Originally Posted by rvd619323
Drop him from the Test side and be done with it already.

Watson's of more value as a ODI and T20 opener and all-rounder than he is in the Test team. His batting is thoughtless - he feels for the ball early, plays around his front pad with alarming regularity, can't play quality spin and doesn't make any bloody hundreds. Yes, he's a gun Shield bat, but we can't persist with an all-rounder in the top 4 who can't make tons, can't bowl overs and can't stay on the park.

Having Watson coming in-and-out every second Test destabilises the squad; Hussey suddenly gets more bowling thrust upon him, and a new batsman gets introduced to the XI every five minutes as we pick then discard them.

In ODIs, his batting can be devastating as he can get away with his mediocre footwork by using his great eye and power, and his bowling is the equivalent of a front-liner, without the strain of 20+ overs on a day. He can't get through more than 10 without breaking down, as we've now seen.

He just doesn't have the concentration to bat for long periods; he's had more than enough chances to rectify it. Keep him as a gun limited-overs player and blood someone in the Test squad.

Do we bring in Khawaja or an all-rounder (Maxwell, Henriques the frontrunners)?
Pretty much disagree with all of that ftr.

10. Had great hopes for him but I have had enough of him being treated as indispensible

In a perfect world, I would punt him and would prefer to see our batting order as:

Warner
Cowan
Usman
Clarke
Hughes
Hussey

IMO, without his bowling, he shouldnt be playing as he doesnt score enough runs to be a top order player nor play spin well enough to bat further down

11. Originally Posted by Spark
Doesn't he have stacks and stacks of big FC hundreds, though? Can clearly bat for a long time. I just think his technique makes him easily tied down for long periods even when set, and that just puts far too much constant pressure on him as he's not getting off-strike. I'm sort of with benchy in that his best spot is still #4 IMO but it's so annoying.
Yeah, he has 17 FC tons in 190 innings. But that doesn't counter the fact that he's made a grand total of 2 Test tons in let's say 30 Tests (ignoring the first handful where he batted at 7). From a bloke being touted as the best in the country at one point, that's pretty poor. Hick or Ramprakash-esque, I would call it.

We were criticising Khawaja and advocating the selection of Hughes for exactly the same reason; it's one thing to deal with being tied down at Shield level - you can hit your way out of it given time. That doesn't happen at Test level.

Look, if he wasn't injured every five minutes, I'd want him persisted with for quite a while. But when he's destabilising it every sixty seconds by buggering up his calf, we may as well put the investment in someone else.

EDIT:
@Benchmark
Fair enough, I definitely understand why you disagree. However, IMO he's never going to be fit enough to play the amount of Test cricket required to make him worthwhile. May as well extend his career in the shorter formats and be done with it.

12. Originally Posted by social
Had great hopes for him but I have had enough of him being treated as indispensible

In a perfect world, I would punt him and would prefer to see our batting order as:

Warner
Cowan
Usman
Clarke
Hughes
Hussey

IMO, without his bowling, he shouldnt be playing as he doesnt score enough runs to be a top order player nor play spin well enough to bat further down
You know that he averages more than both Khawaja and Cowan, right? Probably a lot more as an opener. And this is with his batting probably affected by bowling a lot.

13. I love Usman, but he is a long way away from being a test cricketer. If you say Watson gets bogged down and he can get away with it by hitting out in shield cricket and you're advocating Usman, well...

14. Originally Posted by benchmark00
I love Usman, but he is a long way away from being a test cricketer. If you say Watson gets bogged down and he can get away with it by hitting out in shield cricket and you're advocating Usman, well...
This I definitely agree with.

15. I tend to think he shouldn't play if he isn't bowling, but are there better options? Khawaja's pretty much the same player without the bowling, and none of the other guys that are better are eligible (Ponting, Katich) or are likely to get picked (Dussey, Cosgrove).

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