i think any half decent batsman would prefer to open the batting in ODI cricket than have to bat at 7 or 8.
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Not a bad idea if you ask me, that way he has a chance to get himself set and won't feel the need to go after the bowling too much if Gilchrist is his opening partner. He definately needs to be batting in the top 4, it really depends on whether the selectors prefer Katich or Martyn.
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I think he can do a good job opening, especially considering he'll have Gilly partnering him. That should sufficiently reduce the pressure to score faster than a run a ball, and he can push the strike around at around 80 per 100 balls.
He's also a very technically correct batsmen, and is much more comfortable against pace bowling than against spin, especially at the start of his innings. So should he spend sufficient time out there to see a spinner, he should already have his eye in to cope much better than if he was coming in against them at #7 with 10 or 15 overs to go.
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The other advantage is that Australia can have an extra bowling option, which IMO they have struggled with since Lehmann went out of the team. Could also see this as an option to get Brad Hogg more game time, as they still play 4 seamers with Hogg in the team.
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Ideally Watson will become the #3 for Australia in both forms once Ponting retires. If you bat at 3 for Tasmania you are practically opening anyway so he should be fine
The problem comes in if the selectors still see him as an all rounder and we rely upon him to still be able to bowl the full quota of 10. Big ask to bat first at Adelaide in 35 degree heat and then after a long innings back it up with the ball later on in the evening.
Last edited by Great Birtannia; 13-10-2006 at 08:47 PM.
I think that's where Tharmi's point comes into play. As it allows the Aussie's to play another bowler, so if he does make a big one in the heat he can bowl minimal overs and there's still Clarke and Symonds to cover his overs.Originally Posted by Great Birtannia
The problem arises though if Australia bats 2nd... if he's bowled 10 overs his batting is definetly going to suffer. IMO he's best suited at 4, this way he can still effectively juggle batting & bowling without 1 having to much of an impact on the other.
Opening may work when batting 1st, for the reason the DCYE pointed out above, but i see it being a dilema when we bat second.
He'll be able to handle both roles while he's young. And I think the bigger issue will be bowling and fielding in the first innings then having to open. If they bat first, he'd be more rested in the second innings if he opens rather than coming in down the order and having to run hard.
You could possibly have him open if they bat first, then play it by ear if they bat second.
I don't think this will be a long term option, its just a way to get him into the side so he can continue to develop. It also allows Australia to solve a problem they have at the top of order, Katich.
His a very good batsmen, but his not really suited to opening the batting in International Cricket, he does a brilliant job in domestic cricket and is doing ok ATM in ODIs. But will ok be good enough to win Australia, the World Cup, probably not.
As other have said long term Watson will be batting at 3 or 4, but now his only position can be either Opening, 7 or 8 or not in the side. This is the best option for Australia and him for the time being.
for now he should open, get Katich out of there, but by the time the world cup comes around i'd like to see at 4 with either Jaques or Hayden opening with Gilly.
I think he should be able to manage his workload sufficiently enough, especially with Clarke and Symonds both there to roll their arms over. It probably won't be very often he has to bowl a whole ten overs unless he is bowling really well and Ponting wants to keep him on.
With Gilchrist and Watson opening, you'll have a setup similar to the Lankan team of the late 90's, with two pinch-hitters at the top, both being non-specialists. It will be most effective if both of them go for the bowlign and attempt the big ones, but Hayden shoudln't be out of the plans. He's still the best opener they've got. As for Jacques, we haven't seen much of him yet, though many say age is on his side, but achievement is on Hayden's.
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Donít think Watsonís directives will be to pinch hit. His a naturally aggressive player but his a bit better than a fly by night pinch hitter (same goes for Gilchrist).Originally Posted by Arjun
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