Clarke casts doubt on Watson

  • Last Updated: February 12 2013, 11:38 GMT

Australia captain Michael Clarke has cast doubt on Shane Watson's place in the side, admitting the batting line-up for the Test series against India is far from certain.

Michael Clarke: Unsure over Watson's place in Test side
Michael Clarke: Unsure over Watson's place in Test side

Watson recently gave up his all-rounder status, dropping the bowling, so he could stay fit after a series of injuries. It means the batting line-up requires a new all-rounder and Watson is no longer certain of a place.

Though Watson has made it clear that he would prefer to open, he has said he would be content in the middle order and given the flourishing opening partnership between Ed Cowan and David Warner, Clarke refused to be drawn into specifics.

Speaking on Tuesday, the captain said: "Ed, like Davey Warner, had a really good summer and (both) put their hands up against the No 1 Test team in the world (South Africa).

"Obviously, Shane needs to come back into the line-up somewhere. It's a lot different now that Watto is not bowling, as an all-rounder I think he walks into any team.

"As a batsman, there is a much bigger pool of players, so we need to work out what our best batting line-up is."

The skipper had positive news over his fitness as he said he would likely be ready for the first Test on 22 February. He missed the last ODI against the West Indies with a hamstring niggle but aims to keep up his impressive record of having never missed a Test through injury.

Clarke said: "I think I've been lucky throughout my career to be honest, with the degeneration I have in my back. To have played 89 Test matches and not to have missed one is something I'm very proud of."

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