Watson could return for fourth Test
Australia captain Michael Clarke remains hopeful Shane Watson will return for the fourth Test against India in Delhi.
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Watson was originally meant to leave the touring party after the third Test, as wife Lee Furlong is expecting their first child.
But with the birth brought forward, Watson opted to return home to Australia, despite his exit leading to much speculation about his future in the team.
Watson, James Pattinson, Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Johnson were told earlier this week they would not be considered for the third Test after the team management opted to punish them for failing to make a presentation on how the side could improve.
Clarke believes there is a chance Watson may be available for the fourth Test if the child arrives early and declared the 31-year-old remained the team's vice-captain.
"I'll be in contact with Cricket Australia ... but looking at what's happened through the Australian summer, one-day cricket, we haven't appointed another vice captain," said Clarke on the Cricket Australia website.
"Shane Watson's still the vice captain for this tour and at this stage he's gone home for the birth of his first child and hopefully we get him back for the fourth Test."
There has been growing speculation in recent months that Watson and Clarke do not see eye to eye.
However, the captain said he was certain this week's events were something his team-mate would learn from and maintained he still had a future with Australia.
"He definitely can (remain as vice-captain)," Clarke told News Limited.
"There have been times throughout my career where I know I have let myself and the team down and you learn from that.
"'Watto' knows how important he is to this group. He knows he is a senior player in this group and both of us on this tour have learned a lot and spent a fair bit of time together, which has been good for me as captain and also 'Watto', I'm hoping, as vice-captain."