India vs Australia: The break could help Watson find his mojo

By Suyash Srivastava | Updated: Mar 16, 2013, 16:46 PM IST

In case you ever went to school without doing your homework, what would the punishment be? The teacher would ask you to stand outside the class for the entire period. If you had good company, you won’t mind the punishment. The stricter ones would hit you with a cane or write a few not-so-good comments in your diary. But no matter how many times you repeat the same mistake, they wouldn’t expel you from school, would they? Not sure how the schools in Australia work but their selectors certainly have a harsh policy.

They decided to ‘expel’ the likes of Shane Watson and three others who have represented Australian cricket in the past. Like a school master Mickey Arthur sacked the quartet for the Mohali Test. Although skipper Michael Clarke and Cricket Australia backed the decision, it wasn’t a wise one keeping in mind the form of the rest of their players. But on a positive note, it is a much-needed break for Watson, who has found the going tough of late.

Many might believe that the all-rounder’s decision to fly back to Australia is an arrogant one. Since he had been axed already, I think he did nothing wrong by rushing back to Sydney to be with his wife for the birth of their first child. It is a special moment for him, and who knows it could help him regain his mojo.

I reckon not being able to bowl is something which has affected Watson’s batting throughout the series. He had mentioned his desire to bowl at MS Dhoni when the latter took the game away from the Aussies in Chennai. Watson, who has the knack of breaking partnerships with his prodigiously swinging deliveries, has decided not to bowl until the latter part of the Indian Premier League. No doubt the Indian batsmen have been at their best in the series so far but Australia have missed Watson’s golden arm.

In both the Test matches, he looked confident but failed to convert those starts into big scores. With his bowling curtailed, Watson looks like he tries a bit too hard to make it count with the bat. A break could help him sort out the demons in his head.

Michael Clarke is hopeful of Watto’s return in time for the fourth Test at the Ferozshah Kotla. In case he does decide to rejoin the Aussie squad, we could see a rejuvenated Watson. But reports also suggested that the right-hander is contemplating retirement from Test cricket after he was ‘shattered’ with Cricket Australia’s decision to ban him for one match. Now if that happens, it will only deepen the crisis looming large over Australian cricket.