Sydney: Former Australian captains Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh have said that they believed that former vice-captain Shane Watson is the key to wresting back the Ashes urn from England this winter despite his flop show in India.
Both Taylor and Waugh were the last captains to lead Australia to victory in the Ashes.
Endorsing Watson as the best opener in the country, Taylor said that he should ret urn to the top of the order, while Waugh said that Watson had the skill and ability to score 600 runs in the Ashes battle.
According to Waugh, Watson will be the missing ingredient of the recipe to win the Ashes if he can back captain Michael Clarke and help the top order score runs, adding that Watson should be made to bat more than bowl in the Ashes as he is one of the best batsmen in the team if he focuses on that format itself.
Dismissing critics` gloomy predictions that Watson will head to England with his Test career in danger, Waugh said that the Ashes series will be the most important tour of Watson`s career, adding that he can make his mark in the series if he plays with a clear head and is confident and positive.
However, Taylor said that Watson batting at middle to the lower order of the top six may not be a good idea as he seemed to play his best game when he is opening the batting, adding that Watson should be re-installed as an opener as he will contribute much to the team in that role, especially after losing the burden of being Clarke`s deputy.
It has been a long time since Watson has been at the top of his game with the bat in the five-day arena as he is without a century in his past 39 Test innings and has not averaged above 40 in a series since the last Ashes campaign.