Brisbane: Stand-in Australian skipper Shane Watson has said that he expects Michael Clarke to take charge of the squad during the Commonwealth Bank best of three finals against Sri Lanka, and has also praised South Australian all-rounder Daniel Christian for his five wicket haul, including a hattrick, against the Lankans here on Friday.
Watson, who has led the team in Clarke`s absence for the past two matches, said he was impressed by Christian`s efforts.
"To get five wickets in a one-day international is a pretty hard task. I think that will give him a hell of a lot of confidence now to know that he`s certainly good enough to be able to be a high-quality all-rounder in world cricket. It gives the captain even more options with our team having two all-rounders especially - he`s fitting in very nicely," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Watson, as saying.
A smiling Christian said he was pretty excited by his performance against Sri Lanka in Friday’s match.
Christian snared 5-31 with the ball in Australia`s nine-run loss to Sri Lanka at the MCG on Friday, including the scalps of Thisara Perera, Sachitra Senanayake and Nuwan Kulasekara in consecutive deliveries.
He said: "That`s the stuff you dream about as a kid - under 11s was my last one."
Christian, who has claimed 13 wickets at 20.30 in the series so far, believes that there is room for him and Watson to play together against Sri Lanka in the finals.
He knows that he also has to chalk up the runs with the bat, given his all-rounder tag. He has scored 158 runs at an average of 26.33 in the series so far.
He believes that if Watson and he are included in the eleven, Australia`s batting and bowling options will be enhanced.
There is a possibility that opener David Warner, who has scored 195 at an average of 24.37, could be made to sit out to accommodate Clarke.
Sri Lanka have never beaten Australia at the Gabba in ODIs, but will be backing themselves to break that drought on Sunday.