Watson outstanding as stand-in skipper: Arthur

Melbourne: Australian cricket coach Mickey Arthur has reckoned that Shane Watson has done an outstanding job and exceeded expectations in leading the ODI squad in Michael Clarke’s absence.

“Shane’s been really good, he has been outstanding. He’s led very well, he’s led with authority. He’s almost performed above expectation in that area, which is great,” The Age quoted Arthur, as saying.

Arthur said the hamstring injury that has ruled Clarke out of the one-day series in the Caribbean could prove a silver lining by giving Watson the experience to become a captain in future.

“If things happen to Clarkey we want to have an able vice-captain who can take over.

He’s also a vice-captain playing all forms of the game. Shane … can give huge support to Michael through the Tests and ODIs and to George Bailey through the Twenty20s,” he added.

Arthur described foreign conditions and a largely unknown opposition as biggest challenges confronting the Australian squad.

“An unknown opposition does present more challenges. They can hit you hard up front and we could be chasing our tails for the rest of the series. We’ve got the week now to make sure in all disciplines we’re right to go on Friday,” he added.