The legendary Australian veteran, Ricky Ponting strongly feels that eliminating Shane Watson from the side could prove to be fatal for the Kangaroos in the intense upcoming stages of the tournament. Watson was recently axed against the meek Afghanistan’s side and Steven Smith moved up the order to fill his void and the all-rounder James Faulkner filled in for the no. 7 spot making it a destructive batting line up overall and they thoroughly lived up to the expectations by amassing a record 417/6 against the Associate nation.
But clairvoyant Ponting feels that with Maxwell at 5, Mitchell Marsh at 6 and Faulkner at 7, their lower batting order seems to be a bit shallow and might be exposed to the ridges against the better playing sides in the latet stages of the contest.
Ponting also backed his argument with the genuine fact that players like Maxwell, Marsh & Faulkner are the X-Factor guys and can play some of the most fascinating cricket in a completely unorthodox style that is bound to leave the spectators and the critics spellbound but when it comes to intense pressure situations down the tail, you can’t just cash in on them unnervingly.
Watson himself admits that his exclusion is solely because his poor run of form in the recent times which consist of only a mere single 50+ score in his past 12 ODI appearances. Though the Kangaroo all-rounder is passing through a lean patch of form, a career average of slightly above 40 and 9 notable ODI centuries are a fine example of the skill and class of this fine lad. He also has failed miserably with the ball by not taking a single wicket from the last 6 times he’s been made to bowl and he hasn’t been able to cross the mark of claiming 2 or more wickets in an innings since October 2013.
And on the other hand we have his career bowling statistics that boast of a 164 wickets grabbed with a decent economy of under 5 runs an over which is a testament to his productive bowling methods which makes Ponting believe that he is a much better option than Marsh for filling in as the third all-rounder in the side.
The all-rounder wasn’t a part of the squad for the Australian tours of the Zimbabwe & UAE the preceding year due to a calf injury & had also missed 3 of Aussies 5 matches in the Carlton Mid-ODI Tri series just before the commencement of the World Cup.