Clarke hopes Watson can fly back to India for the fourth Test

Two Test defeats, players' indiscipline issues and a hint of revolt in the team, Michael Clarke had his hands full in the last couple of days. On the eve of the third Test starting here from Thursday, the Australian skipper touched upon a range of issues, including Shane Watson’s possible return to India for the Delhi Test beginning March 22.

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Is there any chance of Watson flying back for the fourth Test?

I hope so. As we all know, Shane has flown back for the birth of first child, which is very exciting for him and his lovely wife Lee and their family. I know he’s really excited about that. I spoke to Shane as he landed in Sydney. And fingers crossed, hopefully, all goes to plan and everything is well with Lee and the baby and the family... And they have the baby during this Test match and then Shane can hopefully fly back for the fourth Test and be part of hopefully our second win of this tour!

Have you put the controversies behind you?

Yes, I think that’s been a big part of the last two days for us as a team. We’ve trained really well and today will be no different. Our focus after we made our decision a couple of days ago was to look forward, to look forward to this Test match. And we’ve been wholly and solely focussed on that as a team over the past 48 hours. There’s obviously been a lot of media, a lot of talk about the decision that was made.

How do you look at your batting and leadership in this crucial juncture?

It’s certainly one of the challenges of my career to come here as a player and captain and try to have success both personally and also as a team. I think we’ve seen in the first two Test matches how difficult it can be. You need to play well over all the five days to beat India in the subcontinent, that’s for sure. I think as a team we’ve learnt in the first two Test matches and I’m hoping that we can show that in this Test match.

In view of what happened (axing of four players) which is the bigger challenge, batting or captaincy?

It’s a tough challenge, that’s for sure. I think as a captain and selector, you always would like to be able to select from your full range of players, the full squad. But with the circumstances we have, we still have 13 players, if Matthew Wade is passed fit, to select from. And I’m very confident with the 11 we decide to go with, we can have success and win this third Test.

Are you happy with the quality of spinners?

Yes. Look we have three spinners – Nathan Lyon, Xavier Doherty and Glenn Maxwell, who is an all-rounder and who had some success in the last Test match. Look we have got some options there, it’s about us trying to work out what is our best bowling attack and what our best batters are to take the field and hopefully give us the most success in this Test match.


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