Fate fetes Watson, crowned Oz captain

Last Updated 22 March 2013, 20:43 IST

The quirks of fate can seldom be understood, not even by Shane Watson who experienced it first hand in the last seven days.

After being dropped from the third Test at Mohali for indiscipline and vowing to reconsider his future with the national side, “Watto”, as he is fondly called, on Friday was ordained the 44th Test captain of Australia in the fourth Test of the series here.  

As he walked in at the Feroz Shah Kotla for the toss wearing the Australian blazer, expressions ranged from being critical to one of sheer bemusement. One with immense potential but injury-prone, Watson is touted as the least qualified among the past leaders. His recent suspension, obviously, does not put him in better light.

In what is now termed as ‘homework gate’, Watson along with pacemen James Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson, and batsman Usman Khawaja, was suspended after failing to submit a written feedback on the team’s woeful performance in India.

A furious Watson had publicly questioned the punishment as he flew home to be by the side of his wife, who was expecting their first baby. In the backdrop, rumours of his rift with captain Michael Clarke simmered and the head of cricket operations, Pat Howard, claimed Watson is a team-man “sometimes”.

Watson, who became father of his first son Will on Thursday, later insisted that was the sole reason of his return home. He left for the subcontinent on Monday, assured of things being sorted in the dressing room. Thereafter, Watson’s stars have proved to be exceptionally generous. Clarke’s back, given time till  Friday morning, refused to oblige, forcing the captain to miss a match for the first time in his career because of injury.

Watson, beaming on the windfall, acknowledged it to be an “amazing” feeling. “It has been a very up and down week emotionally.” To be sidelined in a Test match “hit me very hard and it’s been a great process over the week to get back into the team and contribute again,” he said.

“It’s amazing how if you get through the tough times some nice things come along.”

(Published 22 March 2013, 20:43 IST)

Follow us on