Ponting gives Watson the thumbs up

Trusted: Ricky Ponting has backed Shane Watson to make the No.3 batting position his own in the upcoming Test series against West Indies. Picture: Mal FaircloughFORMER Test captain Ricky Ponting has backed fellow Sutherland Shire resident Shane Watson to be Australia’s long-term No.3 batting option as Watson prepares to make his comeback from Test cricket on Sunday.
Nanjing Night Net

Watson is set to play his first Test since November when Australia take on West Indies in a three-Test series in Bridgetown.

His break away from international cricket even saw Watson turn out for club side, Sutherland, earlier this year.

Despite his success at opening the batting for Australia, Watson is set to drop down the order as the selectors accommodate in-form pair, David Warner and Ed Cowan.

It will be the first time Watson has batted at first drop but Ponting expects the all-rounder to make a successful transition.

“There might be a slight adjustment for Shane,” Ponting said. “I know there was a big adjustment for me moving from six to three.

“Shane has been a top order batsman all his life.

“If anything, slotting down that one spot might be that little bit easier.”

Ponting makes his return to international cricket after being dumped from Australia’s limited-overs side.

He finished Australia’s most recent Test series against India scoring 544 runs and averaging 108.80.

“The Indian series was great,” Ponting said.

“It was a long time between drinks and to play well was satisfying.”

Australia face a West Indies side boosted by drawing the recent Twenty20 and One-Day series. “You’ve got to give them credit for what they did,” Ponting said.

Posted by at 14/05/2018
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