Watto Lotto: Some Selectors Sticking with Shane

Shane Watson's World Cup selection continues to be a guessing game. Mitch Marsh made way for the Queenslander against Sri Lanka but who'll play against Scotland and which player will feature in the finals?

Shane Watson fought for his World Cup spot against Sri Lanka sending out a message that he’s still a valuable member of Australia’s One Day side. He was brilliant with the bat blasting 67 off 41 balls before being given some of his own medicine with the ball, going for 10 runs an over, though he did take the wicket of Sri Lankan all-rounder Angelo Matthews. Those numbers could mean nothing however as it appears the Queenslander’s selection in the side is dependent on which selector is picking the team. Confused? Likewise!

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Selection Strategy Leaves Heads Spinning

Watson was axed against Afghanistan as match selector for Perth Rod Marsh didn’t see fit to include the under performing player. Despite Australia’s World Cup record performance, the team changed for their crucial clash with Sri Lanka, with Mark Waugh the main selector for the Sydney showdown. The ex All-rounder recalled Watson ahead of Mitch Marsh… ironically for his bowling ability. It seems each selector has his own man in mind, which means maybe Watson will remain in the team to take on Scotland with Waugh once again in charge of selecting the 11? But then what happens when we reach the knockout stages?

It’s understood that the selectors themselves have problems with the current model that dictates that the man on the ground makes the final call, and the fact that Watson and Mitchell Marsh are being picked “horses for courses” as Cricket Australia have explained, won’t exactly give either player confidence heading into the finals. What highlighted Australia’s selection deficiencies was Rod Marsh’s statement regarding Watson’s absence against Afghanistan. He made it clear Watson wouldn’t be back in the team unless there was an injury or poor form from another player, and while Marsh made little impact against the minnows, the youngster made way for Watson just days later for neither of these reasons.

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Guessing Game Ahead of Final Pool Match

Marsh made a magnificent start to the World Cup taking 5 wickets in Australia’s opening match while also contributing with the bat, but he’s been below his best in two matches since. Watson’s batting display against Sri Lanka was the most significant thing he’s done in the tournament so far, despite being selected ahead of Marsh for his bowling. Whoever’s selected against Scotland will be out to prove a point but even a man of the match performance may not guarantee either player a position in the team for the Quarter Finals. If Australia go on to win the World Cup questions won’t be asked over the selection policy but if the Aussies don’t lift the silverware on home soil the chop and change approach will surely come under fire.