Ok, really? What? You’re kidding? No. It can’t be, can it?
Alright, let’s not talk about this as if it’s going to happen. Let’s not say it, OUT LOUD!
Stop it. Now. All of you. ALL OF YOU!
You know what rumours and the internet are like. If people get a sniff, it will travel, it gets legs, people will start to run online polls about it and you know what could happen then?!
It could actually happen.
Are we really talking seriously about Shane Watson walking out on Boxing Day as captain if Michael Clarke is injured?
Shane Watson captain. Of Australia. The Test Team.
In a real match!!!
In the name of everything we hold dear, at a time of coming together and sharing, when the world is in turmoil and needs certainty, WE ARE ACTUALLY CONSIDERING THIS COULD OCCUR.
Give. Me. A. Break.
I have no issues with him in the side; I am not advocating anything drastic. He has been able to take wickets and I think a big score, just like a few years ago when opening, is not far away. This is not like when we all tried to fool ourselves that Steve Smith was in the best 6 batsmen in the country when the Poms were last here.
So, he’s fine to be in the side.
But CAPTAIN! Say it ain’t so Joe.
What in the hell does Mike Hussey have to do, besides have gone to the same party where Watto was, hiding behind the pot plants, and taking photos of Hilditch then Invers in flagrante delicto with the donkey from Bachelor Party, to get the gig.
It may only be a one off, but it goes in the book. It may be against Sri Lanka, not the Saffers or the Indian conquering Poms, but history will record it. It may be due to injury, but the (C) will be after the name.
Please, whatever else you think of us Cricket Australia: Do not appoint Shane Watson as Australian Captain for the Boxing Day test due to Michael Clarke’s hamstring.
The line of Australian captains over the last 30 years from Greg Chappell, who last led us out in 82/83, has numbered only 8, with esteemed names such as Border, Taylor, Steve Waugh, Ponting and Clarke amongst them, with Yallop and Hughes being in carge also and the Gilchrist fill in Tests making up the numbers.
For players who have filled in as Australia Test Captain due to injury or unavailability since WW2, the names, besides Gilchrist who did it on 6 occasions, (winning series in both Sri Lanka and, famously, in India mind you) include:
Barry Jarman – once – the bloke could keep
Brian Booth – twice – good batsmen, excellent Olympic hockey player
Neil Harvey – once – despite his recent dial-a-quote stature as rubbisher of all things post B&W TV, handy batsman just quietly
Ray Lindwall – once – brilliant bowler, ‘nuff said
Arthur Morris – twice – could bat, learnt under Bradman and by all accounts, a cracking fellow
Bill Brown – once – ditto Morris and more
So, we feel that Shane Watson, he of the dodgy all round fitness, poor running between the wickets, lack of love from the Australian public and grumpy and vacant expression, should captain the country?
As a batsman, he’s fine to be in the side. As a bowler, he is a key supporting part of the overall bowling attack. As a fieldsman, he has a safe pair of hands.
But as a Captain of the Australian test side, if we appoint him, even as a stand in, then we have jumped the shark and it is a slippery slope towards replica baggy greens being sold in Rebel Sports or the chance to field for Australia (like young Silk in Hobart) being given away with three Weet Bix bar codes.
Seriously, what does Mike Hussey have to do to be considered as the most likely stand in?
He’s not going to be the long term option, so there’s no threat there (like Gilchrist). He doesn’t crave the role (like Gilchrist, who was happy to be rid of it). He is in seriously good form (like the other stand ins mentioned above), and he would be someone we would all respect as a suitable guy to be on the list. He has leadership written all over him, selfless and quality in spades.
Watson is not part of the long term succession plan, which hasn’t really started with Clarke so early in his tenure. Ponting has gone, and cannot be called up temporarily. Hussey is the most sensible, logical, wise choice that could actually have a positive impact on the future of Australian cricket.
He’s respected within the team and in the general public. He’s articulate, seasoned, a motivator and in excellent form. He’s played under great leaders in successful teams.
He’s led before in the NZ one day series, (albeit it unsuccessfully), and probably doesn’t want the gig.
But Shane Watson? Does it really stack up?
I say, wait, I say boy, I say, just wait just a GODDAMN COTTON PICKIN’ MINUTE.
Can we just think about what we are saying here?
Please, if we need a captain on Boxing Day that’s not Clarke, Hussey before Watson, every day of the week.