Watson’s stocks continue to climb with vice- captaincy role
SHANE Watson has continued his incredible rise in Australian cricket by being named vice-captain and a potential captain-in-waiting.
Barely two years since he was still trying to get his body right and establish a place in the side, Watson is now possibly the most valuable player in the national setup. Yesterday he was named Michael Clarke’s deputy in the Test and one-day sides, while he will also vice-captain the Twenty20 team behind Cameron White.
‘‘ It really has been an amazing couple of years,’’ Watson said alongside Clarke in Sydney. ‘‘ It’s something that I never really thought would be coming my way when I really struggled to get on the field.
‘‘ For things to come together now and to be the vice-captain of the Australian cricket team is still hard for me to get my head around. Just to play with the team and be able to contribute the way that I have is something I never thought would come about. ‘‘ I’m really excited about this new role.’’ Watson’s litany of fitness problems, that included back stress fractures, hamstring strains, hip complaints, a dislocated shoulder and food poisoning, now seem a distant memory for the burly 29-year- old. He is entrenched at the top of the batting order and a valuable back-up paceman, giving selectors the allrounder they’ve desired ever since Andrew Flintoff destroyed the Australians in the 2005 Ashes series.
After winning the Allan Border Medal in 2010, Watson swept the board this year, winning the medal again along with the Test and one-day player of the year awards. Watson said his first assignment was with the bat: ‘‘ That’s my biggest task more than anything, more than the vicecaptain, turning my fifties into some bigger scores.’’