Mohali: Australian captain Michael Clarke said on Wednesday that Shane Watson may join the team for the fourth Test in Delhi, if things go according to plan.
“Shane has flown back for the birth of first child... If things go according to plan and they have the baby during this Test match, then Shane can hopefully fly back for the fourth Test,” Clarke told a press conference.
The following are excerpts
His batting and leadership in the series
It’s certainly one of the challenges of my career to come here as a player and captain and try to have success both personally and also as a team. We’ve seen in the first two Test matches how difficult it can be... You need to play well over all the five days to beat India in the subcontinent. Throughout the series, we’ve played some good cricket but only in patches. I’m hoping that we can do better in this Test match.
On the current problems in the team
It’s a tough challenge, that’s for sure. I think as a captain and selector, you always would like to be able to select from your full range of players. But in the current circumstances, we still have 13 players to select from, if Matthew Wade is passed fit. But I am confident with the 11 we decide to go with, we can have success and win this third Test.
Whether the controversy would haunt the team
I think that’s been a big part of the last two days. But we have trained really well. Our focus is to look forward to this Test match. There’s obviously been a lot of media attention, a lot of talk about the decision that was made. But we know we need to be focused on this Test.
On James Pattinson’s comment that he should have been fined, not banned
That’s not what I read. I think James was fantastic in the media. Like all the players, they respect the decision. I think it’s important that we focus on this game now, not look back on what has happened. I really don’t want to talk about it. I think everyone is well aware of it and I am here today to be focused on the third Test.
Whether Pattinson should have been given a chance after apologising
The decision has been made and those four players are unavailable for this Test match. Now Brad Haddin has arrived, and we have a squad of 13 to select from, only for this Test match.
The verbal battles of Watson and Cricket Australia performance chief Pat Howard
Look as I said I think it’s important that the team and myself as captain look forward, not backwards. What’s done is done, decisions have been made.
On whether he would have taken the same decision had the series been 1-1
It would not have changed anything.
If Shane Watson will play the fourth Test
I hope so, yeah... As we all know, Shane has flown back for the birth of first child, which is very exciting for him and his lovely wife Lee and their family. I spoke to Watto as he landed in Sydney. And fingers crossed, if things go according to the plan and they have the baby during this Test match, then Shane can hopefully fly back for the fourth Test.
I’ve seen the wicket yesterday (Tuesday), I’ve not seen it today yet, but I imagine it hasn’t have changed much. There’s not much grass to cut off (laughs). And it was quite dry yesterday, probably it would only be a little bit dryer. I think the conditions are going to be very similar to what we faced in the first two Tests. There’s no real surprise there. I know, I’ve played some cricket in Mohali... generally they leave a bit of grass on the wicket... That’s nice for the fast bowlers. But I’m not surprised that all the grass has been cut off. And that’s part of international cricket.
Practising on the fifth day track in Hyderabad
I think it all helps. It all gives you more experience in these conditions. If you can practise on an actual pitch you played a Test match on, that can only be a positive for the batting unit. However, it doesn’t guarantee success.
The Australian batting order
I am going to bat up in the order. The exact batting order would be decided after we finalise the playing XI.
On Shikhar Dhawan
I have seen a bit of footage…but I haven’t seen much!