The Ashes: David Warner may be back as opener for fourth Test

Shane Watson's failure to score a fifty in the first three Tests forces Australian team management a rethink on who will partner Chris Rogers at Chester-Le-Street.

Updated: August 06, 2013 18:41 IST
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David Warner may be back as Australia's opening batsman for the fourth Ashes Test at Chester-Le-Street from August 9 (Friday). This means Shane Watson, who has failed to score a fifty in the first three Tests as an opening bat, will bat in the lower order. (Read: Michael Clarke's 24th ton rockets him to world No.2)

The decision to make Watson open in the Ashes was taken by new coach Darren Lehmann. But there is a rethink in the Australian camp as the visitors seek to win the next two Tests and at least square the series that England lead 2-0. (Also read: Allan Border says Australia looking dangerous again)

"We may do, yeah, but at the end of the day, it's the selectors getting together and making that decision," Lehmann said. "We always consult the captain about what he considers is the best batting order as well, so for us we'll make that decision once we see the wicket in Durham."

Skipper Michael Clarke is not sure where Watson will bat. But if Watson's statistics are any indication, the talented all-rounder has done little justice to his batting talent. He has averaged a shade over 20 in 2013 and his last Test century came against India in Mohali in October 2010.

"Watto has made it clear to me and everyone that he loves opening the batting," Clarke said. "The positive with Shane Watson is that he is such a good bowler. It's a tough one, we have to work out first and foremost what is the best for the team and then give Watto the opportunity to play where he feels most comfortable and where he thinks he can have the most success - because if he is scoring runs and taking wickets, it goes a long way to helping us win Test matches.

"We will continue to talk and assess what is best for the team. Shane understood my reasoning for opening with Warner in the second innings and was more than happy to move to No.4, and has made it clear that wherever I want him to bat, he will do that for the team."

In the rain-hit third Test in Manchester, Warner, who batted at No.6 in the first innings, was promoted for the second innings as the Australians sought quick runs, while Watson moved down to No.4. The Australians may just experiment with this option in fourth Test.

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