Watson to open batting in SA

Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke has confirmed his deputy Shane Watson would continue to open...

EWN default image new logo

Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke has confirmed his deputy Shane Watson would continue to open the batting in South Africa, despite media reports claiming the all-rounder was contemplating a move down the order to revive his form.

The rigour of opening for Australia and bowling regularly appeared to have taken a toll on Watson's batting with the right-hander managing just 85 runs in three tests in last month's 1-0 series victory in Sri Lanka.

In a recent interview, Watson said moving down the batting order might reduce his workload and suit the side but his captain believed otherwise.

"My mind hasn't changed since Sri Lanka," Clarke told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

"Right now, I think he's best in opening the batting and that's certainly where he'll bat in South Africa."

New South Wales coach Anthony Stuart has been quoted in the Indian media as saying they would not ask Watson to bowl in the ongoing Twenty20 Champions League tournament in southern India after receiving a request from Cricket Australia.

Australia are travelling to South Africa to play two Twenty20, three one-day internationals and two tests matches from 13 October to 21 November.

Clarke said he was expecting a tough tour.

"Playing anybody on their home soil is always harder because you know your conditions so well, but, I'm confident if we're at our best, we can beat any team anywhere in the world.

"They have had a lot of success in their own country, so it's as tough a challenge as you face in world cricket, no doubt."