Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Cricket | SA Team

Clarke denies rift with Watson



Australian skipper Michael Clarke on Wednesday denied any rift with vice-captain Shane Watson as the allrounder was ruled out of the second test against South Africa.

Watson has been troubled by a calf injury and tried this week to prove his fitness after missing the drawn series-opener in Brisbane earlier this month.

But Clarke said doubts about Watson's injury prompted Australia to go with an unchanged team for the second test in Adelaide, which starts on Thursday.

"He has improved a lot over the last few days... but is probably a few days short of being 100 per cent," Clarke said.

He added that his vice-captain would have time to get himself right for the third test, which starts in Perth four days after the scheduled end of the Adelaide showdown.

"Once we got here, our intent was to give Watto every chance, as a very important player and vice-captain of the team but unfortunately we've run out of time," Clarke said.

The captain dismissed speculation of a rift with Watson, stressing there was no communication breakdown with his deputy ahead of the Adelaide test.

Clarke said he was aware of rumours suggesting he and Watson were failing to see eye-to-eye, but added that both senior players had a good personal and professional relationship.

"I know there's been talk of that being a little bit different," Clarke said.

"(But) not at all. We have a great relationship.

"Watto and I, our friendship and our professional relationship when it comes to captain and vice-captain, is as close as I can certainly ask for."

Senior batsman Ricky Ponting warned this week against playing a not fully fit Watson, saying it would place too much pressure on his teammates if he was used against the Proteas while injured.

"No one can go into a test match 70 per cent fit," Ponting told reporters on Tuesday. "I don't care if you're a batsman and a slip fielder. If you can't bat at 100 per cent, then you are putting pressure on other blokes as well."

Rob Quiney, who made his test debut in place of Watson in Brisbane, is expected to bat again at No 3, while left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc remains the 12th man.

Clarke said he and the selectors stuck with swing bowler Ben Hilfenhaus because of the improvement they saw from the bowling attack in the latter days of the Brisbane test.

"I thought the bowlers came back really well. We took 14 South African wickets where they took five of ours," he said.

"I think we've got a good combination. We've got a good mixture of aggression but also bowlers who can bowl long spells and dry runs up if required out there on that wicket.

"Generally in Adelaide, you have to bowl quite tight during periods of the game."

Shop

The Proteas
20 Years, 20 Landmark Matches by Neil Manthorp
R171.00
The extraordinary book of SA cricket
The Extraordinary Book of South African Cricket is the perfect gift for any cricket fanatic.
R140.00
Jackers - A Life in Cricket
Robin Jackman has been entertaining cricket followers for more than forty years
R169.00
Bouch
Through my eyes
R147.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Sports Talk



Mpumelelo Mbangwa
Number 6 spot a problem or just fine?
Seeing the good in things is not such an easy thing as the tendency for most people is to point out...

Haze's Comment
T20 secrets of success
The wham bam Ram Slam is rocketing your way soon. It all kicks off with a triple-header on Sunday...

Neil Manthorp
Gripping contest atones for Hartal
For two days the whipping boys of international cricket stood toe-to-toe and gave each other a good...

Faf du Plessis
Giving the hip a rest in Cape Town
It’s really great to be back at home in Cape Town, although it is taking a while to adjust to the...

Kepler Wessels
Different game waits against Australia
The New Zealand leg of the one day international tour by the Proteas went according to plan. In...