Australian all-rounder Shane Watson must be axed for the second Ashes Test before a precedence of mediocrity is set within the Australian cricket team.
There is no doubting the fact that Shane Watson has bundles of talent. He oozes it, at times. We have seen him dismantle bowling attacks in shorter forms of the game, to produce highest scores of 185 in ODIs and 104 in Twenty20s.
He averages an impressive 40.61 with the bat in ODIs and 31 with the ball. His Twetny20 averages are also just as impressive, as he boasts an average of 31 with the bat and 25 with the ball, both good returns for the shortest format of the game.
However, it is in Test cricket where he lets himself down. Perhaps it is a confidence thing or a technique issue, as we have seen him dismissed LBW numerous times in his career. Regardless of his potential or his statistics in the shorter formats, his test career just isn't up to scratch.
He averages 35 with the bat, which is simply not good enough, given he has had stints as an opener, a No.3, No. 5 and No. 6. For a top order batsman, it is expected in modern cricket that you average at least around the 40 mark. He could be forgiven if he was a fringe Test player, however, he is not. Watson is a Test veteran, having played 59 test matches since making his debut in January 2005 against Pakistan.
The continued faith shown in him by the Australian selectors is staggering. However, it must stop now before Watson's situation sets a precedence of mediocrity within the Australian cricket team. The Aussies, like any professional sporting team, must promote the highest possible standards and not accept below par performance. Otherwise, it could have dire consequences not just for the current team, but for the future of Australian cricket.
Australia needs to ensure they once again become a team that accepts nothing but the highest quality in their once mighty Test team.