Australia captain Michael Clarke was seen on Thursday giving batting tips to Shane Watson in a training session. The Australians take on the England Lions in a practice match on Friday ahead of the fifth Ashes 2013 Test at The Oval.
Clarke will miss the two-day tour match, but was very vocal during training on Thursday, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
Watson also has had difficulties with the bat and has been dismissed four times leg-before in the series, including in the second innings in Durham.
Clarke is Australia’s leading run-scorer in the ongoing Ashes and he helped Watson to play straighter during the net session.
Australia coach Darren Lehmann said, “It’s always handy to have someone to help out isn’t it. Clarke came early for his session and he wants to help the young blokes out.”
Clarke was seen standing down the wicket as batting coach Michael di Ventuno threw the balls down at Watson.
Lehmann joked that the advice would have been very simple. “Not to get out LBW I would think. Use your bat, play straight.”
Apart from losing to England, Australia’s tour has been involved in a lot of controversies. Sacked coach Mickey Arthur claimed that Clarke’s relationship with Watson was broken.
The Australian camp have denied any rifts, but there is no doubt of the pair’s communication during the Ashes. And there seemed to be no issues with them during Thursday’s session.
“I’ve had no problems with them since I’ve been here. They’ve worked well so no problems,” Lehmann said.
Watson will lead the Australians in the practice match as Clarke will be rested. He will not bowl in the match as he suffered a hip-groin injury during the fourth Test. But Australia do expect him to do some bowling if he is selected for the fifth Test at The Oval.