Captaincy can bring the best out of Shane Watson, says Adam Gilchrist

Adam Gilchrist believes Shane Watson can revel under his own captaincy © Getty Images

Sydney: Dec 19, 2012

Cricket fans in Australia have written off Shane Watson‘s captaincy credentials as Michael Clarke is fighting to be fit before the Boxing Day Test. If Clarke fails to regain fitness, Watson will be handed the captaincy, thus, making him the 44th Australian Test skipper.

Watson was installed as Clarke’s deputy in March 2011 after Ricky Ponting quit the captaincy, but doubts linger over his leadership ability given his already onerous responsibilities with bat and ball.

There is a serious concern about Watson’s tactical prowess and his sporadic form with the bat.

But former deputy Adam Gilchrist, who famously led Australia to a rare series win in India after an injury to skipper Ricky Ponting, believes the daunting job can bring out the best in Watson.

“It was a daunting challenge which ultimately I was glad to take on and I think Shane, if he was given the opportunity, would look at it in a similar light,” said Gilchrist, who piloted Australia to their first series win in India for 35 years in late 2004.”I expect he would be capable but we can’t be sure until he does it.

“I didn’t ever covet the position in a full-time role. When Ricky broke his thumb before India, almost immediately I felt sick in the stomach about having to take on the captaincy, not so much in leading the team but in a personal sense going to India where I had a few demons to bury myself going there.

“What makes it hard is the perception, even internally, that you might not be up to the job.

“I just tried to do it without making any big statements and I think Shane would adopt a similar approach,” he said as reported by