Michael Clarke

Michael Clarke spoke about his ‘perfect relationship’ with his deputy Shane Watson after Australia announced an unchanged side for Adelaide Test Getty Images

Sydney: Nov 21, 2012

After Shane Watson was finally ruled out of Australia s second Test against South Africa on Wednesday, rumours of a rift between Captain Michael Clarke and his deputy began to do the rounds.

Despite his injury, Watson continued to press for selection as a specialist batsman, although Clarke had made it clear before the series began that he needed to be bowling for a confirmed spot in the playing XI.
Michael Clarke cleared the air about his relationship with Watson, denying any sort of disagreement when he announced an unchanged side for Adelaide, Sydney Morning Herald reported.

“We have a great relationship, firstly. I know there’s been talk of that being a little bit different but 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,” Clarke said.

“We spoke daily even before we flew to Adelaide as a team and I was kept well and truly in the loop as to how he was travelling and what he was doing preparation-wise. Once we got here our intent was to give Watto every single chance as a very important player and vice-captain of the team to walk out onto this park for the second Test match. ”Unfortunately, we’ve run out of time.”

On Wednesday, Clarke said Watson remained a vital part of his Australian side, provided he was 100 per cent fit.

In Watson’s absence, Rob Quiney will get another chance at No.3, after a brief debut in the first Test at Brisbane.