Shane Watson hasn't been up to the mark so far in this series © Getty Images
Shane Watson hasn’t been up to the mark so far in this series © Getty Images

Melbourne: Dec 30, 2014

Cricket Australia (CA) national selector Mark Waugh has backed under-pressure all-rounder Shane Watson to return to form, but said time is running out for him to score runs. The 33-year-old hasn’t scored a Test century in 12 months, and after a lean series with the bat against India, his spot in the side has once again come under scrutiny.

“I think he gives great balance to the side. Without Mitchell Marsh there, he gives balance as the fourth seamer,” Waugh was quoted as saying by CA website. “We know he’s a No.3 batsman and he’s in the team to get runs, but I think the balance is really affected if he’s not there.”

But the former right-handed opener said that Watson should start scoring runs as time is fast running out on him. “I think he’s on the cusp of a good innings, but he’s running out of time. He’s got to do it shortly, and he’d be very frustrated with what’s happening,” he said.

“You’ve got to improve the team if you’re going to change the side. That’s what you’ve got to weigh up as a selector, and you weigh up the value of each player to the team and what they bring to the side, and Shane Watson does bring a lot to the side, albeit he would be frustrated.”

Waugh also advised Watson to capitalise on the starts he is getting. “When you’re getting 50s and 20s that’s when you need to convert. You’re going to get a good ball every now and then and you can’t do much about that, but you’ve got to cash in when you’re going well.”

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