Watson under pressure after latest flop

Shane Watson is facing a battle to keep his spot in the Australian side for next week’s second Test at Lord’s after failing once again with the bat in Cardiff.


The stage was set for the enigmatic allrounder to play a career-defining knock on the third day of the Ashes opener as the tourists resumed on 5-264 – 166 runs behind England’s first innings total of 430.

But any hopes of heroics from the 34-year-old were dashed in only the second over, when Stuart Broad trapped him on the crease as he tried to play around his front pad, having added just one run to his overnight score of 29.

The raised index finger of Marais Erasmus sent him on his way, but almost inevitably, given Watson’s penchant for referring decisions, up came the T-sign.

But with Hawkeye showing the ball would have just clipped the top of leg stump, third umpire Chris Gaffaney sealed his fate making, it is the seventh time he’s unsuccessfully appealed an lbw decision against England since DRS was brought in six years ago.

It was also the 13th time since 2009 he’s been trapped in front of the stumps against the old enemy.

Watson’s departure kick-started a collapse by the Australian tail that saw the last five wickets go down for 50 runs, with England finishing an entertaining day all out for 289 in their second innings.

Michael Clarke’s side now need an Ashes record fourth-innings chase of 412 for victory.

It was Watson’s bowling ability that earned him selection over the in-form Mitch Marsh, who belted two centuries in warm-up games against Kent and Essex.

But he was only used for 12 overs across the two innings by Michael Clarke after failing to make any real impression.

Even if Watson makes a score when Australia bat again, Marsh must come in for serious consideration for an Ashes debut, which could be the start of the end of chequered 54-Test career that’s yielded just four centuries.