Watto’s Test career not over: Lehmann

Darren Lehmann says the door is open for Shane Watson to make a quick return to the Test side, as was the case in the World Cup.


Watson was dropped for the second Ashes Test, with Lehmann and on-duty selector Rod Marsh promoting younger allrounder Mitch Marsh in his place.

However, Watson will play in Australia’s three-day tour game against Derbyshire that starts next Thursday.

If Watson regains form in Derby, Lehmann suggested he could be back in the Test XI during the Ashes.

“It’s a tough call on Shane, but I’m sure he’s got plenty of cricket left in him,” Lehmann said.

“We’ve obviously got a county game next week, which he’ll play in.

“He’ll get some form back and keep putting his name in front of the selectors.

“He’s a chance – very much like the World Cup, where he got dropped and came back into the side.”

Lehmann added that “form is really going to dictate what Shane does”.

Watson was axed during the group stage of the World Cup, when James Faulkner returned from injury in Perth against Afghanistan.

Watson returned the following game, against Sri Lanka at the SCG, at the expense of Mitch Marsh.

The roles were reversed on Thursday, with Marsh having earned his promotion after clubbing eye-catching centuries against Kent and Essex.

Watson was dumped after passing 50 in only two of his past 16 Test innings.

“Obviously Shane’s been a little bit disappointing with his runs. It’s a tight call,” Lehmann said.

“Mitch Marsh has done everything we could ask for – behind the scenes and in the first two tour games.

Marsh’s first Ashes Test could be a watershed moment for the 23-year-old, who made his Test debut in the UAE last year.

The Western Australian paid tribute to state coach Justin Langer for helping him deliver more consistently.

“Probably the best thing he does for us, because we’ve got such a young group and a young squad, he just instils great morals and work ethic for all of us,” Marsh told ESPNcricinfo.