A beleaguered Australian side has got a much-needed boost ahead of the fourth and final Test against India, with Vice-Captain Shane Watson flying back to join the touring side in New Delhi tomorrow.
Watson will be leaving from Sydney today and is expected to arrive in India tonight, but he will be able to join the squad tomorrow only as the team is currently playing in the third Test here.
One of four suspended players, Watson, who returned home to Sydney for the birth of his son Will last Thursday, will come back after serving a one-Test ban for failing to submit a presentation to Coach Mickey Arthur on how to improve his and the team’s performance.
Cricket Australia announced he will fly back to India later on Monday, in time for the fourth Test in Delhi starting on Friday.
“Shane Watson will return to the tour of India and will fly out of Sydney tonight to join the Australian squad in India ahead of the fourth Test,” Cricket Australia said in a brief statement.
Watson was originally expected to return home after the third Test and miss the fourth, but his dumping in the wake of ’homework-gate’ hastened the 31-year-old’s departure.
His suspension, along with fellow team-mates James Pattinson, Usman Khawja and Mitchell Johnson, fuelled speculation about a possible rift with skipper Michael Clarke that was intensified by CA General Manager Pat Howard’s comment that Watson was a team player only “sometimes“.
So disgruntled was he with the suspension that it prompted Watson to reconsider his Test future. Though he admitted that he was not right, Watson had said that the suspension was too harsh.
Before the start of the third Test, Clarke had made it clear that he would like to have his Vice-Captain for the final Test.
With Clarke battling back problems that prevented him from batting on Day 4 here, there might arise a situation where Watson would be handed the Captaincy for the final Test.