Sydney, Mar 23 : Australian media has slammed under-pressure Shane Watson''s captaincy debut against India in the fourth Test match at Delhi, branding the all rounder as an underachiever in the longest format of cricket and also questioning his place in the team.
"The deputy''s dream of officially leading Australia morphed into a reality check yesterday as tailender Peter Siddle showed-up his skipper and the top order in the fourth Test against India," News.com.au reports.
"For Watson, the script was not meant to be this macabre. Wearing a spare green blazer a size too big, the all rounder won his first toss and opted to bat, but the Australian top-order received no favours from a difficult Delhi deck that showed ominous signs of cracking, the paper further mentioned," the paper said.
"If there is an exemplar of the tourists'' underachievement, it is Watson, whose failure yesterday extended his century drought to 38 Test innings," it reported. "Arriving at the crease at 2-71, Watson started well enough, thumping Pragyan Ojha to the mid-wicket fence, but after lunch he botched another start, this time stumped by MS Dhoni after Ravindra Jadeja beat the bat," it added.
The stand-in skipper hasn''t scored a Test century since his 126 against India in October 2010. On this tour, he has 94 runs at 18.8. Worse still, he is averaging 24.20 from his last 25 Test innings, 18 of which have featured scores of 30 or less.
Such output is simply not good enough. The Oz paper further said that while Watson will always cherish his rise to the Australian captaincy, the vexing question is how much longer can selectors tolerate his failures before they wield the axe? In 20 years'' time, cricket tragics will read about Watson''s elevation and wonder if Australian hierarchy had lost their marbles.
They will read how, in 11 days, Watson was sacked for the third Test, flew home for the birth of his first child, then returned to India a week later to captain Australia, the paper concluded.