Clarke contemplates batting order reshuffle to solve current conundrum

Sydney, Dec 7(ANI): Michael Clarke may consider moving up the batting order in the wake of Ricky Ponting's retirement, as he tries to solve the existing conundrum in the Australia Test team's batting line-up.

Phil Hughes, who has been recalled as Ponting's replacement, is expected to bat at No.3, but the remainder of the order is in a state of fluctuation, News.com.au reports.

The standard philosophy with the batting order is that Shane Watson simply moves down to No.4 to replace Ponting, opening up first drop for Hughes, who has played his entire career as an opening batsman.

However with Watson, it is not that simple because the higher up the order he bats the better he plays.

It may be that Watson is promoted to open and Dave Warner, despite three centuries in his first 12 Tests, is moved to No.5 below Clarke, who is now clearly the form senior player.

Clarke's record at four is modest, averaging just 21, but given his form over the past year he could make runs on the moon.

The pivotal No.3 and No.4 positions were a disaster for Australia against South Africa.

In two Tests at No.3 Rob Quiney averaged just three, including a pair in Adelaide, while Watson could manage just 10 and 25 replacing him in Perth.

Watson plays his best cricket as an opening batsman and his figures back this up.

The all rounder averages 44 at the top of the order, where he has scored his hundreds, 29 at No.3, 24 at six and 15 at seven.

Given Watson's overall career average is now under 37, it should be a no brainer that he should open the batting. (ANI)

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