London, June 26 (ANI): Former Australian cricketer Michael Hussey has approved the decision of new Australian coach Darren Lehmann to bring back former vice captain Shane Watson to the top of the batting order for the first Ashes warm-up match against Somerset in Taunton.
Watson will open with Ed Cowan, with Phil Hughes coming in at three and no place for Chris Rogers, the player in the squad with the most experience of English conditions after numerous seasons in county cricket, most recently with Middlesex, the Guardian reports.
Hussey, who had called on Lehmann to select Watson as opener, had said that he is in favour of Watson going back to the top of the order as he has had success at that position in international cricket and is also keen to do the job, adding that Cowan also deserved the spot as the other opener as he has earned the right with his recent performances.
Hussey, who followed former skipper Ricky Ponting into international retirement last winter, depriving the team of a huge chunk of experience, further said that he felt that captain Michael Clarke will be keen to bat at five where he has had most success.
Hussey had also said that he felt that suspended opener David Warner has the versatility to play down the order as he can work the English spinners well.
However, the report said that Warner was not considered for selection in the Somerset game and will also miss next week's four-day fixture at Worcester as a result of his clash with Joe Root in the Birmingham Walkabout, although Australia have left open the possibility of thrusting him straight into their team for the first Test at Trent Bridge which starts in a fortnight.
Rejecting the suggestion that Warner's indiscretion was symptomatic of deep-rooted problems with the culture of the team, Hussey said that he believed that the team culture is still strong, adding that although it was a tough job for Clarke to take over from Ponting, he believed that the captain has done a good job till now.
Praising Clarke, Hussey said that he has the sign of a great leader as he is headstrong, has a clear vision, a great cricket brain and is tactically very sound, adding that he had good partnerships with Clarke during his career. (ANI)