Sydney, Aug 1 (ANI): Australian coach Darren Lehmann has backed all-rounder Shane Watson to the hilt as a Test opener, saying that Watson's position is not under threat even as the third Ashes Test is due to start at Old Trafford.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Watson has failed to kick on to make 50 yet despite solid starts in every innings, even though Australia desperately needed him to make big hundreds to save their two previous Tests from becoming losses.
The report further said that along with concentration lapses, Watson is also battling a glaring technical flaw as he has been out LBW three consecutive times in four innings to England fast bowlers, who have worked out how to target his front pad.
However, these issues have not changed Lehmann's mind going into Thursday's must-win third Test at Old Trafford, as he reiterated that Australia needed Watson at the top for which he is safe as an opener, saying that he is confident that Watson will make it as an opener if he takes advantage of his good starts.
According to the report, Chris Rogers has a similar vote of confidence for the rest of this series, with Lehmann believing it was important to give the pair enough job security that they could bat with confidence under the pressure of James Anderson and the England attack.
Watson and Rogers put on 84 in the second innings at Trent Bridge and 42 in the first at Lord's, to look in great nick, although the report added that when the wheels have ultimately come off it has led to top-order collapses. (ANI)