Shane Watson moving down Australian batting order to plug Ponting gap

Last Updated: 15/12/12 10:34am

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Shane Watson is set to take Ricky Ponting's place

Shane Watson is set to take Ricky Ponting's place

Sky Bet

Shane Watson has revealed he is moving down the Australian batting order to fill the vacancy left by Ricky Ponting's retirement.

The all-rounder says he will drop back one place to four, with the recalled Phillip Hughes expected to take his No 3 slot for the first Test against Sri Lanka, which starts next Friday.

Watson said: "(Coach) Mickey Arthur talked to me at the end of the last Test to say the way it was looking, they were going to move me down to four.

"It's taken me a few days to get my head around that, but it means I can bowl a few more overs.

"In the last Test match, I know Michael Clarke in the second innings was a bit hesitant to bowl me a few times towards the latter part of their innings, just to give me the chance to be as fresh as I could going into bat.

"The ultimate is to be able to contribute with both bat and ball throughout the whole Test match and not be held back.

"Batting at four will give me that extra time to freshen up."

By contrast, captain Clarke claims the batting order has yet to be decided, amid suggestions he could move up the order.

"I'll speak to Mickey Arthur about that when we get into camp in Hobart," Clarke said.

"As for where I bat, the number I bat doesn't bother me. It's about fitting in with what's best for the team."

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