• Watson takes jab at Cook’s captaincy

    Alastair Cook’s ability as captain to reproduce the attacking style of cricket England played in their recent ODI series against New Zealand has been questioned by Shane Watson.

    England were applauded for their performances in the 3-2 series win over the Black Caps last month, scoring 300 plus in the first three games for the first time in their history.

    The hope in England is that the home team can continue that aggressive approach when they face Australia. The problem they face is that Cook was not part of that ODI series as Eoin Morgan currently leads the limited-overs side. Cook is seen as a more conservative captain which means the continuation of that style cannot be guaranteed.

    ‘I’m not sure if that’s exactly in Alastair Cook’s DNA to be really able to put a game on the line. England have obviously turned things around a bit and we’ve seen the flair they’ve started to play with in one-day cricket, which for them is a little bit too late because the World Cup has just been and they’ve got another three and a half years to go until the next one,’ Watson said.

    ‘But it’s good to see they’ve moved with the times with how cricket is being played these days and they’re going to have to do the same in Test cricket as well.

    ‘They’ve got the quality of players no doubt to be able to do it, like we’ve seen in the recent one-day series against New Zealand, but it’s going to be interesting to see how they try to take us on.’

    Meanwhile, Chris Rogers, despite making only 21 on Wednesday, appears to have beaten off competition from Shaun Marsh to open the batting against England having been named in the team to face Essex alongside David Warner.

    Watson’s place appears less secure after Mitchell Marsh, his rival for the all-rounder’s position, struck an unbeaten 136 on day one.