Shane Watson, the hard-hitting all-rounder, will captain Australia in the third and final Twenty20 International against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Sunday (January 31), Cricket Australia confirmed on the eve of the game. Watson will replace the injured Aaron Finch, who injured his left hamstring during the 27-run loss in the second T20I at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday evening. “It is an honour to be asked to lead the side on Sunday, although the circumstances are far from ideal,” Watson said after his appointment following a recommendation by the National Selection Panel that was approved by CA’s board of directors. “We may have lost the series but there is a great deal to play for with the ICC World Twenty20 coming up and you can be sure we will be determined to do well in Sydney.” Watson, who will become the ninth player to captain Australia in T20Is, is the country’s second most experienced T20I player with 51 caps. Only David Warner (54) has appeared more often for Australia in the shortest form of the game. The 34-year-old all-rounder is also Australia’s leading wicket-taker in the format, having taken 41 scalps to go with this 1191 runs. Watson gets his opportunity to lead the side days after admitting in an interview that his international playing career might be over. The burly all-rounder has previously captained his country in one Test and nine One-Day Internationals in 2012 and 2013. With Finch sidelined, Usman Khawaja has stepped into the squad for Sunday’s game and has also been drafted in to the One-Day International squad for the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy against Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand.
2015 Kashmir Despatch