Australia's 'best bat' Watson needs a helping hand at the top: Roebuck

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Sydney, Jan 6(ANI): Noted cricket columnist Peter Roebuck has said that all-rounder Shane Watson is currently the Australian team's best batsman, and he needs help at the top as the rest of the batsman are struggling.

Roebuck said that on current form, Watson is streets ahead of skipper Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Mike Hussey or Marcus North.

"Ricky Ponting looks shaky against extreme pace and seems to be worried about his arm. For all his defiance and inventiveness, Mike Hussey has been patchy. His ability with tailenders indicates that he ought to drop down the list. Michael Clarke has had a strong season, but seems to have lost touch," Roebuck wrote in a syndicated column for the Sydney Morning Herald.

"Marcus North is a worse starter than pea soup and will be hard-pressed to retain his place in Hobart. Brad Haddin's counter-attacks have lacked conviction. At present, it's not so much an order as a disorder," he added.

Roebuck further said that the Australian team has only themselves to blame for the pathetic performance they had on the first day of the Sydney Test.

"Australia's first-innings collapse was a little too easily put down to murky conditions, a rogue track and a dubious decision by a stubborn captain. Although these factors had parts to play in the debacle, they let the batsmen off lightly. Admittedly, the visitors were superb - but the cream of Australian batting showed little sign of mustering the technique and application required to meet the occasion," Roebuck said.

"In any case, no excuses could be offered on a sunblessed third day. By now, the pitch had lost its sting, the skies were blue and a long day beckoned. And still Watson was the only batsman to produce an innings of substance. It is high time the inexperienced opener was given a helping hand," he added. (ANI)

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