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Watson ready to complete remarkable turnaround
6:12pm Monday 18th March 2013 in Sport
SHANE Watson is ready to replace former Hampshire teammate Michael Clarke as Australia captain – a week after being suspended.
Watson became a dad for the first time shortly after he was left out of Australia’s Test squad - along with Usman Khawaja, James Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson – for not doing a routine task set by coach Mickey Arthur.
But having returned to Australia for the birth of son Will, he has flown back to India ahead of the fourth and final Test and could replace captain Clarke, who was in agony with a back injury as Australia collapsed to a third defeat in Mohali.
Watson, a Hampshire teammate of Clarke’s in 2004, said: "It's been disappointing how things have panned out from my perspective, I let myself and the team down by not doing what I was meant to do.
"I'm extremely disappointed I did that, and I have copped on the chin the things that have happened."
Vice-captain Watson, who has only skippered Australia before in limited-overs competition, ironed out issues with Cricket Australia’s Pat Howard, who had said he was only "sometimes" a team player and had problems with Clarke.
"Pat and myself certainly had a few constructive chats, and we nutted out a lot of issues," Watson said.
"We certainly are on the same page now, we've talked through a number of issues we've had and unfortunately some of those were aired in public.”
Should Clarke fail to recover before the final Test begins on Friday, Watson will cap a remarkable a few days during which he considered international retirement after being axed for failing to respond to Arthur's request for written or verbal submissions on how to improve the team.