Melbourne: Australian batting legend Ricky Ponting on Tuesday backed under-fire Shane Watson for the No.3 position that has caused headaches for national selectors ever since the former Test captain retired.

Australia have struggled to find a permanent occupant of the crucial batting position, since Ponting’s retirement two years ago.

All-rounder Watson has had a string of low scores in the two Tests against India and speculation is rife that debutant Joe Burns could slot into the spot and Watson slide to No.6 for the third Test, starting Boxing Day.

“He would be disappointed with his last few games around the results he has got but he is a class player and things are going to change,” Ponting was quoted as saying by the Herald Sun.

“He is too good a player not to. It is the same old thing, until you have got someone better to put into any position in a side, you don’t change.”

Ponting, Australia’s greatest No.3 of the modern era with 9904 runs of his 13,378 Test runs at the position, hoped Watson would return to form in the third Test. “We will keep our fingers crossed and hope Boxing Day is a big one for him.”

Free Press Journal