Retired Test all-rounder Shane Watson believes giving players an extended run will be key to the success of Australia’s new-look team.
The 59-Test veteran said allowing new players the opportunity to prove their worth was important after a spate of retirements and injuries forced wholesale changes to Australia’s line-up following an unsuccessful Ashes campaign.
“The best way to get the best out of players is to give them some time to be able to find their feet and feel comfortable in the group,” Watson told Sky Sports Radio. “They are the best players that they can pick from at this point in time.
“They’ve got to go with what their judgments are to make sure they stick with these guys.”
Watson highlighted Usman Khawaja, who returns to the Test arena after a two-year absence, as one such example.
“He’s someone that just needs a bit of time to get his feet again, feel comfortable in the groove and continue to develop his game,” Watson said.
New captain Steve Smith will lead the Australian tour of Bangladesh without retired stars Watson, Michael Clarke, Ryan Harris, Chris Rogers and Brad Haddin, while Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazlewood have been rested and David Warner sits out with a fractured thumb.
Watson’s focus will now shift to New South Wales in the 50-over Matador Cup and the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League.
His future in the Indian Premier League is unclear though after the Rajasthan Royals were suspended for two years when their owners were found guilty of illegally betting on matches.
“I’ll have to potentially go into an auction and play with another franchise which obviously wouldn’t be ideal, but it’s a great tournament,” Watson said.