No one forced me into giving up the vice-captaincy, insists Shane Watson

Image courtesy of: Times of India

Watson decision to step down was not influenced by anyone

Australia batsman Shane Watson’s resignation as vice-captain threw everyone by surprise, but he insisted that his disastrous tour of India had nothing to do with nor did anyone force him to step down either. 

Watson decided not to continue being Michael Clarke’s deputy any more since he wants to focus more on his batting and overall performance in the lead up to the back-to-back Ashes series. 

Watson also continues to reiterate the fact that neither Clarke nor Cricket Australia had any influence on his decision.

“Michael and myself are the exact same age and I suppose it’s been in the back of my mind as well to have a succession plan moving forward over the next few years as to who the next Australian captain will be,” Watson told the Sun-Herald. “That definitely played a part in my decision as well, knowing that there really does need to be a succession plan in place, I suppose, in place along the lines of Michael and Ricky [Ponting]. I just think the time is right now for me to stand down and allow that process to move forward.

“I haven’t felt pressure from the Cricket Australia hierarchy or anything like that at all. It’s mainly just come down to me, knowing that there has to be a succession plan. I’m very realistic with the team, myself and the structure. That is very important. What CA are looking out for at the moment is a few future leaders of the Australian cricket team.”

Since being named vice-captain two years ago, Watson’s performances in all formats have taken a drastic hit, as he has only averaged a dismal 24.11 in that time. 

He also gave up bowling on a temporary basis in an attempt to prevent succumbing to any more injuries, which seems to be a common occurrence for him whenever Australia’s Test summer begins. 

Watson knows that his chances of getting selected will decrease if he continues to post poor performances, however, he believes he can turn his career around after having removed all the pressures that come with a leadership position. 

“It will definitely free me up a bit,” he said. “My workload is nowhere near what Michael’s is, that’s for sure. But being an all-rounder as well, coming back and bowling, that little bit of extra time that I would have been spending in the leadership meetings I’ll be able to spend on doing everything I can to get the best out of myself. I’ll also be able to get as much life balance as I can with my young family.

”Throughout the Indian series it certainly made me realise what my make-up is. That certainly is an all-rounder. It increases my chances of selection as well and I do want to be a part of the Ashes campaign.”

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