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KFC T20 INTL SERIES V INDIA

Watson named as new T20 captain

30 January 2016

Hamstring injury to Finch puts allrounder in charge for third Twenty20 against India

Only weeks after admitting he thought his international career was over, Shane Watson has now been named as Australia captain for Sunday's third KFC T20 INTL against India in Sydney as cover for the injured Aaron Finch.

Finch hurt his left hamstring in Friday's 27-run loss to India at the MCG, casting doubt over his involvement in Australia's World T20 campaign in March, with the result of scans still pending. Usman Khawaja was named as his replacement and looks set to bat at the top of the order. 

"It is an honour to be asked to lead the side on Sunday, although the circumstances are far from ideal," Watson said. 

"We may have lost the series but there is a great deal to play for with the ICC World Twenty20 coming up and you can be sure we will be determined to do well in Sydney."

Watch: Finch fires before falling to injury

With Steve Smith and David Warner having flown to New Zealand today (Saturday) to prepare for the Chappell-Hadlee series on Wednesday, and former T20I skipper George Bailey heading across the Tasman a day later, Watson emerged as the obvious choice for the caretaker role.

Watch: Smith leads NZ touring party

Watson last captained Australia on the disastrous 2013 tour of India, becoming Test captain No.44 as he filled in for Michael Clarke for the fourth Test in Delhi in his comeback after serving a one-match suspension in the wake of the 'homeworkgate' incident.

Watson had conceded his international career might have been over after he was overlooked for Australia's VB ODI Series squad earlier this month.

The 34-year-old retired from Test cricket last September, following last year's failed Ashes campaign, and though he missed much of the initial part of the summer due to injury, he returned to play a key role in the Sydney Thunder's unlikely march to a maiden title in the KFC Big Bash League.

Watch: Watson blasts another fifty

Watson credited fellow allrounder Jacques Kallis with a reversal in form that saw him post consecutive half-centuries for the Thunder, which undoubtedly played a key role in his call-up to the national T20 side.

"After being dropped from the one-day squad I knew my international days were probably nearly over, so it was nice to get that surprise and to get that call from (selector) Rod Marsh yesterday," Watson said at the time.

"I've been very lucky to have one of the best batters who has ever played the game in Jacques Kallis, who has helped me out with my batting, especially over the last month.

"Just working through a couple of technical things has had an incredible impact on my batting.

"It's only very simple things but when it feels like things are slightly out, the simple things can make such a huge difference."

About the Writer

 @samuelfez
@samuelfez

Sam Ferris is a writer for cricket.com.au. He started in 2011 as a Big Bash League correspondent and continues to monitor the domestic scene and national sides closely.

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