Australian coach Darren Lehmann has confirmed that Shane Watson will move back to the top of the Australian batting order during the Ashes series.

Watson has not opened for Australia in a Test match since 2011 against South Africa, despite him repeatedly claiming that he prefers to open the batting.

His numbers as an opener are the best of his career, averaging 43 at the top of the order, which is eight runs better than his Test batting average of 35.

Watson has been struggling since being removed from the opening position in Test cricket, culminating with his shambolic tour to India where he was suspended for a Test for not doing a team homework task. 

What this means for the make up of the rest of the batting order is open for discussion.

Chris Rogers, who is currently the leading run scorer in County cricket and incumbent Ed Cowan would now appear to be fighting for the opportunity to partner Watson. 

As captain, Michael Clarke is the only other player who is seemingly assured of a place in the line up and Lehmann all but confirmed this.

Lehmann told FoxSports: "Yes. He'll be opening for us. 

"That's where we want him to bat and he's done really well for us there. 

"We're quite keen for him to open and to have a big part in the Ashes and obviously make a lot of runs for us and start the innings up well.

"If you perform you'll have a chance to play in the first test. We want to give everyone in our squad the opportunity to perform well in the tour games."

The Australian batsmen will get there opportunity to press their claims in the tour match against Somerset, after bowling out the home side for 320 on the first day of the match.

The Australians will resume at 0/2, and if we take what Lehmann has said on face value, a triple figure score will be enough to earn a place in the First Test team.

The Ashes series begins at Trent Bridge on July 10.  


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Topics:
#Australia cricket
#Shane Watson
#The Ashes
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