Shane Watson to bat at Ricky Ponting's number four spot in Test

Shane Watson

Shane Watson said today he will be given the first chance to fill the vacancy in Australia's batting order left by Ricky Ponting's retirement and bat at number four in next week's first Test against Sri Lanka.

Recalled Phillip Hughes is expected to bat at first drop in a re-jigged Australian top order for the Hobart Test, starting next Friday.

On the same day skipper Michael Clarke, speaking to reporters in Sydney, suggested the Test batting line-up was still undecided, vice-captain Watson confirmed in Brisbane that he would drop down one spot to number four in the Australian order.

"(Coach) Mickey Arthur talked to me at the end of the last Test to say the way it was looking, they were going to move me down to four," Watson told reporters.

"It's taken me a few days to get my head around that, but

it means I can bowl a few more overs.

"In the last Test match, I know Michael (Clarke) in thesecond innings was a bit hesitant to bowl me a few times towards the latter part of their innings, just to give me the chance to be as fresh as I could going into bat.

"The ultimate is to be able to contribute with both bat and ball throughout the whole Test match and not be held back.

"Batting at four will give me that extra time to freshen up."

In contrast, Clarke said the top order had yet to be finalised and that he was open to a move up the order.

"I'll speak to Mickey Arthur about that when we get into camp in Hobart," Clarke said.

"As for where I bat, the number I bat doesn't bother me. It's about fitting in with what's best for the team."

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