Shane Watson’s chances of recovering the Australian test vice captaincy have been dealt a stinging blow after a Newspoll found he currently trails Education Minister Chris Pyne by 6 percentage points.
The Newspoll survey published in today’s Australian asked 1500 repondants:,“Who do you think would make a better vice captain of the Australian cricket team: the education minister or Mr Shane Watson?”
The poll marks an 8% swing against Mr Watson since Mr Pyne took over from Bill Shorten as education minister in 2013.
Mr Watson previously served as vice captain from October 2011 to April 2013, during which period he was suspended for three matches for refusing to complete training tasks set by then coach Micky Arthur and after allegedly being described as “a cancer on cricket” by captain Michael Clarke. However Watson remains adamant that these are minor setbacks and is confident he will one day return to the vice captaincy.
At a press conference in Adeladie, Mr Pyne batted away questions about leadership.
“I think the poll is frankly an irrelevance,” Mr Pyne told reporters. “We already have a vice captain, his name is Brad Haddin and he’s doing an excellent job as vice captain and as wicket keeper and I also think Shane Watson is currently doing an excellent job fielding at second slip and that’s what I’d like to see him focusing on.”