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Shane Watson to open in SA: Clarke
Tuesday 04 October 2011

Australia captain Michael Clarke has reiterated his desire to continue opening with Shane Watson. Despite media reports claiming the all-rounder was contemplating a move down the order to revive his form.

The rigour of opening for Australia and bowling regularly appears to have taken a toll on Watson's batting with the right-hander managing just 85 runs in three Tests in last month's 1-0 series victory in Sri Lanka.

In a recent interview, Watson said moving down the batting order might reduce his workload and suit the side but his captain believes otherwise.

"My mind hasn't changed since Sri Lanka," Clarke told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

"Right now, I think he's best for the team opening the batting and that's certainly where he'll bat in South Africa."

New South Wales coach Anthony Stuart has been quoted in the Indian media as saying they would not ask Watson to bowl in the ongoing Champions League Twenty20 tournament in India after receiving a request from Cricket Australia.

Australia will travel to South Africa to play two Twenty20, three one-day internationals and two Test matches from October 13- November 21.

Clarke said he was expecting a tough tour. "Playing anybody on their home soil is always harder because you know your conditions so well but... I'm confident if we're at our best, we can beat any team anywhere in the world.

"They have had a lot of success in their own country, so it's as tough a challenge as you face in world cricket, no doubt."

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