Watto’s ‘in a great space at the moment’

Australia opening batsman David Warner has come out in defence of embattled team-mate Shane Watson, saying that the all-rounder is in a 'great space' despite not performing with either bat or ball in the first Ashes Test.

Watson was out for 30 and 19, and took no wickets, prompting many calls for him to be dropped in favour of Mitchell Marsh, who many felt should have been picked in the first place. But Warner strongly disagreed.

The opener said on Sky Sports Radio, after Australia lost the game by 169 runs: "I feel he is in a great space at the moment. These conditions are quite challenging for everyone … he's going fantastic.

"He's doing everything right and the other day from everyone's standards, we all got ourselves in and didn't go on with it. It's as simple as that.

"I think he's a great asset to our team and brings a lot of experience to our team as well.

"I think this is pretty similar to the game we played in the World Cup against New Zealand (which Australia lost by one wicket).

"That little kick up the backside, that 'hang on, if you want to come here and beat these guys on their own soil, you have to bring your A game'.

"And I think this has been the kick in the backside that we needed."

Warner added that Watson's value was also in his off-field contributions, saying: "He brings a lot of experience to the team and helps a lot of the younger players out.

"And experienced players as well. I've always gone to him and spoken to him about little things in general, about coming into big series, how does he go about things and how you can learn off him."