Ashes 2013/14: Australia captain Michael Clarke praises Shane Watson
Australia captain Michael Clarke has praised Shane Watson for his approach of putting the team first at Perth.
Last Updated: 19/12/13 10:39am
Clarke said the 32-year-old's near run-a-ball century against England and willingness to risk his wicket in the second innings was a lesson to his team-mates.
The pair have had a frosty relationship in the past and leaked documents from former coach Mickey Arthur alleged Clarke had described Watson as a "cancer" in the team.
However, the bad blood now appears to have disappeared after Australia regained the Ashes by winning the first three Tests against England.
"What Watto did the other day was put the team first," said Clarke.
"He knew we were trying to score as many runs as we could before our declaration and he put the team first, which is a great example to the young players that that's what we're trying to do in our team. It's good to see."
The duo reportedly do not agree on Watson's position in the batting order but Clarke felt the all-rounder, who has scored 200 runs in the Ashes series, did justice to the crucial number three slot.
"It's obviously a tough position, there's no doubt about it," Clarke added. "Watto is hitting the ball as good as I've seen."
Clarke has also paid tribute to the role the team's medical staff have played in reclaiming the Ashes.
Team physio Alex Kountouris has kept Clarke in action despite his chronic back problems, while doctor Peter Brukner has turned the injury-prone Watson into a regular contributor to the team.
Fast bowler Ryan Harris is also preparing for his eighth consecutive Test match after injury-blighted years.
"Alex and the doc Peter have done a fantastic job," said Clarke.
"We're currently ranked fifth in the world. We want to be the number one Test team."