West Indies in Australia, 2012-13

Watson to make ODI return

Daniel Brettig

February 4, 2013

Comments: 37 | Text size: A | A

Western Australia celebrate the wicket of Shane Watson, New South Wales v Western Australia, Ryobi Cup, Sydney, January 30, 2013
Shane Watson's first three innings as a batsman have not been promising © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Ashton Agar | Shane Watson
Series/Tournaments: Australia tour of India

Shane Watson will try to regain his batting touch at international level after he was recalled to Australia's ODI team against the West Indies.

Recalled in place of Usman Khawaja, Watson is set to take part in the remainder of the series before departing for India as part of the last of three groups of Test players to journey to the subcontinent.

Since returning to the game as a non-bowling batsman following a calf injury, Watson has managed scores of 30 and a duck for Sutherland in Sydney grade cricket, while he also made a scratchy six for New South Wales against Western Australia in a domestic limited overs match at the SCG.

He will now be afforded the chance to bat in the third ODI on the exceedingly friendly Manuka Oval pitch, which gave up almost 650 runs when the West Indians played the Prime Minister's XI in their opening tour fixture last week.

In naming the squad for the ODIS, the national selectors also outlined how the India squad will depart, with Watson, the captain Michael Clarke, Xavier Doherty, Mitchell Starc, Phillip Hughes and Mitchell Johnson to miss the opening warm-up game in Chennai in order to take part in the remainder of the West Indies matches.

David Warner, Matthew Wade and Glenn Maxwell will fly out to India on February 9, in time to take part in the first tour match, joining the advance party of Jackson Bird, Ed Cowan, Moises Henriques, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle and Steve Smith, who are all slated to leave on February 7.

The 19-year-old West Australian spin bowler Ashton Agar was also included in a development capacity, after a trio of striking domestic displays since his debut for the Warriors against New South Wales at Blacktown Oval.

"[Agar] will be in India for the period 9-16 February and will play in the first warm-up fixture," the national selector John Inverarity said. "He will provide ideal practice for the batsmen in the lead-up to that first Test in Chennai.

"Last year we took Mitchell Starc to the West Indies to further his development and this is a similar opportunity for Ashton."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Baundele on (February 4, 2013, 13:10 GMT)

I misread Agar as Agarkar, and it seemed like a news. :)

Posted by Mary_786 on (February 4, 2013, 12:23 GMT)

@DylanBrah Khawaja got 70 in a record 300 chase against the South Africans in his 4th test match, i am predicting he will be one of our better batsman in India, watch out for him. Fantastic to see Clarke get the AB medal, well deserved.

Posted by smudgeon on (February 4, 2013, 11:32 GMT)

You know what? I was going to write a comment in response to Joseph Langford's comment, then I got so TIRED. Someone wake me for the first session, please?

Posted by Muzgrob on (February 4, 2013, 11:19 GMT)

Good to see them taking Agar over for a developmental role. I watched him bowl at Blacktown and he looked quite impressive. It's to bad they're not taking O'keefe over for the same thing. Not quite sold on Watson in the squad as a pure batsmen, as an all-rounder he's essential to the squad... But without his bowling he just becomes dead weight. Hopefully he proves me wrong though.

Posted by anuajm on (February 4, 2013, 9:59 GMT)

Agar is only going to be a net bowler and for his own development which is a good move by Australia. SOK needs to be compared with Doherty and Lyon and i think he is surely unlucky to miss. I think Australia have missed a trick or two here. Maxwell, Moises and Smith will not be taking any significant wickets on the tour and their batting does not inspire confidence specially in the slow wickets of India. They will be used to give breaks to the main bowlers which could have been done by Clarke and Warner too. Selectors should have selected at least one proper batsman and Bailey would have been the ideal candidate.I still think it will be a close series ending in 2-1 in India's favor purely because of lack of good spin bowlers in Australian ranks.

Posted by greatshinwari on (February 4, 2013, 7:47 GMT)

shaun marsh should replace finch...he recntly scored 155 notout aginest the blues...finch failed in 6 international games ...marsh also played gud innings aginest srilanka in second t20....usman khwaja shouldn't be dropped from the squad bkz he is part of team touring india...

Posted by DylanBrah on (February 4, 2013, 7:42 GMT)

It's a privilege to play for Australia, and he (Khawaja) needs to cash in when he get's a chance. So far he has had 6 tests and 3 ODI's. Thats 14 innings, and quite frankly he has shown us nothing.

Posted by PFEL on (February 4, 2013, 7:22 GMT)

Another ridiculous selection. No way does Watson deserve this re-selection. What happened to him having to prove his form in Shield cricket?

Posted by   on (February 4, 2013, 6:34 GMT)

WHAT HAS O'KEEFE DONE???

John Inverarity said. "He will provide ideal practice for the batsmen in the lead-up to that first Test in Chennai." HA,HA,HA,HA!!!

My Post (January 31 2013, 05:59 AM GMT) http://www.espncricinfo.com/india-v-australia-2013/content/story/602848.html?comments=all#usrcomment

"But if you are down 1-0 on spinning wickets and Lyon is bagging a few, O'Keefe is your best option. The other BIG PLUS about taking O'Keefe is that he will be able to bowl to your batsmen in the nets between tests."

Looks like Johnny is looking to the public for selection ideas.

So you are taking Smith, Doherty, Maxwell and now Agar to provide quality spinning practice in the nets instead of a quality spinner like O'Keefe. Save some money, drop the other four and just take O'Keefe!!!

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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