The Ashes 2006-07 December 5, 2006

Watson in doubt for Perth

Cricinfo staff

Shane Watson won't be in Queensland colours this week © Getty Images
Shane Watson's hopes of returning to the Australian team for the third Ashes Test at Perth have taken a blow with the news that he is unlikely to start Queensland's Ford Ranger Cup one-day match against New South Wales, at Sydney, on Wednesday.

Watson, who was ruled out of the first two Tests with a hamstring strain, is also unlikely to be fit for the match against Victoria, at Brisbane on Friday, meaning he will miss the chance to prove his fitness to the Australian selectors. Watson has spent the past week in Melbourne with Cricket Australia team doctor Trefor James.

"He [Watson] is in Sydney but he won't be with us until tomorrow," Terry Oliver, the Queensland coach, told AAP. "He might come here and have a bowl in the nets tomorrow, we'll see.

"We may be looking at Friday but I haven't heard any more on that. It's probably unlikely he will play Friday as well. I spoke to him today. He sets himself high standards and he's very disappointed, as anyone would be I suppose."

If Watson is ruled out of the Perth Test the selectors will have to decide whether to stick with their balance of four bowlers, or make the attacking move of dropping a batsman in favour of more strike power in the attack.