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November 8, 2005
Australia's selectors must decide whether to backflip to a traditional line-up or plough ahead in search of another allrounder following the shoulder injury that ended Shane Watson's Test summer. Trevor Hohns has enjoyed the balance of the side with Watson covering duel roles, but he told The Courier-Mail the problem with similar replacements was "there weren't too many of them around".
The disruption has forced the selectors to delay naming the squad for the second Test against West Indies at Hobart, which begins on November 17, and reports have also suggested Justin Langer's fractured rib was not healing as well as planned. If Langer is unfit Mike Hussey will stay in the side after making his debut in Brisbane while Brad Hodge and Andrew Symonds are in contention to replace Watson.
Hohns told The Australian Watson's injury had upset his plans. "We were certainly making progress in that direction," he said. "We may have to change the balance of the side again." The selectors also have the problem of an underperforming middle order with Michael Clarke and Simon Katich failing to register decent scores in Brisbane.
Watson suffered a partial dislocation while fielding on Sunday and has had trouble keeping the "terrible noise" on impact out of his mind. "I was actually thinking 'that can't be my body," he told the paper, "it must be the ground or something'."
The surgeon Greg Hoy was due to operate on Watson's left shoulder today but he felt the injury was less serious than the back stress fractures that ruled him out of the 2003 World Cup. "The good thing is it wasn't technique or anything to do with my bowling action so I don't really have to remodel anything," he said. "It's just a freak thing."
Watson was playing his third Test at the Gabba and had just taken his second career wicket when he had Chris Gayle caught by Shane Warne at first slip. "It's hard to set a goal at the moment," he said in The Courier-Mail. "Hopefully it will just be a couple of months and I'll be able to get back without risking it."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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