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When asked if he had discussed with the selectors whether his availability to bowl was integral to his selection, Shane Watson answered: 'I haven't been told either way'. Cricket Australia's high-performance manager Pat Howard said that selectors would consider a players all-round fitness before selecting the squad. A blog in the Australian says there is ambiguity in what Watson and CA say.
Are there any deep hidden meanings or subtle nuances? Watson is a player who monitors what is said and written about him pretty assiduously - as some of us in the media have found out over the years. He either missed these remarks of Howard's, or did not take them as the message they very clearly are, because in his own mind, as he explained yesterday, he has not been 'told either way.' And that is a growing problem in the eyes of his captain, his coach and the selectors, that, for all his powers and talents, he so often needs to be told things that are simply self-evident.
Dean Jones, writing in the Age, says that the current South African team has the greatest top six batting line-up the team has ever had. He analyses South Africa's top-order and points out their weaknesses.
Graeme Smith is a big ''on-side Harry''. Australia must pitch up and force Smith to drive the ball through the covers. Swinging the ball into him will be like giving candy to a child. Australian bowlers need to push Hashim Amla back and bowl an impeccable length to him.
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