Watson ruled out, Henriques called up
Shane Watson will miss Australia's one-day international against England in Hobart on Friday after reporting tightness in his right hamstring at training on Thursday. Allrounder Moises Henriques has been called into the squad to cover for Watson and is likely to play his first ODI since the corresponding Hobart game in 2012-13, two years ago to the day.
Australia had already been forced to make two changes to their batting line-up for this game, with George Bailey suspended due to Australia's slow over rates against India at the MCG on Sunday, and David Warner resting his hamstring. The third change became necessary with the selectors taking a cautious approach with Watson.
They decided against using Mitchell Marsh, who has been training with the squad in Hobart as he recovers from a hamstring injury. Marsh was due to make his comeback through grade cricket in Sydney this Saturday and that plan is expected to remain in place.
"He bowled this morning. I think he's just a little bit tight," captain Steven Smith said of Watson. "I don't think it's anything too major. I think it's more a precautionary measure to make sure he's right for the World Cup."
Henriques will join the squad on Thursday night, meaning he was set to miss the BBL match between the Sydney Sixers and the Sydney Thunder at the SCG. Chairman of selectors Rod Marsh said Henriques, White and Shaun Marsh were likely only to play the Hobart game.
"Moises is one of our leading all-rounders, he has international experience, and in Shane Watson's enforced absence it made perfect sense to draft him in for this match," Rod Marsh said. "The intention is to release Moises, along with Cameron White and Shaun Marsh, after the match as it is our expectation that we will have George Bailey, Mitchell Marsh and David Warner available for selection for our match in Sydney on Monday."
Shaun Marsh will open with Aaron Finch on Friday, and spinner Xavier Doherty might be included on his home ground, which would help Australia with their over rates after Sunday's transgressions in a game where 48 overs of India's innings were bowled by Australia's seamers.
Australia took an extra 26 minutes to bowl their 50 overs, although match referee Andy Pycroft ruled that after time allowances they were only one over short. However, Bailey's previous over rate offence as captain, against South Africa in November, meant that was sufficient for him to be suspended.
"It's obviously very disappointing for George not to be here," Smith said. "That's not what we're about with our over rates being down ... that's something that we're going to have to improve on ... If we play that up-tempo game and get around our overs quickly I think you'll find our fielding will lift as well, which has been a point that we haven't been quite as strong at in recent times."