Australia in England 2012 July 9, 2012

Watson and Lee fly home to uncertain future

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Shane Watson and Brett Lee are flying home early from Australia's poor ODI tour of England and face cloudy futures beyond it after both were confirmed to have suffered calf strains during the series-deciding loss to England in Durham. Watson bowled only one over before leaving the field at Chester-le-Street and Lee soon joined him in the treatment room after two deliveries of his second spell.

Following initial scans conducted on tour it has been decided to send the duo home in order to begin treatment of the injuries. Both are in doubt for Australia's Twenty20 and ODI series against Pakistan in August. Watson's calf problem is on his left leg, the opposite to that which suffered hamstring and calf problems that kept him out of the majority of the last Australian summer. Lee's injury is a bad sign for a fast bowler who at 35 is already close to the conclusion of his international career.

"They were both disappointed, obviously Shane has had a few injuries in his time, but he's a hard worker, and works extremely hard on getting his body right, so he was fairly disappointed," Mitchell Johnson said. "But I think he can still do an allrounder's job, and that's how he wants to play his cricket as well. I definitely think we need him in that role as well, for his experience.

"Brett's had a pretty good career through injuries, he hasn't had too many majors ones, but it's jsut a little one at the moment, and I'm sure he'll be back pretty quickly."

The issue of Watson's ability to cope with the all-round demands of his preferred role in the national team is a recurring one, and the coach Mickey Arthur has said he is unsure of the best way forward. Arthur pointed out that in addition to the injuries Watson has suffered, his batting and bowling best seldom coincide.

"We want Watto as an all-rounder. He gives us immense value and great balance. We need to have Watto as an all-rounder in that team for the balance of the side," Arthur said following the Durham defeat. "It seems that he bats well for a period of time then he doesn't bowl well. And if he bowls well [he doesn't bat well]. We have got to get it right as Watto is a great cricketer. He will get it right, we just need to sit down and plot a way forward and think how we are going to use him better."

The injuries to Watson and Lee have meant an early call-up to Australian duty for the left-armer Mitchell Starc, who joined the squad in Manchester late on Sunday night after taking 2 for 27 to help Yorkshire qualify for the domestic Friends Life t20 quarter-finals. Starc was chosen for the Australia A tour that follows the final ODI at Old Trafford, and has won the approval of the national selector John Inverarity.

"Starc, his figures over here, I've been watching closely and he's been taking wickets consistently, and a very high proportion of his wickets are bowled and lbw," Inverarity said. "I think he looks in really good shape. He's 22 and his body is slightly gangly - I reckon it'll be a year or 18 months; he's going to keep improving, and he's a good bowler."

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

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  • EnglishCricket on July 12, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    Australia are clearly a weak team now and was simply owned by England.

  • SirViv1973 on July 12, 2012, 6:37 GMT

    @hyclass you've made some very good points. Ive said before re Cummins a bowler needs to learn his trade and thats impossible in 3 first class games and a handful of T20s

  • hyclass on July 11, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    @SirViv1973...I opposed Cummin's original inclusion for the SA Tests match based on the premise that he had been injured during the Shield final and at a very young age,could not possibly have recovered sufficiently.It was my belief that to use him so badly before he had fully developed physically was to expose him to career ending injuries.It is well understood that in avoiding placing undue strain on a previously injured area,other areas take the load and are themselves exposed.The vindication is in his 3rd injury since the final.I blogged 2 days before his SA Test related injury that I expected him to be injured based on his record.I also regarded his complete lack of career statistics at that time(3 1st class matches for 9 wickets at 46) as anathema to the manner in which all the successful Test teams had been chosen for 130 years.CA were looking for a poster boy to promote BBL ahead of traditional cricket which they had spent 5 years undermining & still continues.Cummins was it.

  • Meety on July 11, 2012, 2:51 GMT

    @Trueman's Ghost - BTW, my original comment was a retort to what IMO, was a poor comment, & was really food for thought. Also, Siddle is only 27, which I hope (not a certainty, just ask MJ), means is he is heading into his best years as a bowler. I have actually been critical of him in the past, but I think I hadn't taken into account his injuries. I think he is better prepared for tests these days, (despite being injured in WI).

  • Meety on July 11, 2012, 2:45 GMT

    @Truemans_Ghost - yes & no. Siddle is a good (not great) TEST bowler. He is wholehearted & will give everything - even when things aren't going right. ATM - your mob are having a good time of things in the field (even when losing - UAE), so wholeheartedness is probably not at the top of your list - yet! I do believe that SHOULD Oz's Generation Next quicks overcome injury issues & start building up their body of work, Siddle will get overtaken. It is interesting to note, Clarke uses him differently to Punter. Under Ponting, Siddle was a workhorse, bowling long spells, under Clarke he is bowled in shorter bursts, maybe the different approach brings out the best, stats wise he is superior to Anderson, (not genuinely suggesting that). His record does not include cheap wickets & his 2 of his best records are against India & Sth Africa. Will he single handed win Oz the Ashes? Nope, can he play a significant role in Oz winning the Ashes? IMO - yes!

  • Humdingers on July 10, 2012, 23:33 GMT

    Simple, bat Watson at 6/7. Opening the batting is a tough gig when you have to back it up with bowling as well. Puts Kallis' career in a whole different light.

  • mrmonty on July 10, 2012, 20:44 GMT

    Lee and Watson, a couple more scalps of the IPL.

  • SirViv1973 on July 10, 2012, 20:20 GMT

    @Hyclass would you have left Cummins out because of his injury or do you think he's just not ready for international cricket yet ?

  • SirViv1973 on July 10, 2012, 20:17 GMT

    Can't believe there are people on here calling for Ponting to be recalled, he's 38 and Aus simply need to move on. As for Lee i'm not sure why he is still picked other than to allow him to end his career at a major tournament ie the T20 WC in SRl. With so many younger fast bowlers available Aus should be thinking of the future. As for Watson I think he has too many commitments, he plays for Aus as an allrounder in all forms of the game as well being a regular in the ipl. Something has to give I would suggest that he gives up 50 over cricket, plays only T20 as an allrounder and plays in tests as a specialist opening bat.

  • SirViv1973 on July 10, 2012, 19:59 GMT

    @Macio You should also remember that those limited overs series you keep banging on about where as 5Wombats says after the main events of the ashes series, both of which you lost. So on both those tours it was Eng who won what really mattered. As on this occasion and and in the other stand alone ODI series in 2010 we have won not to mention the T20 WC final win!

  • EnglishCricket on July 12, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    Australia are clearly a weak team now and was simply owned by England.

  • SirViv1973 on July 12, 2012, 6:37 GMT

    @hyclass you've made some very good points. Ive said before re Cummins a bowler needs to learn his trade and thats impossible in 3 first class games and a handful of T20s

  • hyclass on July 11, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    @SirViv1973...I opposed Cummin's original inclusion for the SA Tests match based on the premise that he had been injured during the Shield final and at a very young age,could not possibly have recovered sufficiently.It was my belief that to use him so badly before he had fully developed physically was to expose him to career ending injuries.It is well understood that in avoiding placing undue strain on a previously injured area,other areas take the load and are themselves exposed.The vindication is in his 3rd injury since the final.I blogged 2 days before his SA Test related injury that I expected him to be injured based on his record.I also regarded his complete lack of career statistics at that time(3 1st class matches for 9 wickets at 46) as anathema to the manner in which all the successful Test teams had been chosen for 130 years.CA were looking for a poster boy to promote BBL ahead of traditional cricket which they had spent 5 years undermining & still continues.Cummins was it.

  • Meety on July 11, 2012, 2:51 GMT

    @Trueman's Ghost - BTW, my original comment was a retort to what IMO, was a poor comment, & was really food for thought. Also, Siddle is only 27, which I hope (not a certainty, just ask MJ), means is he is heading into his best years as a bowler. I have actually been critical of him in the past, but I think I hadn't taken into account his injuries. I think he is better prepared for tests these days, (despite being injured in WI).

  • Meety on July 11, 2012, 2:45 GMT

    @Truemans_Ghost - yes & no. Siddle is a good (not great) TEST bowler. He is wholehearted & will give everything - even when things aren't going right. ATM - your mob are having a good time of things in the field (even when losing - UAE), so wholeheartedness is probably not at the top of your list - yet! I do believe that SHOULD Oz's Generation Next quicks overcome injury issues & start building up their body of work, Siddle will get overtaken. It is interesting to note, Clarke uses him differently to Punter. Under Ponting, Siddle was a workhorse, bowling long spells, under Clarke he is bowled in shorter bursts, maybe the different approach brings out the best, stats wise he is superior to Anderson, (not genuinely suggesting that). His record does not include cheap wickets & his 2 of his best records are against India & Sth Africa. Will he single handed win Oz the Ashes? Nope, can he play a significant role in Oz winning the Ashes? IMO - yes!

  • Humdingers on July 10, 2012, 23:33 GMT

    Simple, bat Watson at 6/7. Opening the batting is a tough gig when you have to back it up with bowling as well. Puts Kallis' career in a whole different light.

  • mrmonty on July 10, 2012, 20:44 GMT

    Lee and Watson, a couple more scalps of the IPL.

  • SirViv1973 on July 10, 2012, 20:20 GMT

    @Hyclass would you have left Cummins out because of his injury or do you think he's just not ready for international cricket yet ?

  • SirViv1973 on July 10, 2012, 20:17 GMT

    Can't believe there are people on here calling for Ponting to be recalled, he's 38 and Aus simply need to move on. As for Lee i'm not sure why he is still picked other than to allow him to end his career at a major tournament ie the T20 WC in SRl. With so many younger fast bowlers available Aus should be thinking of the future. As for Watson I think he has too many commitments, he plays for Aus as an allrounder in all forms of the game as well being a regular in the ipl. Something has to give I would suggest that he gives up 50 over cricket, plays only T20 as an allrounder and plays in tests as a specialist opening bat.

  • SirViv1973 on July 10, 2012, 19:59 GMT

    @Macio You should also remember that those limited overs series you keep banging on about where as 5Wombats says after the main events of the ashes series, both of which you lost. So on both those tours it was Eng who won what really mattered. As on this occasion and and in the other stand alone ODI series in 2010 we have won not to mention the T20 WC final win!

  • bored_iam on July 10, 2012, 19:57 GMT

    The fact of the matter is the current England side is going to roll over the Aussies come the Ashes. 1. England of now are the best English side in probably the past 30yrs, especially in England, they're near invincible. I strongly think South Africa may struggle too against them this year. 2. The Aussie side is probably their weakest in 30yrs. They're disastrous outside of Australia suddenly. Going by current form, UNLESS they suddenly produce batsmen of some calibre (or Warner, Clarke, Ponting, Watson, Hussey strike form) it is a downhill ride for atleast the next 2yrs.

  • 5wombats on July 10, 2012, 19:37 GMT

    @Marcio. So, according to you England only winning two of the nine short format games on the last Australian tour, (was) a much worse embarrassment.... than... what? losing The Ashes in Australia 3-1 with 3 Innings defeats? There was a mega-disaster in that Australian Summer - but guess what - it's wasn't England losing the ODI series! Keep betting mate!

  • SirViv1973 on July 10, 2012, 19:37 GMT

    @Marcio, Every post you've written during this series has harked back to the ODI series defeats either on the last tour to Aus or the series in 09. That was then this is now. Eng fans are long suffering and up until recently (with the exception of 05) we pretty much got battered by what was a mighty Aus team, almost everytime we played them. I think I speak for most Eng fans who were following the team during that period by saying right now we are in the ascendancy and we are enjoying it, how long it will last for I don't know but I think we are entitled to enjoy it. Aus fans like yourself need to get used to the fact that you are no longer the all conquering champion team you once were.

  • AKS286 on July 10, 2012, 17:43 GMT

    johnson, mckay, copeland, beer

  • Beertjie on July 10, 2012, 16:13 GMT

    Great to see your direct acquaintance and commendation of Boyce, @featurewriter. When he and Lyon form a combo, the stocks will rise, since the pacers are a promising crop. I wish I had a crystal ball for the batters, though! Imo Burns and Maddinson are thumb-sucks, but even as such they are better prospects for higher honours than Forrest + Bailey. So let's hope Invers sees this and calls up decent stop-gaps to plug the holes rather than relying on mediocre players.

  • on July 10, 2012, 15:56 GMT

    When will Australia learn to give up on this idea of Watson as the all-rounder? With the bat he is serious quality. By giving up the ball, he could easily be averaging 50. A batting Watson averaging 50 is worth more to their side than him averaging high 30s and throwing in a few wickets. This preoccupation with making him bat and bowl is ridiculous.

  • Truemans_Ghost on July 10, 2012, 13:44 GMT

    @Meety. Interesting that you defend both Hilf and Siddle. Hilfenhaus I like, especially in English conditions. I reckon he will do well next Ashes. but I don't quite get Siddle. Tom Moody (in my view one of the most underrated Aussies of recent years) was enthusing about him and you are generally quite shrewd, but all I see is a competent, wholehearted third seamer, not the bedrock of Australian bowling in years to come. Am I missing something?

  • 5wombats on July 10, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    @JG2704 on (July 10 2012, 08:06 AM GMT) - don't worry - on a planet of betting men he would be the one going topless. ha ha ha :-)

  • hyclass on July 10, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    I recently blogged that in my opinion,injuries would have the greatest influence on results over the next 12 months.Two days later,Cummins was injured,then Watson & Lee.I said before this series that Watson was unsuited to Tests because he could barely run,lacked stamina & could not justify his place as either a batsman or a bowler.While his averages look ok,he has lacked any meaningful influence in Tests.He has very few Test wickets to his credit & is neither a stock nor strike bowler.As Ian Chappell once said,'Sometimes when you choose an allrounder,you end up a batsman & a bowler short.'I opposed the selections of Forrest,Smith & Cummins in this series.Virtually all observations I've made in the last 18 months have been vindicated.I understand people have favourites,but hype,misdirection & the desire of CA to undermine Test & Shield processes & CA appointments to promote BBL,has caused this.The answer is simple-always observe long term form & data.To do otherwise is unprofessional.

  • JG2704 on July 10, 2012, 8:06 GMT

    @Marcio on (July 10 2012, 03:38 AM GMT) You're right. I'm sure there would not have been one solitary Aus comment saying about how bad Eng were after the shorter formats defeat 1n 2011. Will miss your happy natured , well balanced posts when this series is over.

  • hyclass on July 10, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    A definition of insanity is to repeat the same behaviours & expect different outcomes.In principle,the Argus Review,the most damning indictment of operations at CA ever undertaken,was intended as a solution to the identified endemic behaviours.In practice,little of consequence has changed.Until there is a return to those simplified methods that for the preceding two decades, saw the rise & rise of cricket in Australia,there can be no expectation of the level of consistency & competitiveness that was that eras hallmark.The ODI squad to England was replete with underperforming players whose records clearly demonstrated in advance that they were either unsuited at this time based on form or never were suited to this format.The preceding Test series were against opposition playing at a very low ebb before the series began.The great shame is not the results taking place in this series.Rather,it is the complete & continued unprofessional manner in which theories are opposed by facts at CA.

  • featurewriter on July 10, 2012, 6:59 GMT

    Mikey76: There's nothing wrong with the bowling stocks in Australia. And you're over-rating England by suggesting Siddle and Hilfenhaus wouldn't make the Lions squad. Our list of talented, international-standard bowlers is significantly longer than England's. Consider Johnson (regardless of what armchair critics say, the guy is a match-winning bowler), Cummins, Pattinson, Harris, Hilfenhaus, Siddle, Bird, Cutting, McDermott, Hazlewood, Bollinger and Starc - and then there are the bowling all-rounders with sub-25 first-class bowling averages, like Butterworth, Faulkner, McDonald and Coulter-Nile. I won't challenge the spin comment - except to say that there's a significant drought of spin talent around the world. (But I'd watch the young Queensland leggie Cam Boyce closely over the next few seasons - played against him and he is an enormous prospect.)

  • Meety on July 10, 2012, 6:59 GMT

    @mikey76 "...Hilfenhaus and Siddle wouldn't make an England Lions side..." - yet when fully fit weren't they the 2 bowlers who were the 2 leading wicket takers in the 2009 Ashes????? We have around another 6 bowlers with better RECENT & CAREER FC stats than "...Pattinson, Cummins and Starc..."

  • zenboomerang on July 10, 2012, 6:08 GMT

    @Bruisers... Watsons stats as an opener only tell half the story - look at his stats since being named VC of Oz Tests its @25 & dragging down his career stats to @37... He has dropped a number of catches in the slips that would have been crucial in the last year... If anything I am worried that Watson hasn't the mental game to handle all the pressure of opening, bowling & VC - & he has mentioned his own doubt about his bowling workload a number of times...

  • 5wombats on July 10, 2012, 5:18 GMT

    Sorry to see Brett Lee go home like that. Thanks for the memories. A true sportsman and competitor. Thank you.

  • mikey76 on July 10, 2012, 4:44 GMT

    Depth is huge in bowling?? Pattinson, Cummins and Starc. Thats about it. The likes of Bollinger, Harris and Johnson are either too injury prone, a liabilty on the field or just not up to standard. Hilfenhaus and Siddle wouldn't make an England Lions side. As for the spin department, its pretty bare.

  • Marcio on July 10, 2012, 3:38 GMT

    There isn't a lot riding on this last game (or the series, for that matter), so its wise to send guys home who have even minor injuries. Cummins, Lee and Watto can play a huge role in the T20 WC, coming up soon. As for the Pommie doomsdayers who have declared the end of AUS cricket based on these 3 games, it might pay to recall you won only two of the nine short format games on the last Australian tour, a much worse embarrassment. I don't recall anyone here declaring the end of ENG cricket after that mega-disaster. Life, and Australian cricket will go on, regardless of the silly denunciations of 'the old enemy.'

  • on July 10, 2012, 3:00 GMT

    I think Watson would make a great no. 3 for Australia in ODIs. Wade should open with Warner.

  • cricketsage on July 10, 2012, 1:53 GMT

    Its surprising Watson is able to bowl at all. He has a very stiff bowling action. When he's bowling it appears as if some muscle will pop at any time. It certainly did this time. Watson simply does not have the loose limbed or wiry physique that are essential for a fast bowler. He's strongly built but that does not mean he will have a long career as a fast bowler.

  • on July 10, 2012, 1:52 GMT

    @Kandagaddala Giridhar is right! Ricky Pointing need to back to the side! He is very dynamic and energetic, can save runs, also helps captaincy even if he failed to bat!!!!I like M. Hussy to join with his brother too!!!Comeon Aussie!!! it's time to fireup!

  • on July 10, 2012, 1:38 GMT

    I am concerned about Arthurs assessment of Watson. In my opinion he has been one of the best bowlers for Australia over the past 18 months to two years. Part time or otherwise. I was a Watson bagger in the beginning because of his chalky disposition, but I think you will find his performances have been consistent when fit over recent times. There is a systemic problem with Aus cricket at the moment because of so many injuries. No other international team seems to be quite as effected as us. Kallis is the stand out for consistency and injury free. So too England have less injury woes.

  • on July 10, 2012, 1:10 GMT

    So what really has Aus achieved on this tour??? Was this time well spent? re getting players aclimatised but at the expense of six or so broken-down players? hmmm I wonder!

  • Deep_Point on July 10, 2012, 0:20 GMT

    Someone said it already on here - Watson was an injury waiting to happen. When you see him "run" in the field he looks like a very slow old man and his "running" between the wickets is famously bad. As for Lee, big shame to see him limping out of England for the last time after such a great career and some really memorable moments, but at his age, is he really the right choice for an Australia that needs to get back to basics in all formats?

  • Meety on July 10, 2012, 0:09 GMT

    @Guernica - "..consistently been bowling the last few overs in T20s .." - he does bowl close to the end, but if he was bowling meat pies, his E/R would be woeful. His E/R is top shelf - he is a large part of why Yorkshire are defending or restricting the opposition. How much can be drawn from T20 form? Dunno, but he is the best performed bowler in the tournament so far, basically 2nd best S/R & about 5th best E/R (ALL of the better E/R have significantly worse S/Rs). @JasonG_123 - Watto first got serious injuries for Oz batting DOWN the order! @Bruisers - believe is ave as an opener is more like 43. (Must not added 1st AND 2nd position). @hhillbumper - not in ODIs, Lee is the best strike bowler ever, (backed by facts).

  • RandyOZ on July 10, 2012, 0:03 GMT

    Big shame, our injury rate is alarming. Lucky the bowling depth is huge. Hopefully a few batsmen go down so we can bring in "grade" cricketers like Cooper, Hughes, etc.

  • MinusZero on July 9, 2012, 22:45 GMT

    Watson can only be retained as an allrounder, his stats are not good enough for an international standard specialist batsman or bowler

  • on July 9, 2012, 21:02 GMT

    In reply to one of the above claims, Watson does NOT average 52.81 as a Test opener, in fact he averages 43.67, and with only 2 centuries in those 45 innings. Might want to get your facts straight mate

  • on July 9, 2012, 19:31 GMT

    Plz Nasser Hussain tell me which team will win tomorrow?our guess r flop......

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 9, 2012, 18:55 GMT

    Add them to the extensive and long list of more Australian cricketers that have had their careers consigned to dustbin by England.

  • Kapstif on July 9, 2012, 18:46 GMT

    Sorry Bruisers but you might want to check Watto's average as opener. It is 43.

  • xylo on July 9, 2012, 18:40 GMT

    Looking at the injuries that Watson has been accumulating over the years, one cannot help but marvel at how the man Kallis goes about his job for so many years!

  • allblue on July 9, 2012, 18:19 GMT

    How times change. It doesn't seem so long ago that England were stumbling round Australia getting soundly thrashed, with players regularly flying home injured while their fit, confident and ruthless opponents showed no mercy. Meanwhile, back home supporters bemoaned the absence of a 37 year old or two that they reckoned would make all the difference, and berated the selectors for their incompetence and noted how much more professional and adept their Australian counterparts were. Truly the world has turned upside down.

  • on July 9, 2012, 18:00 GMT

    Ricky Ponting(Punter) should be back so that the Australia top order will become so strong. Otherwise if they loose first two tickets the middle order is in under pressure. So Punter should be back.

  • hhillbumper on July 9, 2012, 17:53 GMT

    heart of oak. i would say Steyn and Anderson have both been better than Lee.

  • on July 9, 2012, 17:40 GMT

    aussies are in trouble , when they were prosperues ,everything was coming good ,but know the whole scenerio is changing ,their players are getting injuired ,defeats are coming at high rate ,talent shortage in batting.

  • whatawicket on July 9, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    watson will be all right this injury should not keep him out for 2 long. by the look of what they have, hes got to come back, who else have they got.

  • jackthelad on July 9, 2012, 17:23 GMT

    I'd say they're not the only Aussie cricketers facing 'cloudy' futures (one thinks of Johnson, Forrest, Bailey, Smith, Wade ... I could go on but won't). This is a second-rate outfit unable to come to terms with its second-rateness.

  • Bruisers on July 9, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    @landl47 - Well the Test average of Watson only tells half the story. You have to remember that he batted at 6 and 7 early in his career. His average as an opener is 52.81 which does enough justice to his position in the Test team. Not to forget his bowling capabilities and sharp catching on the field..

  • Bruisers on July 9, 2012, 16:41 GMT

    I think they are missing Cameron White in this team. He has been in terrific form of late and would have done much much better than Bailey and Forrest who are in the team for no reason. Hopefully we'll see White soon in the limited-overs team.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 9, 2012, 16:35 GMT

    Real shame. I agree with the comments about Watson's mismangement. If Wade is such a fantastic opener as I so often heard throughout the ODI series, why wasn't Wade allowed to open with Warner so that Watson could be moved down the order, and then Watson could be more effectively used as the good all-rounder he can be?

  • bumbles11 on July 9, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    Watson did well in Tests as an opener but seemed to alwys get out once he reached 50...still better than Hughes or Warner in my opinion. Clarke is the only Australian player who would walk into a world 11. Watson does have to bat further down the order (apart from 20/20), his bowling always gets a wkt....but then again he's no Flintoff or Kallis.

    Truth be told this is a poor Aussie squad who were bigging it up before the Lords ODI. Since then they have not turned up, although England's bowling and batting has been good (their fielding has been poor) and aussies have regressed with each game....they look a beaten side and never seen that before.

  • kitten on July 9, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    I am amazed that Australia's quick bowlers are all breaking down in the recent few years. I can still remember players like McGrath, Gillespie, and many others who hardly ever got injured. Maybe these players can pass on a tip or two on how to keep yourself fit. I know some people will jump up and say that these cricketers play all forms of cricket, but then it is for the respective boards to decide how important these forms of cricket are, and accordingly pick players to suit the needs. It is about time, someone takes responsibility, before players start falling like flies. England's players are not injured too often, probably due to non participation in the IPL, perhaps? Anyway, this series was not of much consequence, but it certainly threw up a few facts, like Forest and Bailey are not up to the standard yet, and the young pacers like Cummins are prone to injuries. However, Australia, being Australia, will, I am sure, take the necessary remedial actions to rectify these problems.

  • landsite on July 9, 2012, 14:43 GMT

    It would be interesting to see how Australia compares to the Windies recent tour,my bet is that they would every match against England.The weather is just a bit better than what Windies experienced so they should be thankfull for small mercies.Windies had England in a spot of bother at Lords but bad captaincy let England off the hook,they should have also won the last 50 ODI but bad captaincy again let England off.This is the England team that was recently bashed up by Pakistan,I cant wait to see England tour the Caribbean with the same Mr.Narine operating in hot climes rather than in an open air fridge freezer.

  • bobagorof on July 9, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    Bad news for both Watson and Lee personally, but with the series lost Australia has an opportunity to change some things. I expect Wade move up to open, which will give Smith another opportunity and hopefully provide some spark down the order.

  • crram on July 9, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    Bring back ponting. If sachin can play ponting can easily play and in the last series he was so good while fielding. Clarke should be kept aside in onedayers especially as he doesnt have class or power.

  • jeauxx on July 9, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    Hm. Well if there's one positive from all this, it's that at least Wade will get another chance at the top of the order. He deserves a look in.

  • JasonG_123 on July 9, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    Australia have mismanged and ruined the immense talent that is Shane Watson. If he's not batting at number 6 in both Tests and ODIs (probably can stay as opener for T20s) when he gets back into the team, then he will continue to get injured. It's so obvious now that he needs to be moved down the order.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on July 9, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    Why waste watson in such inconsequential tours?

  • landl47 on July 9, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    It's a pity to hear about Watson and especially Lee, who probably won't play in England again. I'm not sure what Australia can do about Watson; he's already 31, so the likelihood that he will get less injury-prone doesn't seem great. If he's considered just as a batsman, he's not quite top-class, with a test avergae of 37.54 and only 2 centuries in 64 innings. Those are the numbers of a #6 or #7 who bowls a bit (though he might still be the best Australia has as a #3 at the moment). I thought before this series started that Australia had too many seamers, having picked 6 specialists plus Watson, but it turns out they didn't have enough! I rate Starc very highly and was surprised he wasn't picked before some of the others, but he's been getting regular cricket for Yorks and has probably benefitted more from that than if he'd been on this tour. He's a class bowler and a big part of Aus's future.

  • Heart_of_Oak on July 9, 2012, 11:44 GMT

    Brett Lee has been one of the best fast bowlers for the last 10 years or maybe even more. In fact I'm struggling to think of anyone better. He's been a great servant to Australian cricket and a great advert for cricket.

    Just as footballers want to play against the best opposition, so test batsmen must want to challenge themselves against the best - and that means facing Lee. It's guys like him that pull in the crowds. As an Englishman, I always used to expect our batsmen to struggle against Lee and Warne more than anyone else, from any team.

    It'll be a great loss to the game in England if we don't see Lee here again. I hope he can recover from this injury and continue for a few more years yet.

    All the best to you, Brett.

  • Charlie101 on July 9, 2012, 11:41 GMT

    Surely Watson's future is very bright as he is the only Australian player who would walk into a world eleven. He would have to bat further down the order and have to bowl well but he is a very classy cricketer.

  • on July 9, 2012, 11:39 GMT

    Aussies should always keep James Hopes as a subsititute allrounder as he is good with the bat and handy with the ball (obviously not of watson's class)

    Hifanhaus, Siddle, Starc.... Now thats a trio, aussies should bank upon...with Pattinson the subsitute !!

    Hilfanhaus will seem the ball and move it , while siddle the line and lenght accurate fast bowler and starc's action and speed allows him to pick more wickets.

    They need to give doherty few matches....

    A lot of changes r required.

  • on July 9, 2012, 11:37 GMT

    i guess the worst time for an australian squad..after a long time... :(

  • Aussie_nrz on July 9, 2012, 11:34 GMT

    Watson and B. Lee were both unbalancing the team as they are the guys who cannot be dropped as they are very best on their days but are not good regular performers. Now it may be blessing in disguise for team aussie with both of them injuired.

  • Guernica on July 9, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    I think the optimism about Starc may be a little misplaced. He has consistently been bowling the last few overs in T20s where Yorkshire's opposition is already chasing a lost cause. So he's bound to get wickets and a lot of them are likely to be swing-and-miss bowled and lbw. Anything's worth a try for the Aussies I guess though.

  • hmmmmm... on July 9, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    This is what happens when you play a pointless ODI series which means nothing more than advertising dollars for the ECB they wait for the South Africans in the middle of your off season. The entire team, other than hussey (who was already there playing), looked like someone had woken them up in the middle of the night and they weren't quite sure what they were doing with a bat/ball in their hand...

  • on July 9, 2012, 11:11 GMT

    I wish both the best in their recovery

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  • on July 9, 2012, 11:11 GMT

    I wish both the best in their recovery

  • hmmmmm... on July 9, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    This is what happens when you play a pointless ODI series which means nothing more than advertising dollars for the ECB they wait for the South Africans in the middle of your off season. The entire team, other than hussey (who was already there playing), looked like someone had woken them up in the middle of the night and they weren't quite sure what they were doing with a bat/ball in their hand...

  • Guernica on July 9, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    I think the optimism about Starc may be a little misplaced. He has consistently been bowling the last few overs in T20s where Yorkshire's opposition is already chasing a lost cause. So he's bound to get wickets and a lot of them are likely to be swing-and-miss bowled and lbw. Anything's worth a try for the Aussies I guess though.

  • Aussie_nrz on July 9, 2012, 11:34 GMT

    Watson and B. Lee were both unbalancing the team as they are the guys who cannot be dropped as they are very best on their days but are not good regular performers. Now it may be blessing in disguise for team aussie with both of them injuired.

  • on July 9, 2012, 11:37 GMT

    i guess the worst time for an australian squad..after a long time... :(

  • on July 9, 2012, 11:39 GMT

    Aussies should always keep James Hopes as a subsititute allrounder as he is good with the bat and handy with the ball (obviously not of watson's class)

    Hifanhaus, Siddle, Starc.... Now thats a trio, aussies should bank upon...with Pattinson the subsitute !!

    Hilfanhaus will seem the ball and move it , while siddle the line and lenght accurate fast bowler and starc's action and speed allows him to pick more wickets.

    They need to give doherty few matches....

    A lot of changes r required.

  • Charlie101 on July 9, 2012, 11:41 GMT

    Surely Watson's future is very bright as he is the only Australian player who would walk into a world eleven. He would have to bat further down the order and have to bowl well but he is a very classy cricketer.

  • Heart_of_Oak on July 9, 2012, 11:44 GMT

    Brett Lee has been one of the best fast bowlers for the last 10 years or maybe even more. In fact I'm struggling to think of anyone better. He's been a great servant to Australian cricket and a great advert for cricket.

    Just as footballers want to play against the best opposition, so test batsmen must want to challenge themselves against the best - and that means facing Lee. It's guys like him that pull in the crowds. As an Englishman, I always used to expect our batsmen to struggle against Lee and Warne more than anyone else, from any team.

    It'll be a great loss to the game in England if we don't see Lee here again. I hope he can recover from this injury and continue for a few more years yet.

    All the best to you, Brett.

  • landl47 on July 9, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    It's a pity to hear about Watson and especially Lee, who probably won't play in England again. I'm not sure what Australia can do about Watson; he's already 31, so the likelihood that he will get less injury-prone doesn't seem great. If he's considered just as a batsman, he's not quite top-class, with a test avergae of 37.54 and only 2 centuries in 64 innings. Those are the numbers of a #6 or #7 who bowls a bit (though he might still be the best Australia has as a #3 at the moment). I thought before this series started that Australia had too many seamers, having picked 6 specialists plus Watson, but it turns out they didn't have enough! I rate Starc very highly and was surprised he wasn't picked before some of the others, but he's been getting regular cricket for Yorks and has probably benefitted more from that than if he'd been on this tour. He's a class bowler and a big part of Aus's future.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on July 9, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    Why waste watson in such inconsequential tours?