India v Australia, 7th ODI, Bangalore November 2, 2013

Injury scare for Shane Watson

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Shane Watson has sent a major scare through Australia's Ashes planners only 19 days away from the first Test in Brisbane by pulling up with a hamstring injury during the final ODI against India in Bangalore.

Running in to deliver the first ball of his sixth over at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Watson stopped sharply before completing his delivery stride and immediately left the field. He later batted at No. 8 in Australia's doomed chase and appeared to aggravate the injury while hitting a six during the course of his rapidfire 49.

"Shane encountered soreness in his left hamstring during last night's ODI in India," a Cricket Australia spokesman said. "He received initial treatment from team medical staff and showed that he was able to bat when needed. He will have the injury assessed in detail this week following his return to Australia. At that point we will have a clearer picture about his availability for the first Test."

Watson's innings was played in a fury after he was mocked by the Indian batsman Shikhar Dhawan, who mimicked a limping man after fielding a drive at mid off. The pair exchanged words subsequently and there were further angry scenes when Watson was dismissed, appearing to receive a send-off from several Indian players.

Though the seriousness of the problem is still to be assessed, hamstring problems have dogged Watson on numerous occasions throughout his career, often resulting in extended breaks from the game. He has missed major chunks of each of the past two home summers due to leg strains, and flirted with muscle problems during the Ashes series in England earlier this year though continuing to play.

Most of Australia's likely Test squad are building into form at home, but Watson, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, James Faulkner and the prospective No. 6 batsman George Bailey have all exerted themselves on the subcontinent. Concerns about Johnson's ability to transfer from limited-overs matches to the longer form of the game in time for the Ashes resulted in the team performance manager Pat Howard sending the left-arm seamer home before the final ODI in Bangalore, but Watson remained to play in the series decider.

Australia's medical and fitness staff may face a significant battle to ensure his fitness in time for the Gabba Test. Watson's availability will greatly affect the balance of the team, with the likes of Bailey, Faulkner and even the Tasmania No. 3 batsman Alex Doolan all possible inclusions should Watson be unfit.

"I don't want to sound biased, (because) I've played a lot with Jimmy, but I just can't speak highly enough of him," Bailey said of Faulkner. "I don't know how many games he's played of one-day cricket but he almost leads our bowling attack. He bowls in power plays. He bowls at the start. He bowls at the death. He loves that responsibility.

"I think we've just seen him come into his own with the bat as well with a bit of confidence. Teams will certainly fear him. It's just that energy he brings is wonderful. The competitiveness he brings is something you love playing with. He's got a pretty bright future."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mary_786 on November 5, 2013, 1:34 GMT

    @Barnsey Ponting, Waugh, Border all publicly backed Khawaja as well, i think it will come down to this week's game and one of either Khwaja, Klinger or Doolan will get picked, your man Hughes hasn't scored enough lately so best to let him score first.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on November 4, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    @Ms.Cricket (post on November 3, 2013, 22:56 GMT): A bit harsh on Clarke as captain, but otherwise that's one of the best team-choices I've read for Australia and couldn't agree more with you re. Hughes and Warner.

  • pitch_curator on November 4, 2013, 8:08 GMT

    I hope Bailey gets a look in and he is handed the captaincy once he finds his feet in test cricket. Clarke -- good captain or not, seems to be a divisive figure and that is exactly what you do not need when you are building a team. Watson is an average test player. So, wouldn't be a big loss to the team. If anything, Faulkner would be a better allrounder than Watson. Also, with Watson out, there will be some reviews available for batsman down the order.

  • Samdanh on November 4, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    If Watson is unavailable, bringing in Cutting or Faulkner as bowlers who can bat, will be the best alternative options.

  • spindizzy on November 4, 2013, 2:04 GMT

    Why would we want him in the team?

    We do better in Test series when he's not available, see the last Indian tour of Australia as an example. He has a poor return in crucial matches and has been a game loser far more than winner we he goes off injured.

    We'd be better planning for his exclusion, failed experiment. Same for Hughes - the current Indian tour has shown that he can't perform to standard even in the most docile of batting conditions, his slow scoring and nervey play got Australia off to slow starts in matches where a fast confident start was crucial. He's far worse when the match is tight on a moving pitch, he's a psychological burden for the whole team with his ability to make batting look harder than it should be.

    Unreliability should always trump potential to the selectors, exciting doesn't win most matches.

  • Chris_P on November 3, 2013, 23:49 GMT

    @Mitty2. Only if he scores in the next 2 games, & I hope he does, same for Doolan. I think Beertjie has a point with another bowling option, but really, they need to have earned their spot. not be selected because they can bowl a little. That is English Test thinking of the 90's.

  • MrKistic on November 3, 2013, 23:11 GMT

    @Prabhash1985 Bailey averaged 18 in the first class season last year. His overall FC average is only 38. He's nowhere near Ponting and probably not really near test cricket. And yet all reports suggest he will be our next number 6...

  • Ms.Cricket on November 3, 2013, 22:56 GMT

    Not only should Bailey be in the team but he should also be captain. Let's face the facts - Clarke may be a mighty good Test batsman but as a captain in any form he is poor. Even Ricky Ponting agrees. Losses to SAF at home, 0-4 in India, 0-3 in England, even NSW lost to Tas from a good postion last weekend. The Test team for the Gabba should be Watson, Rogers, Khwaja, Clarke, SSmith, Bailey (c), Haddin, Faulkner, Siddlem Harris and Lyon. Hughes and Warner should not be in team for the next three years and have accumulated mountains of runs consistently. Time to give Doolan and Maddison a chance if any other batsmen are injured.

  • OneEyedAussie on November 3, 2013, 22:08 GMT

    So it looks like Watson won't be bowling this test match summer and probably won't be batting for at least a few games. Groundhog day anyone?

  • Mitty2 on November 3, 2013, 20:22 GMT

    @Prabhesh1985, he will be in the test squad. 100%

  • Mary_786 on November 5, 2013, 1:34 GMT

    @Barnsey Ponting, Waugh, Border all publicly backed Khawaja as well, i think it will come down to this week's game and one of either Khwaja, Klinger or Doolan will get picked, your man Hughes hasn't scored enough lately so best to let him score first.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on November 4, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    @Ms.Cricket (post on November 3, 2013, 22:56 GMT): A bit harsh on Clarke as captain, but otherwise that's one of the best team-choices I've read for Australia and couldn't agree more with you re. Hughes and Warner.

  • pitch_curator on November 4, 2013, 8:08 GMT

    I hope Bailey gets a look in and he is handed the captaincy once he finds his feet in test cricket. Clarke -- good captain or not, seems to be a divisive figure and that is exactly what you do not need when you are building a team. Watson is an average test player. So, wouldn't be a big loss to the team. If anything, Faulkner would be a better allrounder than Watson. Also, with Watson out, there will be some reviews available for batsman down the order.

  • Samdanh on November 4, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    If Watson is unavailable, bringing in Cutting or Faulkner as bowlers who can bat, will be the best alternative options.

  • spindizzy on November 4, 2013, 2:04 GMT

    Why would we want him in the team?

    We do better in Test series when he's not available, see the last Indian tour of Australia as an example. He has a poor return in crucial matches and has been a game loser far more than winner we he goes off injured.

    We'd be better planning for his exclusion, failed experiment. Same for Hughes - the current Indian tour has shown that he can't perform to standard even in the most docile of batting conditions, his slow scoring and nervey play got Australia off to slow starts in matches where a fast confident start was crucial. He's far worse when the match is tight on a moving pitch, he's a psychological burden for the whole team with his ability to make batting look harder than it should be.

    Unreliability should always trump potential to the selectors, exciting doesn't win most matches.

  • Chris_P on November 3, 2013, 23:49 GMT

    @Mitty2. Only if he scores in the next 2 games, & I hope he does, same for Doolan. I think Beertjie has a point with another bowling option, but really, they need to have earned their spot. not be selected because they can bowl a little. That is English Test thinking of the 90's.

  • MrKistic on November 3, 2013, 23:11 GMT

    @Prabhash1985 Bailey averaged 18 in the first class season last year. His overall FC average is only 38. He's nowhere near Ponting and probably not really near test cricket. And yet all reports suggest he will be our next number 6...

  • Ms.Cricket on November 3, 2013, 22:56 GMT

    Not only should Bailey be in the team but he should also be captain. Let's face the facts - Clarke may be a mighty good Test batsman but as a captain in any form he is poor. Even Ricky Ponting agrees. Losses to SAF at home, 0-4 in India, 0-3 in England, even NSW lost to Tas from a good postion last weekend. The Test team for the Gabba should be Watson, Rogers, Khwaja, Clarke, SSmith, Bailey (c), Haddin, Faulkner, Siddlem Harris and Lyon. Hughes and Warner should not be in team for the next three years and have accumulated mountains of runs consistently. Time to give Doolan and Maddison a chance if any other batsmen are injured.

  • OneEyedAussie on November 3, 2013, 22:08 GMT

    So it looks like Watson won't be bowling this test match summer and probably won't be batting for at least a few games. Groundhog day anyone?

  • Mitty2 on November 3, 2013, 20:22 GMT

    @Prabhesh1985, he will be in the test squad. 100%

  • Prabhash1985 on November 3, 2013, 18:03 GMT

    Why George Bailey is not in Test squad? Can someone answer? I feel he is the next Ricky Ponting for Australia, who can be aggressive when required, and the sound technique with immense patience required for Test cricket. Even more, he is such a nice person unlike what we saw sometime back in Australians.

  • 1ofakind_testcricket on November 3, 2013, 17:52 GMT

    Watson is a very important part of the Australian test team recently scoring the first century for a number 3 batsmen in more than the a year. To waste his talent and form in another meaningless one sided one day series is a gross misjudgement by CA. Australian cricket team should take a leaf from major league baseball and rest a bowler after so many balls bowled no matter if it may cost the Australian team a very important one day series or not. The reason that a pitcher is automatically retired once they reach their pitch count is because they are invaluable to a team and their ability to win a series in the upcoming games.

  • on November 3, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    When I first saw him in the IPL 2013, I almost instantly formed a picture of an Australian impact player for the future. And he doesn't let me down with my expectations of him. Faulkner is my favourite future player of the younger lot around the world. I wish him all success and want him to know that we are great fans of his temperament and all round talent. He is the most able replacement for any all rounder in any test team as well. All the best Faulkner....As a true cricket lover I would be very happy to see you succeed in your career. - Prabhat(India)

  • on November 3, 2013, 15:23 GMT

    If it so, Aussies will surely gonna miss him. His not-so-reliable-yet-destructive-if-set-off batting and tight (really tight) bowling cannot be easily compromised. Give people like Watto rest and use him sensibly.

  • Beertjie on November 3, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    @Mitty2 on (November 3, 2013, 2:50 GMT) Can't agree with you that MJ and Siddle are so durable that an all rounder is virtually redundant. Recall what happened last year at Adelaide when Patto broke down. Watto had to step in and later himself broke down. Sidds couldn't play at Perth and was seriously missed. With Ryano as our fourth bowler, were he to break down there would be no one to fall back on and even Sidds and MJ would likely be ruined for the remaining tests. Is it worth taking that risk?

  • on November 3, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    I wish Watson a speedy recovery. I really wonder whether the OZ team handlers have really understood his mindset. Mind matters to his game a lot. There are many instances to illustrate that. Just to give one example, his game dips a lot under Michael Clarke. And rises under some one like Bailey. Or, even Dravid.

    Someone posted that he expected this, when MJ was called back a bit early to get him ready for the Ashes. I too did expect, looking at the mental aspect of the man.

    He could very well think:..."If at all anyone needs to be protected a bit, it is me; I deliver a "three-in-one" for the team... a batsman, a bowler, and an excellent slip fielder. I am the one who is a bit more vulnerable to wear and tear. Much more than MJ. Why this 'special' attention to him". And that thought process would have had an adverse effect on him. And, a breakdown!

    I don't think that the team handlers fully understand and appreciate such variations in the mental makeup of their key players.

  • Barnesy4444 on November 3, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    Why is our test number 3 bowling in useless ODI when EVERY single injury he has sustained was from bowling?

    Khawaja looks like Gower but doesn't have the fight. Faulkner is nowhere near good enough to bat in the top 8, he is a 7th change bowler too.

    S. Waugh, Ponting, Slater, Chappelli, Taylor all publicly state Hughes if clearly the best young batsman in the country so why is he playing useless ODI rather than Sheffield Shield where he could be scoring more FC centuries?

  • Sunil_Batra on November 3, 2013, 12:19 GMT

    I'm not quite sure how you can be so uncertain of so many spots, if you're picking on form?None of the incumbents have done anything wrong, and thus dropping them wouldn't be warrented, so I daresay the team will be very similar to this;Warner, Rogers, Watson (if fit and Khawaja comes in if Watson not fit), Clarke, Smith, Henriques, Haddin, Johnson, Siddle, Harris, Lyon. 12th: Ahmed If Watson isn't fit, Khawaja comes in at 3 and Henriques or Faulkner come in as the allrounder. Obviously no Pattinson because he is still hurt.

  • Amith_S on November 3, 2013, 11:56 GMT

    People knock Watson but don't realise just how much he brings to the team. He is the 2nd most experienced player behind clarkie, a former vice captain, first slipper, our second best bat at no.3, Probably our best limited overs cricketer, decent bowler. So hard to replace, even more than Clarke probably. The only guy with even the slightest of hope in replacing Watson is Khawaja who is a great talent and our best future number 3 and fantastic form as seen in Ryobi, but we might lose the 5th bwoling option in which case i might go for Henriques

  • hycIass on November 3, 2013, 11:45 GMT

    Watson's injury is a blessing in disguise to the Aus team right before an ashes series! Aus badly need a No 3 batsman who has good defensive technique and can see off good bowling spells and then capitalize to score 100s. Khawaja seems to have all the trait needed to bat at No3 for Aus provided he gets more then 3 games in a row. I understand having no Watson in the side means a bowler less and minus a good slip fielder. But its also important to have a good solid reliable No3 who has the technique to bat well and score runs especially when the bowlers are bowling with the new ball. Warner, Rogers and Khawajaa should be the top 3 followed by Clarke,Smith,White/Ferguson, Haddin/Paine/Handscomb . I would prefer paine over haddin for this series cus paine plays good attritional cricket which is a must especially when you have to play with the tail. Haddin no doubt had a good ashes series in England but its time to look to the future.

  • Mary_786 on November 3, 2013, 11:30 GMT

    I really hope Watson is fit, if he is not i would go with Rogers Watson Khawaja, Clarke Smith Haddin Johnson Siddle Patinson Ahmed, but i hope he is fit as he adds alot of balance to our side.

  • on November 3, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    Lets be honest... Watson is no better as a Test batsmen than any other allrounder that could potentially replace him. Faulkner for Watson is a like-for-like replacement, except Faulkner obviously isn't a no.3, but has better bowling. I'm convinced Faulkner is a better batsmen than his FC average suggests.. the Shield pitches have been a joke in recent years for batsmen.

  • screamingeagle on November 3, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    So aussies might miss their 12th man

  • Nattas97 on November 3, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    If Watson can't play through injury, first XI for first test: Warner, Rogers, doolan, Clarke, smith, bailey, haddin, Johnson, siddle, Harris, Lyon. If Watson can play he comes in for doolan.

  • on November 3, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    @ mandini, u cant just 'toughen up' to soft tissue injuries m8.. if ur body aint robust, your body aint robust.

  • Chris_P on November 3, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    @Mitty2. I think taking MoHen over there (& not using him) has hurt his chances as 2 games arn't enough to push his claims. He was on fire the first half of last season until BBL & showed glimpses of what he can do in India, but he needs a full season of consistent cricket. After seeing Doolan bat, he needs only to keep this form going to press his claims for the #3 spot. I'll be keeping my eye on White to see if he can continue his good form. All interesting leading to the Gabba test (where 'll be going the first 2 days) with the pace bowlers to be determined. We should only pick an allrounder if they deserve it, not for the sake of having one. We aren't that strong in our batting to take 5 bowlers, no matter how well they batl

  • Mandini on November 3, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    How brittle is this guy? The Australian team has a cast of thousands supporting them and Watson still gets regular injuries. Fair dinkum they need to toughen up a bit.

  • on November 3, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    My XI for 1st test Warner Rogers Watson Doolan Clarke Smith Haddin Johnson Siddle Patinson Ahmed.

  • wellrounded87 on November 3, 2013, 7:29 GMT

    First XI should be Warner Rogers Watson Smith Clarke (6 to be decided between Doolan, Ferguson and Hughes pending upcoming results) Pain Pattinson Siddle Harris Lyon.

    Bailey shouldn't be picked based on getting ODI runs on Indian Belters. Facing a world class English attack in a gabba test is completely different and his First class record is very poor. (Averaged under 20 last sheffield shield season)

    It looks like Pattinson won't be fit so any one of Sayers, Bird or Cutting is a suitable replacement. Johnson is too much a liability for the first test. Bring him in at WACA when conditions suit him but till then don't risk it. If Watson can't play i'd bring in Faulkner at 6 and shuffle the order forward.

  • Clarkey329 on November 3, 2013, 7:19 GMT

    I predicted this would happen after they sent Mitchell Johnson home early

  • knownothingaboutcricket on November 3, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    If watson can bat only, play him. A batting only watson eats up the specialist spinnners place-Lyon or Ahmad. If he's not fit to bat either, play the destructive Aaron Finch with Chris Rogers at the top ( they complement each other-one being a destructive rhb -right handed mirror image of Warner ; and the other a dogged lhb ) with David Warner at No. 3, followed by Clarke, Smith, Bailey, Haddin, Faulkner/Starc, Johnson, Siddle , Harris. If Watson bats only or if he's fully fit, they should bring him in place of Warner and not Finch as Finch can bowl useful left-arm-spin which could complement Steve Smith's leggies and Lyon's off-breaks as the spinning options for Clarke.

  • on November 3, 2013, 5:51 GMT

    If watson is available for the ashes I would make the line up rogers, warner, watson, clarke, smith, bailey, haddin, johnson, harris, siddle lyon. I get the feeling reading things that invererity has been saying that ahmed will be a bolter for the first ashes test and lyon will be left out. Im personally a fan of lyon, but saying that, I think Ahmed would actually do very well at test level. Saying that, I don't think the selectors have planned for a Watson injury. If Watson is out injured and I was in the selectors position I would make the line up rogers, warner, smith, clarke, white, bailey, haddin, faulkner, johnson, harris, siddle. With that line up, you still have 4 seamers (gabba is usually a pace friendly pitch), and you have smith and white to do the spin bowling if it begins to turn on the 4th and 5th day. I see it as a ballanced line up, and the bowling line up can all bat as well, so it will be likely that they will wag at some point.

  • landl47 on November 3, 2013, 5:42 GMT

    I thin it was just crazy to let Watson come out and bat after suffering a hamstring pull. Sure enough, at one point when attempting a big hit, he clearly exacerbated the injury and was hopping around grimacing.

    The problem is that during a game the adrenalin can get you through, but once you cool down the muscles tighten and the pain can't be ignored. If Watson turned a mild strain into a more severe pull, he could be out for a couple of months.

    Good news for Faulkner, I suppose, but Australia's batting was already flimsy even with Watson. Without him the top 6 doesn't look very robust. Hopefully the injury won't be too bad, but having seen him bat, I wouldn't count on it.

  • on November 3, 2013, 5:24 GMT

    i dont know why everybody is blaming Shikar Dhawan and other Indian players but Shane watson pricked Kohli, Dhawan and everybody all throughout the series. . Dhawan's mockery is just the reaction to what Watson did.... Watson even pricked POLLARD during champions league this year... AUSSIES are the ones who do sledging all the time and SHANE WATSON is the worst sledger...they do not have any right to complain against sledging...

  • on November 3, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    Rogers, Warner, Watson, Clarke, Bailey, smith, Haddin, faulkner, Johnson, siddle, f Ahmed shd be d team for 1st test

  • SamRoy on November 3, 2013, 4:50 GMT

    Watson's biggest value as a bowler is that even though he is not threatening enough to really good batsman, he will hold one end up and will keep the runs down. Bowling 10-12 overs in a day (out of 90) for 30 runs or less and sometimes getting the odd wicket is a fine return for a fifth bowler, thus providing valuable rest for frontline bowlers. It really helps the main bowlers to not get injured (we saw that with Harris and Siddle in England) and also keeping them fresh for shorter spells. If Watson is not bowling don't play him in the test match.

  • on November 3, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    I feel in final match if any one Bailey, watto or maxi if they would have played one important innings then Australia would have won

  • on November 3, 2013, 4:43 GMT

    why shikhar is being pointed out to be the main culprit.. Its watto ho started all when he ws bowling and shikhar was batting

  • 1ofakind_testcricket on November 3, 2013, 4:39 GMT

    Thats not very nice Dhawan...

  • 1st_april on November 3, 2013, 4:38 GMT

    More than his batting , Watson's preeminent asset was his parsimonious bowling during the Ashes , he was Clarke's backup for, 1. Resting friable bowlers like Harris/Pattinson 2. Keeping the scoring rate in check for bowlers like Lyon , Starc 3. Nipping medium-pace , albeit its efficacy was mostly in English conditions

    Without him , England batsmen might find more freedom with the bat. As an England fan , i certainly don't mind this injury!

  • on November 3, 2013, 4:36 GMT

    If he's out he's out. I would have been iffy about him playing in the tests. Very inconsistent with the bat. I would play six batsmen, keeper and 4 bowlers (not Johnson). Alrounders only come around once in a generation with Greg Matthews being the previous one and Richie Benaud before that. An allrounder is a gifted cricketer not one who is crafted into thjat position.

  • taslu613 on November 3, 2013, 4:15 GMT

    Watson is a great player.I like to see him playing every game.I hope and pray he would be available for ashes.I think ,every cricket lover should think that way.

  • DylanBrah on November 3, 2013, 3:46 GMT

    With the amount of injuries to our fast bowlers, an allrounder is almost compulsory in a 5 match Test series. If Watson can't bowl, Faulkner has to be selected.

  • Ms.Cricket on November 3, 2013, 3:43 GMT

    Watson, Rogers, Khwaja, Clarke, SSmith, Bailey, Haddin, Faulkner, Siddle, Harris and Lyon - except for injuries keeping any one out this should be the team for the first Test.

  • Mitty2 on November 3, 2013, 2:55 GMT

    @Chris_P, uncertain about Henriques. Averaged 77 in the Shield last year but that was because of one not out century. But still commendable considering the unanimous poor seasons of everyone else (damn those green pitches). His Chennai innings was extremely good, standing up under pressure and putting up a good partnership with Clarke. There's nothing much to his bowling imo and i think he needs to work more so on his batting and when he starts getting consistent scores he can be in line for the team on his batting. Faulkner imo has the potential to be third seamer later on in his career with the (large) bonus of his batting and Henriques is the opposite with his batting. But he has a poor FC record and consequently I view him as at least two seasons off. We'll see what happens in the A game - I read an article about him and his solely focused on pushing himself in line for a test line up. Good luck to him.

  • shammini on November 3, 2013, 2:51 GMT

    Just to stir up a commonly upheld view in most cricketing circles, hasn't Watto been 'getting injured' right before any test series since T20/IPL came into existence? Let the poor bloke focus on these and dont force him to play test matches.

  • Mitty2 on November 3, 2013, 2:50 GMT

    @scottstevo and @R_U_4_REAL_NICK, I didn't say I wanted it that way... I sait it will be because our selectors - as we know - have some absurd obsession with all rounders.

    @RU4REAL, I'd have Doolan at 3, and Clarke at 4. As I said, MJ and Siddle are so durable that an all rounder is virtually redundant.

    @stevo, White's the best domestic batter in the league atm form wise. His bowling is only a bonus - regardless, I wouldn't have him back. Faulkner will be a great player. It's getting tiring listening to the doubters... He averages 22 in FC for a reason. he's skiddy, gets it to seam and swing if he's on his best. He's extremely consistent and adapts to situations very well. Let's not undermine his batting talent as well - averaging 200+ against an international attack under international pressure - wouldn't that say something about his batting ability? He's a gun, and although he's not in my starting XI I'd be more than a happy for him to play. His test debut was very good.

  • on November 3, 2013, 2:26 GMT

    @ScottStevo: White was the Player of the Series in the just completed Ryobi Cup. Furthermore, he's just made an 80 and a 60 in the recent round of Shield cricket. I think his leggies are more proven than Steve Smith's, and he's got a great tactical brain which would help Clarke and Haddin in the field. He's also an elite fielder to back it up. If nothing else, he'd be in my side for his batting ability.

  • tanstell87 on November 3, 2013, 2:24 GMT

    @Jerry Fitzsimmons - meaningless ODI game in India...is it.... so the CB tri series in Australia last year was also meaningless ?

  • xtrafalgarx on November 3, 2013, 1:32 GMT

    People knock Watson but don't realise just how much he brings to the team. He is the 2nd most experienced player behind Clarke, a former vice captain, first slipper, our second best bat at no.3, Probably our best limited overs cricketer, decent bowler. So hard to replace, even more than Clarke probably.

    The only other guy in Australian cricket who has even the slightest hope of being able to replace Watson, it James Faulkner.

  • deeplongon on November 2, 2013, 23:53 GMT

    A lot of talk about Faulkner only being a ODI player. Remember the last shield final. I do. I'm a Queenslander.

  • dmat on November 2, 2013, 23:34 GMT

    Whilst I'm as prepared as anyone to bag CA over this ODI tour, this injury is not because Watson is playing in India, it's because his body is not up to playing the amount of cricket he does. Had he not been on this tour, he would have played the Ryobi Cup and the first shield game and most likely bowled as much if not more. What CA and Watson need to do to prolong his career is to plan his program, picking out the most important events and make sure he is fit for those. I'm still not a big fan of his but he has been in reasonable form.

  • Booniedoon on November 2, 2013, 22:24 GMT

    I think Faulkner definitely has some potential as an Australian test cricketer, but the idea of batting a guy who hasn't yet scored a first class century in our top 7 is a bit of a stretch. Johnson is a good chance of playing and at least adds a bit to our batting lineup, but they need to play six specialist batsmen, we just don't have another true allrounder who can bat in the top 6, especially since batting has recently been our major weakness, injuries aside.

  • on November 2, 2013, 22:22 GMT

    I cant believe how much rubbish is writen here by most of the posters, Just look at this game and you see the value of Watson, might not take bag full of wickets, but his economy is what makes him valuable, If it wasnt for Watson bowling India would of scored more than 430 runs easy, and lets go back ro the last Ashes campain who scored the most runs for Australia? Guess most here have short term memory loss

  • on November 2, 2013, 22:06 GMT

    Yes, Mr Hansen, please pick White and bat him at three AND give him a bowl, please do!!!

  • Macker60 on November 2, 2013, 21:58 GMT

    Aus will not pick White, reasoning they don't need his leg spin, at some time during the summer they will have up to 3 legbreaks in the side all capable of taking 1-2 wicket one with the ability of running thru the Eng Order. Warner Leg Break, Smith Legbreak googly, , Fawad Ahmed Legbreak. The Latter I believe has the ability to run thru a Team. White at this time will not replace Smith. As I believe that is the only spot White can Grab. IF Watson cannot bat they will go with a Lower order batsman. If he can bat then depending on the GABBA they will go with Bailey or Faulkner. By the Way don't Right of Johnston as he is in best form and his head is in the right place since 2009 and he knows the GABBA and WACA oval very well.

  • kangaroussy on November 2, 2013, 21:58 GMT

    Shane "snap, ouch" Watson. Once again.

  • spindizzy on November 2, 2013, 21:30 GMT

    How is he even in consideration for the tests? His form has been exactly the same as it has for the past 2 years, not up to standard. And WHite - well we know you're a fan Mitty2, that's the only possible reason for suggesting him.

  • on November 2, 2013, 21:18 GMT

    I sure hope the financial rewards for Cricket Australia from this series justify the flak they will get for Watson getting injured on the eve of Australia's biggest Test series and the one most valued by the Australian public. I guess they will be scrambling to find a replacement for him too - good thing that the Sheffield Shield has several rounds on tough pitches to show which batsmen are in form and ready for Test cricket

  • on November 2, 2013, 21:06 GMT

    All the Bailey for the test squad talk is doing him a disservice, he was Tasmania's 14th best batsmen last summer!!! His form in this series? How much does it mean when the opposition captain said that they may as well be using bowling machines? When every second innings is 350+ on tiny grounds with highway outfields?

    Warner's not doing anything in first class cricket, smashing the tiny boundaries at North Sydney for three tons, does that cement his test spot too?

    If Watson's not fit, you can bet they'll replace him with James Faulkner now he's gotten his first ton... in a one day match where the opposition team got 380 odd.

  • on November 2, 2013, 20:57 GMT

    @ScottStevo: White is definitely worth a crack as a specialist batsman in the test side - it's a position he's never played, after all. His only tests came in India where he was bizarrely chosen as a specialist spinner. Despite his reputation as a slogger, his best international innings for Australia have all come high up the order, with time to get himself in - he rocketed himself to the top of the ODI batting ranks with a fine century and a bag full of 50s filling in for Ponting in a series against England, and likewise scored a fine century for Australia A (as captain) against England when everyone else fell around him. He knows how to score against England.

    If Watto is out, you could do a LOT worse than play White at 3. And given he's come off 4/25 his leg spin could be handy against Trott and Bell.

  • on November 2, 2013, 20:40 GMT

    What a surprise, a test player with a long history of injury gets a hamstring strain playing yet another meaningless ODI game in India. It is not like there is anything important to Australian cricket starting this month. Granted he not much of a batter or bowler but together he makes a decent player. Yet another entry in the long list that confirms CA are a bunch of muppets.

  • Chris_P on November 2, 2013, 20:11 GMT

    @Mitty2. Totally agree with you re: Watson. How does anyone, who averages less than 30 with the bat & 40+ with the ball over the past 3 seasons in fc get a nod for tests? If this doesn't show the folly of picking players based on exhibition cricket (ODI's & T20). I don't know what does. This could be a huge blessing for us. I only wish MoHen didn't go to India & got a chance down here in the Ryobi Cup & 3 shied games to press his claims as he was also a leading contender last season at fc level. This could be the break Doolan needs as he was really impressive in the just completed game, he needs to keep it going.

  • ScottStevo on November 2, 2013, 19:32 GMT

    @Mitty2, you can't be seriously classing White as an all-rounder??? Nonetheless, despite his shield scores, he's tried, tested and moved on from. What point would there be in getting him back in the side? Based on the back of x games this season? As for Faulkner, there's no way that he's good enough with the bat to bat in a top order. It's one thing heading out and having a slog in India, another to play test match cricket just about anywhere else in the world. Also, he's not good enough with the ball to be considered. Anyone who even mentions Henriques' name is completely nuts. The bloke can't bat, can't bowl and can't even catch. His effort today cost Aus more runs than he'll make this season in all forms of the game...Also, why on Earth would we reduce the number of batsmen we have in our side to include an all rounder when our biggest issue is not scoring enough runs? If 4 bowlers and a 5th like Watson can't get it done, why would the next guy have more chance to take wickets?

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on November 2, 2013, 19:25 GMT

    @Mitty2: Clarke at 3? Please - that's as good as opening if Warner's going to play. Why on Earth is Watson out there in India playing something which ain't cricket if CA are going to continue pretending he's the test number 3? Shouldn't he be lying up in a bed of cotton wool alongside Clarke...

  • Thefakebook on November 2, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    If Watto does not play then PLAY 6 specialist & a keeper Batsmen(Warner,Rogers,Doolan,Smith,CLARKE,Bailey & Haddin). 3 Quicks (Peter,Mitchel,Ryan) and a all rounder,I'd prefer a spinning all rounder say O'Keefe but Faulkner will do as well.Smith can bowl few overs of leg spin(he got Bell, the best pom batter out 3 times).

  • on November 2, 2013, 17:47 GMT

    If Watson doesn't play, Faulkner definitely deserves to be in the team.

  • pvwadekar on November 2, 2013, 17:30 GMT

    dump him and get james faulkner as the all rounder ..

  • InfiniteWhite on November 2, 2013, 17:03 GMT

    Why not make Faulkner Aussie's No.3? He's the best Shield player, gritty (has the Aussie's never-die spirit), can be patient or play strokes and most importantly he has the reputation of very difficult to dismiss. Last time in The Ashes he was out just because he had to slog. If the selector can make Watson No 3, surely Faulkner is a like-for-like replacement (maybe even better). A bit controversial, I know. Just a food for thought.

  • jahinoz on November 2, 2013, 16:50 GMT

    What's this rubbish about white being a replacement for watson and playing in the Ashes? He had a good ryobi cup, that's about it. Watson would be hard to replace. Warner Rogers Clarke Bailey and Smith would make up the five, instead of a 6th batsman, why not two fast bowling all rounders? faulkner and henriques, harris siddle and lyon to make up the bowlers (even though johnson seems picked already)

  • knownothingaboutcricket on November 2, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    Watson may not be fit to bowl in the opener at Gabba. But I am sure they wil make him fit to bat at least. As it is he bowls as the 4th seam option in the Tests and does not bowl more than 10-15 overs /per innings ( max ). Of course, if fit, he gives Aussies the option of playing a regular spinner like Nathan Lyon. However if he doesn't bowl, then Aussies can pick 4 regular seamers and leave out the spinner. The choice of 3 bowlers is almost certain ( unless there are any fitness issues ). These are Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle. The 4th seamer could be a toss up between James Faulkner or Mitchell Starc ( if fit ) . James Pattinson will be ready only for the boxing day test and Jackson Bird has to wait for his place, surely. The Top3 would have to be decided as No.4, 5,6 & 7 are clearly decided. In that order, they will be Michael Clarke, Steve Smith, George Bailey & Brad Haddin. The choices for the top3 would be between Watson( if fit), Rogers, Warner & Aaron Finch.

  • Mitty2 on November 2, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    @landl47, if Watto doesn't play the XI will be: 1. Warner 2. Rogers 3. Clarke 4. Bailey 5. Smith 6. Faulkner/White (the all rounder) 7 Haddin and then the bowlers

    In case you haven't realised White has scored the most runs in total for both the Ryobi and the Shield.

  • on November 2, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    One would wonder why a player like Watson with his injuries would be playing in this match when a more important series is to come given his injury history

    @ Matt gibb I agree with the others but I wonder if we could play two batsmen in form be it all one day cricket form and not real good test form I fancy the likes of Henrique or Falkner as the all rounder and as for rogers and cowan are not in the best form

    Players to be considered: Hughes, Warner, Clarke,Khwaja Watson,haddin, Wade Both in poor form Bailey, S Marsh, A Doolan , Steve smith, Cameron white, Jhonson,siddle,harris lyon,Hillfenhaus (Starc, Pattison, bird when they all are fit)

  • smudgeon on November 2, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    In other news, Shane Watson played a game of cricket,

  • ScottStevo on November 2, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    If they pulled Johnson, why didn't they pull Watson, who they know will be in the XI. Makes no sense.

  • CricketChat on November 2, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    No worries, Bailey should be able to fill in if Watson becomes unavailable. On his current form, Bailey is ahead of Watson.

  • on November 2, 2013, 12:19 GMT

    After the superb innings by India, Australia would really need Watson to bat if they want to win this series. I would really want Watson to be fine so that this match would be lively and alive.

  • Mitty2 on November 2, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    Watson's schedule since the end of last summer: : 8 Tests, 3 1st class games, 14 ODIs, 3 T20Is, 22 games for Rajasthan Royals. Lol!

  • Barnesy4444 on November 2, 2013, 12:05 GMT

    If Watson batting at 3 is so valuable to our Ashes chances then why is he bowling at all?

    Every single one of his injuries, every single one, has occurred whilst bowling. Why does he still bowl?

    Why is Australia's best young batsman, Phil Hughes, playing useless ODI in India when there are Shield games he is missing over here?

  • Mitty2 on November 2, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    "Should watson be unfit" - lol. News coming in that Eng have sent their finest doctors and sports physicians to India to save Watson's front leg. We all know what Twatto would do in the next Ashes anyway: fail under pressure, fail under pressure, fail under pressure, be injured under pressure, and then it's the last game (dead rubber by then) and needs a Simon Kerrigan or a Woakes to get a century and does get a century which will make him be in the team for a longer, excruciating amount of time. Why can't he just go?

    @Matt Gibb, interesting inclusion of White, bowled brilliantly today, is the form domestic player and has leadership aplenty. Still hesitant about him considering how poor he was in his tests and his age... I think if we were to chose an all rounder it would have to be Faulkner who has plenty of grit and had a very good debut. Regardless, if we go without an all rounder we have Doolan, Hughes and Khawaja to choose from. MJ's durable enough to not need Watson's bowling.

  • landl47 on November 2, 2013, 11:58 GMT

    If this turns out to be a serious injury, then this series will have proven to be not only a succession of tedious thrashes but a disaster for Australia. Watson gives the test side balance and he might (although he doesn't often) play a match-changing innings.

    @Matt Gibb: I'm not sure why you think White or Hopes would even be in the selectors' minds. Steve Smith and Faulkner played in the last test in England and both did pretty well. Either or more likely both will be in the side. Khawaja and Bailey will be considered for one spot, with Bailey likely having the inside track.

  • on November 2, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    So, if Watson is unfit, then the lineup should look something like this. Warner, Rogers, Khawaja, Cameron White, Clarke, Bailey, Haddin, Johnson, Siddle, Harris, Lyon.

    Or, if they wanted to go the all rounder approach, they should consider putting James Hopes in for Bailey but have him bat at 7. Anyway, there are all kinds of permutations that could be done, but at the end of the day, John Inverarity is the chairman of selectors, like it or not, and he'll make the final call.

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  • on November 2, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    So, if Watson is unfit, then the lineup should look something like this. Warner, Rogers, Khawaja, Cameron White, Clarke, Bailey, Haddin, Johnson, Siddle, Harris, Lyon.

    Or, if they wanted to go the all rounder approach, they should consider putting James Hopes in for Bailey but have him bat at 7. Anyway, there are all kinds of permutations that could be done, but at the end of the day, John Inverarity is the chairman of selectors, like it or not, and he'll make the final call.

  • landl47 on November 2, 2013, 11:58 GMT

    If this turns out to be a serious injury, then this series will have proven to be not only a succession of tedious thrashes but a disaster for Australia. Watson gives the test side balance and he might (although he doesn't often) play a match-changing innings.

    @Matt Gibb: I'm not sure why you think White or Hopes would even be in the selectors' minds. Steve Smith and Faulkner played in the last test in England and both did pretty well. Either or more likely both will be in the side. Khawaja and Bailey will be considered for one spot, with Bailey likely having the inside track.

  • Mitty2 on November 2, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    "Should watson be unfit" - lol. News coming in that Eng have sent their finest doctors and sports physicians to India to save Watson's front leg. We all know what Twatto would do in the next Ashes anyway: fail under pressure, fail under pressure, fail under pressure, be injured under pressure, and then it's the last game (dead rubber by then) and needs a Simon Kerrigan or a Woakes to get a century and does get a century which will make him be in the team for a longer, excruciating amount of time. Why can't he just go?

    @Matt Gibb, interesting inclusion of White, bowled brilliantly today, is the form domestic player and has leadership aplenty. Still hesitant about him considering how poor he was in his tests and his age... I think if we were to chose an all rounder it would have to be Faulkner who has plenty of grit and had a very good debut. Regardless, if we go without an all rounder we have Doolan, Hughes and Khawaja to choose from. MJ's durable enough to not need Watson's bowling.

  • Barnesy4444 on November 2, 2013, 12:05 GMT

    If Watson batting at 3 is so valuable to our Ashes chances then why is he bowling at all?

    Every single one of his injuries, every single one, has occurred whilst bowling. Why does he still bowl?

    Why is Australia's best young batsman, Phil Hughes, playing useless ODI in India when there are Shield games he is missing over here?

  • Mitty2 on November 2, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    Watson's schedule since the end of last summer: : 8 Tests, 3 1st class games, 14 ODIs, 3 T20Is, 22 games for Rajasthan Royals. Lol!

  • on November 2, 2013, 12:19 GMT

    After the superb innings by India, Australia would really need Watson to bat if they want to win this series. I would really want Watson to be fine so that this match would be lively and alive.

  • CricketChat on November 2, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    No worries, Bailey should be able to fill in if Watson becomes unavailable. On his current form, Bailey is ahead of Watson.

  • ScottStevo on November 2, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    If they pulled Johnson, why didn't they pull Watson, who they know will be in the XI. Makes no sense.

  • smudgeon on November 2, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    In other news, Shane Watson played a game of cricket,

  • on November 2, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    One would wonder why a player like Watson with his injuries would be playing in this match when a more important series is to come given his injury history

    @ Matt gibb I agree with the others but I wonder if we could play two batsmen in form be it all one day cricket form and not real good test form I fancy the likes of Henrique or Falkner as the all rounder and as for rogers and cowan are not in the best form

    Players to be considered: Hughes, Warner, Clarke,Khwaja Watson,haddin, Wade Both in poor form Bailey, S Marsh, A Doolan , Steve smith, Cameron white, Jhonson,siddle,harris lyon,Hillfenhaus (Starc, Pattison, bird when they all are fit)