New Zealand v Australia, 1st Test, Wellington, 1st day

Injured Watson eyes second Test

Brydon Coverdale at the Basin Reserve

March 19, 2010

Comments: 12 | Text size: A | A

Shane Watson pulls during his 45 from 31 balls, New Zealand v Australia, 1st ODI, Napier, March 3, 2010
Shane Watson was hit on the hip while pulling during the one-day series © Getty Images

Australia are hopeful of Shane Watson being fit for next week's second Test in Hamilton after he was ruled out of the series opener in Wellington due to a strain to his right hip. Watson's injury allowed Phillip Hughes to make an unexpected return to Test cricket at the Basin Reserve but with eight days until the Hamilton Test, Watson should be fit to resume his place.

"He was close to playing here," the team physio Alex Kountouris said. "He still has to be able to bat and get through all the things he has to do. It's very specific though. He could probably do 80% of what he needs to do, but not 100% and the things he can't do are quite important to him."

The problem is around Watson's right glute, where he was hit by Shane Bond during the fourth ODI in Auckland when he missed an attempted pull. Although Watson played the fifth ODI, the injury worsened during Australia's training sessions in Wellington this week.

"He played the fifth one and batted and that was fine," Kountouris said. "He could feel it bowling a little bit and batting a little bit. It's just slowly got sorer and sorer as time has progressed. On our first training session [in Wellington] he found it very difficult to bat and it was quite painful. He's got a little strain in that area where he got hit on his glute."

Kountouris compared the injury to the elbow problem that Ricky Ponting suffered when he was hit by a Kemar Roach bouncer in December. He said Watson was at risk of aggravating the injury if he worked the area too hard.

"It's a little bit like Ricky's injury with Roach, where he got hit and afterwards, every time you try to contract that muscle it gets quite painful and you can tear little fibres," he said. "So he's got a little muscle strain now as a result of the trauma. Batting is what's hurting, so we didn't even test him bowling at this stage. He couldn't even get through the batting at training, so if he couldn't do that, then there's no point pushing him any further."

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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Posted by sarah_jane on (March 21, 2010, 4:53 GMT)

I wish you a speedy recovery, rajasthan royals needs you badly, come to IPL soon, We missed you in last season too.

Posted by Barnos24 on (March 19, 2010, 13:48 GMT)

Sorry but Shane Watson, not a big loss. What planet are you on?? Probably the best opener in the world on current form, missed out on 3 tons and got a ton as well. Plus all the half centuries and decent starts in the Ashes. Plus 15-20 overs to rest the front line quicks. He is a fairly big loss in my eyes. As an Englishman, I hope the Australian fans take this as a massive compliment, but if Watson for one reason or another isn't in the starting XI for the Ashes I'll be delighted. Not saying we'll win, but Watson is a massively underrated cricketer finally fulfilling the massive potential he's ahd for years.

Posted by   on (March 19, 2010, 12:26 GMT)

@MinusZero.. i don't think only centuries make u great he has scored 8 50's 4 out of them 90's... and taken 26 wickets.. that makes for an excellent test player.. his fielding is a plus.. He is a Real Asset.. i think you havn't watched test cricket lately..

Posted by TheThreeWs on (March 19, 2010, 7:13 GMT)

Deos watson get hit frequently because there's so much of him to aim at?

Posted by CoolBarn on (March 19, 2010, 6:26 GMT)

MinusZero where you have been for the past 12 months? Try visiting us in the year 2010, it's nice here, as unfortunately you seem to be stuck in the mid-noughties. Shane Watson has finally overcome all the injuries which plagued him early in his career, and he has finally gained the form and confidence a number of esteemed players and journalists predicted for him from a young age. In the 16 Test innings he has batted since being made opener he averages more than ALL of those guys you mention in your post. Yes that's right, MORE than Tendulkar, Ponting, Kallis, and Hussey. On current form he would walk into a world team in every format of the game, not something you can say about all of those guys.

Yes he may be a wally, but only a fool would say he would be "no great loss" to any team.

Posted by   on (March 19, 2010, 6:24 GMT)

MinusZero you're not too bright are you? Take into consideration the amount of times this Australian Summer he came within a whisker of a century only to miss out, he still have an impeccable average now as an opener and has done a great job taking into consideration one year ago no one thought he would even be in the side at all let alone opening the batting and being in the form of his life. And your comparisons with Tendulkar, Ponting and Hussey are ludicrous given the amount of tests they have played for their countries over many years now compared with Watson.

Posted by Dracosaster on (March 19, 2010, 5:56 GMT)

@MinusZero, To play test cricket, one doesnt need to be a legend. Watson is an allrounder who always contributes to the team with his batting or bowling, sometimes even both, but very rarely fails in both. Whereas for tendulkar, ponting and hussey if they fail with the bat, they cant do much more after that. He averages 40 with the bat and 32 with the ball in test cricket, what more do you need to be a called a good test cricketer.

Posted by gzawilliam on (March 19, 2010, 5:19 GMT)

No great loss. hahahahah Thats funny. So he's judged on the fact he doesn't compare century wise with 3 of the best batsmen ever?

Considering he opens the batting, bowls brisk medium pace for a 15overs an innings he is actually a lot more valuabe to aus than tendulkar is to india..

Oh sorry i'm wrong. India rely on tendulkar. if he fails they fail.

Watson won the alan border medal this year and has been the best allrounder in the world the past year.

No great loss. pfft

Posted by   on (March 19, 2010, 4:21 GMT)

Get well soon for the next test watson

Posted by MisterEvilBreakfast on (March 19, 2010, 3:19 GMT)

Watson's injured? I am not surprised. I may even have a heart attack and die from not-surprise.

Posted by Screen1990 on (March 19, 2010, 2:54 GMT)

Watson's absence means AUS is missing a batsman and a bowler

Watson is a gr8 asset for aus now a days, hope he recovers soon

Posted by MinusZero on (March 18, 2010, 22:39 GMT)

No great loss. He still hasn't proved himself at Test level. 1 century in 29 innings is not very good. As a comparison, the great Sachin Tendulkar has one ever 5.7 innings, Ponting has one every 6.1 innings, Kallis one every 6.7 and Hussey 1 every 7.5 innings.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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