South Africa v Australia, 2nd ODI, Port Elizabeth

Australia hopeful over Watson

Firdose Moonda in Port Elizabeth

October 23, 2011

Comments: 29 | Text size: A | A

Michael Clarke with Shane Watson, who suffered back spasms, South Africa v Australia, 2nd ODI, Port Elizabeth, October 23, 2011
Shane Watson couldn't complete his fourth over but came out to bat © Getty Images
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Shane Watson, Australia allrounder, is likely to be fit for the third and deciding one-day game against South Africa in Durban on Friday. Watson left the field after bowling three overs and five balls in Sunday's game in Port Elizabeth after experiencing back spasms. However, he returned to bat at No. 6 and did not show too much discomfort, although he was a little slower between the wickets.

"It was a very positive sign that he went back out and batted and I am very confident that he will ready for Friday's game," Michael Clarke, the Australia captain, said.

This is not the first time Watson has suffered from spasms. He also experienced them during a Test match against India but recovered quickly. "He continued to play and was fine," Clarke said. "Two days later, he ended up bowling. He wasn't great at the time when it happened but after some time he was fine."

Watson initially had a hip injury which caused him to miss the second Twenty20 and first ODI on the current tour. The injury was not described as serious but Australia wanted to manage Watson's return carefully. They made it clear that they did not want to rush him back because with a two-match Test series looming they will need him fully fit. However, his importance in their line-up is apparent and they were willing to leave it to the absolute last minute before deciding on his availability for this match.

Watson was advised not to bowl for New South Wales during the Champions League T20 by Cricket Australia's medical team because of the workload he faces this season. Clarke said he is likely to return in his all-round capacity for Friday's crucial match. "I'm hoping he will be fine to bowl on Friday," he said. "I am very happy that he came out to bat and I think he will be fine."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by ajayrcs on (October 26, 2011, 6:38 GMT)

Now Australia should not trun back and replace Watson with White instead Callum Ferguson or Phil Hughes should replace him

Posted by RandyOZ on (October 26, 2011, 5:32 GMT)

Drop Watson (injured) and Haddin (rubbish) ASAP. How is Haddin still in the team? He's the new Marcus North!

Posted by rienzied on (October 26, 2011, 4:20 GMT)

time for Mitch Marsh to come to the party, bring in another batsman and PLEASE drop Steve Smith. He really is not up to international class, his technique is more like that of a schoolboy at times. He does play with plenty of heart but he is clearly out of his depth

Posted by   on (October 25, 2011, 14:40 GMT)

I see all the fitter and tougher players opting for Rugby or Soccer...............

Posted by iftikhar93 on (October 25, 2011, 12:53 GMT)

I reckon that Aussies should give some rest to Shane Watson, they can replace his top spot with Mike Hussey. He played a vital role for CSK in IPL 4 & CLt20 and I'm sure that he will not disappoint. Let Mitchell Marsh in the squad instead of Watson for the next ODI even if they are not satisfied with Steve Smith. Try to make some change..

Posted by Meety on (October 25, 2011, 10:33 GMT)

@Nathan Kiely - mate since 1st January 2009 - MJ is the ONLY ODI bowler to have taken 100 wickets. No other pace bowler in the top 10 wicket takers has been as economical. He has taken his wickets at a world class S/R of 32. Luck has had NOTHING to do with it. HatsforBats is 100% right! His career stats in ODIs are amongst the best of all time 11th fastest bowler ever to have taken 150 ODI wickets, 19th best S/R of all time in ODIs, (of the bowlers with better S/Rates only 3 have taken more wickets). As was said - if you want to drop him, its the test team, NOT the ODI side!

Posted by Larawasbetta on (October 25, 2011, 6:23 GMT)

Hope the selectors are smart. Rest Watson and S.Marsh. Tests victories are what count in the eyes of serious cricket fans. Like the look of M.Marsh - he's def up for the contest - love to see him go around again. Cummins took a pasting in g2 but has a resilient character from what i've seen domestically - worth another crack in the ODI. But i'd be wary of throwing him into the Test arena too quickly, despite his wicket taking ability. We've got to nuture this bloke.

Posted by Aussasinator on (October 25, 2011, 5:35 GMT)

He has to be rested if he has to be enabled to realise his dream of being the next Australian captain in any format of the game. He can come back as opener, No. 4, whatever! His bowling of course is history now, which puts a lot of additional pressure on him to perform to stay in the side and ward off strong competition from Ricky Ponting for the opener's slot! :)

Posted by   on (October 25, 2011, 4:57 GMT)

Watto needs some rest right now.......It's really necessary to give him rest bcus he is one of the key player in upcoming test series. If Marsh is fit give him a chance bcus he is in good form that we have seen during T20s. Otherwise let Haddin to open the batting & keep Punter on his right place in batting order. It's really risky to allow him to open the batting. Good luck Aussie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (October 25, 2011, 2:23 GMT)

@HatsforBats Mitchell Johnson is lucky to be carrying his ODI ranking thanks to some poor batting by Sri Lanka in the first 3 matches of their recent series, a weak batting line-up in Bangladesh and the fortune of being able to take 4 wickets against an under performing New Zealand and second rate Zimbabwe at the world cup (not taking away the fact that he did manage to take the wickets). His recent bowling form at test level has been appalling as he has troubled very few batsman and offered little test. I think there are better options available for the remainder of this tour. Johnson is a good bowler against poor batting, however, South Africa offer a formidable batting line up that will not be intimidated into throwing away their wickets, as has happened recently, by Johnson's pace.

If you're going to criticise my comment, at least have the decency to know what you're talking about...

Posted by Bone101 on (October 24, 2011, 23:21 GMT)

Watson and M Hussey should retire from all 20/20.

Posted by HatsforBats on (October 24, 2011, 21:21 GMT)

@Nathan Kiely: as much as people may not like him Mitchell Johnson is the no. 1 ranked ODI fast bowler in the world and with Bollinger and a fit Lee we have the best ODI pace attack. If Johnson is to be dropped it is from the test team, he is performing well in the ODI's. If you are going to criticise a player or call for them to be dropped at least have the decency to know what you're talking about.

Posted by HatsforBats on (October 24, 2011, 21:15 GMT)

Both Watson & S.Marsh should be rested for the last ODI with White coming in for S.Marsh and M.Marsh/Smith for Watson depending on the pitch & conditions.

Posted by jonesy2 on (October 24, 2011, 15:38 GMT)

for god sake rest him! why he played in the last ODI i have no idea.

Posted by Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (October 24, 2011, 15:06 GMT)

Rest him for the 3rd along with Cummins. S Marsh & Pattinson in and give M Marsh a game instead of Smith. Oh .... and tell Watson he is retired from all t20. We cant have this injury nonsense any longer.

Posted by TeamRocker on (October 24, 2011, 13:04 GMT)

Give Watson a rest. If Shaun Marsh is all right by the 3rd game, then he can open with Warner. If he isn't, let Punter open with Warner.

Posted by   on (October 24, 2011, 12:14 GMT)

Play him as a batsman for the rest of the series, don't bowl him and he can recover

Posted by Cantthinkofone on (October 24, 2011, 11:11 GMT)

Let's rest him for the third ODI. I really hope he's okay..

Posted by   on (October 24, 2011, 10:47 GMT)

Watson is a key player for the Australian team.He should play only if he is 100% fit.

Posted by ali00 on (October 24, 2011, 10:09 GMT)

Give Watto some break so he should fit for the other test matches Make Shaun Marsh opening give Ricky Ponting back his No.3 batting line.

Posted by satish619chandar on (October 24, 2011, 9:21 GMT)

After all the hardwork, you dont risk Watto for a oneday match and lose him entirely.. Please dont be too adamant and pay respect to his body.. Let him be comfortable..S Marsh can be back if fit.. Even if he is fit, Haddin can open and M Marsh can come in middle order to maintain team balance..

Posted by Governor on (October 24, 2011, 6:30 GMT)

Why does Michael John Clarke bowl Shane Watson? Shane Watson is our best batsman in all forms of cricket and he decides to bowl him.

Will MJ Clarke ever learn?

Posted by   on (October 24, 2011, 3:39 GMT)

If Watson is out for the next match and Shaun Marsh is fit the team should be 1. David Warner 2. Shaun Marsh 3. Ricky Ponting 4. Michael Clarke 5.Michael Hussey 6. Mtchell Marsh 7. Brad Haddin 8. Xavier Doherty (even though i think Nathan Lyon should be in all three sides) 9. Patrick Cummins 10. James Pattinson 11. Doug Bollinger

Johnson needs to go and despite Steve Smith having an alright game I don't think he has the necessary match winning potential at the moment that is required from an Australian all-rounder.

If there's no Watson come time for the test series, it will be interesting to see if they decide to reinstate Khawaja on the back of his match saving 100 for NSW or look to an in form David Warner

Posted by   on (October 24, 2011, 3:33 GMT)

i think clarke should not take risks.....he should go with shaun marsh or M.Marsh.... becoze we dont want to convert this minor one into serious injury....and also now the time come to drop B.Haddin and bring M.Wade..

Posted by MinusZero on (October 24, 2011, 3:20 GMT)

Just reinforces the fact that he should go down the order. Its funny, seemingly no problems for years under Ponting, a few weeks with Clarke and he has problems. I think Ponting realised early on that Watson had to be restricted with what he can do.

Posted by Meety on (October 24, 2011, 0:11 GMT)

Should never of played the ODI. I know his original injury was somthing different, but often when things aren't travelling right physically, something else pops up because of the compensating effect. Take Harris for example, dodgy knees probably caused some of his recent injuries to ankle etc. On the topic of back spasms (I know a bit about from personal experience), usually 1 day of soreness, + 1 day of stiffness. So 2 days should be right. A back is vulnerable just after the spasm, so I would say given the Test is 2 weeks away - he SHOULD be okay. The next ODI is 4 days away -he better not be selected!!!!

Posted by jmcilhinney on (October 23, 2011, 23:38 GMT)

That's a really tough break for Watson. After having lost so much time to injury in the past, he's managed to stay healthy for a while now and his game has blossomed. Let's hope it's just something small and not a sign that his body is going to betray him again.

Posted by bobagorof on (October 23, 2011, 22:27 GMT)

Nice to see Watson returning down the order, even though it was due to injury. I don't see the point in risking him for the next match either, given the Test series coming up. Give him a few extra days rest and make sure he will be able to bowl 15-20 overs a day. Hopefully Shaun Marsh is fit enough for the next match, or get Ponting or Hussey to open the innings.

Posted by   on (October 23, 2011, 21:56 GMT)

Don't see the point in risking him. Also might as well give Mitch Marsh another game.

Comments have now been closed for this article

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