Australia news January 16, 2014

Watson granted longer rest

39

A fatigued Shane Watson will miss the majority of the ODI series against England after being granted a longer period of rest than first planned by Australia's selectors. Originally slated to return to the limited overs squad for the SCG match on Sunday after missing Friday's Gabba fixture, Watson will now be absent until the final match, in Adelaide on January 26.

To cover for Watson's absence, the Victoria and Brisbane Heat allrounder Daniel Christian has been recalled to the ODI team for his first taste of international cricket since the being part of the squad for the most recent World Twenty20 event in Sri Lanka in 2012.

Watson suffered a groin strain on day one of the Boxing Day Ashes Test, and while he was rehabilitated successfully enough to take part in the rest of that match and also the final Test at the SCG, the coach Darren Lehmann said it had been decided that he needs additional time to recharge ahead of a challenging Test match assignment in South Africa following the England matches.

Evidence of this was clear for all in the first ODI at the MCG, where Watson bowled five expensive overs and was dismissed for a duck.

"Given Shane's workload in the past 12 months we consider it would be beneficial for him to have a longer break and continue his training program at home in Sydney ahead of the final ODI and the tour of South Africa," Lehmann said. "Dan Christian, who has been in excellent form in recent weeks, has been added to the ODI Squad to provide an all-round option in Shane's absence."

Australia's management of Watson has been careful this summer, aimed at extracting the most out of the allrounder in between his frequent injury lay-offs. A hamstring complaint during the ODI tour of India that preceded the Ashes had reduced his ability to bowl at top pace early in the series, though he still contributed useful spells in addition to his batting.

The addition of the team doctor Peter Brukner to Australia's support staff has been hugely significant for Watson's progress, his expertise and use of dry needling techniques allowing Watson on several occasions to rebound from a muscle strain far more quickly than he had done in the past.

"There's no doubt that this certainly has been a new thing for me. Previously with this sort of injury it has nearly put me out for the summer in the past," Watson said earlier this summer. "I'd continue to re-injure it and then it's a struggle from there. It gives me confidence that if something does go slightly wrong, I've got more chance to come back."

Lehmann has stated previously his strong desire for Watson to be capable of bowling at all times, while also making it widely known that he would prefer his Australian teams to include five bowling options wherever possible, the better to lighten to load on the team's pacemen.

Australia's ODI squad had been named for the first three contests of the series and will be refreshed, with an eye on the South Africa Test matches to come, after the SCG match on Sunday.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sachin_vvsfan on January 17, 2014, 6:13 GMT

    He was a big let down in IPL. They have better players than him. Don't they? He is not even IPL material @RedbacksFan Yesi think it was David Boon who got him IPL berth for DC

  • Chris_P on January 17, 2014, 3:27 GMT

    @dunger.bob. Yes, Cummins bowled pretty well, considering he bowled well within himself off a shorter run-up. He was only hitting high 140's and low 150's. Look out when he starts to get serious. At 20 years of age, he has plenty of time.

  • deeplongon on January 17, 2014, 2:49 GMT

    Watson hasn't bowled much and for that matter hasn't battered much this year. Who has he got pictures of to get automatically selected for the team after a layoff?

  • bundybear1977 on January 17, 2014, 0:40 GMT

    @watto2014 - I agree that Steve Smith is a far superior batter. Look at his test form this summer, and he has been making batting look easy for the Sydney Sixers this season. The only reason I can think of including CHristian is that he is a medium pacer/ lower order hitter. Sort of replacing like with like in a way.

    I'm not sure why Steve Smith wasn't picked in the one day squad to begin with. he's in good batting form, a great fielder, and can bowl some useful part time leg spin. ... So far not seeing a problem .......

  • dunger.bob on January 16, 2014, 22:36 GMT

    Dan Christian is a lot better player than most here seem to give him credit for. Probably one step down from Watto, but still pretty good. I hope he goes well.

    I was watching Mitch Marsh last night in the BBL and he's got some way to go. In fact, I'm going to stick my neck out and say he won't make it to the top level. It's not quite in him.

    @ the Indian Watto fans: It's not easy loving Shane because he's so damn frustrating as a player. It's always been a vicious circle with him. You watch his form slowly improve and just when it seems he's getting himself into some sort of decent nick, his leg will fall off. Then you've got months of rehab and when he finally gets back on the rails, his arm will fall off. AAAhhh, it drives most of us mad. .. He's a fine player with a terrible record of injuries. Such a pity.

    Ps. A decent return by Cummins last night. He bowled aggressively and fairly fast. Even with all that rust on him he looked twice the bowler M. Marsh did.

  • Chris_P on January 16, 2014, 22:25 GMT

    @Shaggy076 & @Meety. Agree with both of you, personally I don't care much for him, but he had reasonable form in the Ryobi Cup & upon review was near enough to the best performing all rounder, so shy not select him on that basis? Current form & performance has got to be one of the main criteria I would suggest, whether it's a favourite player or not.

  • Someguy on January 16, 2014, 22:23 GMT

    @watto2014 - While I think Steve Smith should be in the team, he is not a straight swap for Watson, where Dan Christian is. Smith hardly bowls anymore and considers himself a batsman rather than an allrounder. Also, his leg spin can be expensive, hardly a straight swap for a medium pace allrounder.

  • watto2014 on January 16, 2014, 15:20 GMT

    dan chritian is not right choice they could have gone with stive smith

  • watto2014 on January 16, 2014, 15:13 GMT

    watson has not played much odi in 2013 and play him i remaing 4 odi

  • Gordo85 on January 16, 2014, 12:32 GMT

    This is a good move indeed. Dan Christian deserves another go as he hasn't done too many things wrong. Shane Watson recently hasn't been in his top form it must be said.

    And also being injury prone is obviously a risk when they should be looking for someone else who is like him.

    It isn't the worse choice to bring someone else in at all because Shane Watson if injuries keep on returning to him it could make him very hard even to get selected.

    Would you believe I think he Is more often than not a better bowler than a batsman but I would have said he was a better batsman than a bowler some years ago.

    I still see glimpses of the two but if he can't bowl anymore he isn't really a stand alone batsman.

  • sachin_vvsfan on January 17, 2014, 6:13 GMT

    He was a big let down in IPL. They have better players than him. Don't they? He is not even IPL material @RedbacksFan Yesi think it was David Boon who got him IPL berth for DC

  • Chris_P on January 17, 2014, 3:27 GMT

    @dunger.bob. Yes, Cummins bowled pretty well, considering he bowled well within himself off a shorter run-up. He was only hitting high 140's and low 150's. Look out when he starts to get serious. At 20 years of age, he has plenty of time.

  • deeplongon on January 17, 2014, 2:49 GMT

    Watson hasn't bowled much and for that matter hasn't battered much this year. Who has he got pictures of to get automatically selected for the team after a layoff?

  • bundybear1977 on January 17, 2014, 0:40 GMT

    @watto2014 - I agree that Steve Smith is a far superior batter. Look at his test form this summer, and he has been making batting look easy for the Sydney Sixers this season. The only reason I can think of including CHristian is that he is a medium pacer/ lower order hitter. Sort of replacing like with like in a way.

    I'm not sure why Steve Smith wasn't picked in the one day squad to begin with. he's in good batting form, a great fielder, and can bowl some useful part time leg spin. ... So far not seeing a problem .......

  • dunger.bob on January 16, 2014, 22:36 GMT

    Dan Christian is a lot better player than most here seem to give him credit for. Probably one step down from Watto, but still pretty good. I hope he goes well.

    I was watching Mitch Marsh last night in the BBL and he's got some way to go. In fact, I'm going to stick my neck out and say he won't make it to the top level. It's not quite in him.

    @ the Indian Watto fans: It's not easy loving Shane because he's so damn frustrating as a player. It's always been a vicious circle with him. You watch his form slowly improve and just when it seems he's getting himself into some sort of decent nick, his leg will fall off. Then you've got months of rehab and when he finally gets back on the rails, his arm will fall off. AAAhhh, it drives most of us mad. .. He's a fine player with a terrible record of injuries. Such a pity.

    Ps. A decent return by Cummins last night. He bowled aggressively and fairly fast. Even with all that rust on him he looked twice the bowler M. Marsh did.

  • Chris_P on January 16, 2014, 22:25 GMT

    @Shaggy076 & @Meety. Agree with both of you, personally I don't care much for him, but he had reasonable form in the Ryobi Cup & upon review was near enough to the best performing all rounder, so shy not select him on that basis? Current form & performance has got to be one of the main criteria I would suggest, whether it's a favourite player or not.

  • Someguy on January 16, 2014, 22:23 GMT

    @watto2014 - While I think Steve Smith should be in the team, he is not a straight swap for Watson, where Dan Christian is. Smith hardly bowls anymore and considers himself a batsman rather than an allrounder. Also, his leg spin can be expensive, hardly a straight swap for a medium pace allrounder.

  • watto2014 on January 16, 2014, 15:20 GMT

    dan chritian is not right choice they could have gone with stive smith

  • watto2014 on January 16, 2014, 15:13 GMT

    watson has not played much odi in 2013 and play him i remaing 4 odi

  • Gordo85 on January 16, 2014, 12:32 GMT

    This is a good move indeed. Dan Christian deserves another go as he hasn't done too many things wrong. Shane Watson recently hasn't been in his top form it must be said.

    And also being injury prone is obviously a risk when they should be looking for someone else who is like him.

    It isn't the worse choice to bring someone else in at all because Shane Watson if injuries keep on returning to him it could make him very hard even to get selected.

    Would you believe I think he Is more often than not a better bowler than a batsman but I would have said he was a better batsman than a bowler some years ago.

    I still see glimpses of the two but if he can't bowl anymore he isn't really a stand alone batsman.

  • Shaggy076 on January 16, 2014, 9:24 GMT

    Status: That is unfair Christian Is a brilliant fielder have seen him take 2 of the best 3 catches this season.

  • Meety on January 16, 2014, 8:42 GMT

    @TATTUs on (January 16, 2014, 8:17 GMT) - he does have an international hat trick to his credit.

  • TATTUs on January 16, 2014, 8:17 GMT

    Someone somewhere sometime said 'cant bowl, cant bat, cant field'. Dan Christian fits the bill.

  • xtrafalgarx on January 16, 2014, 8:05 GMT

    @Alsmug: Yes. Some "tightening of fragile minds" is in order.

  • AlSmug on January 16, 2014, 7:18 GMT

    good move resting shane watson, he is injury prone and he needs to focus on the long format to improve his game

  • PrasPunter on January 16, 2014, 6:15 GMT

    Poor choice - should have either been Cam White or Nic Maddy. Christian has no place in this ODI team.

  • on January 16, 2014, 6:13 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx right.. i dont support IPL, but just watson not-playing would not solve any of the problems for other cricket boards. but when u take numbers into count, about 90% of world cricket fans r in india. Of 1237 million in india, about 200 million watch IPL. Of 23 million in Aus, i guess, about 1 million watch cricket. Watson would have atleast 10 times more fans in india than Aus. As far as IPL goes, if one cant stop it, atleast the duration should be for a month rather than 2 months.

  • jonesy2 on January 16, 2014, 6:13 GMT

    dan Christian!? I don't even know what to say anymore

  • TEST_CRICKET_ONLY on January 16, 2014, 6:02 GMT

    Heavy workload ? Is this some sort of a joke ? In the last year he has bowled an average of 5 overs in each of the ODI's that he has played and 10 in each test innings. He doesn't stay at the crease long enough to get tired batting, and he can barely move in the field. They should rest this pretender for good.

  • on January 16, 2014, 5:14 GMT

    Steve Smith is the obvious choice. He is in great form with the bat, can bowl a useful spell and is dynamite in the field

  • on January 16, 2014, 5:12 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx no fbt Indians respect hm bt He is a senior player n has bn cntsly playing snce india tour. So its good to take sme tme off n younger bnches a chance.

  • xtrafalgarx on January 16, 2014, 4:53 GMT

    @Swaroop: Totally agree. Aussies don't realise it yet, but they will miss Watto a wholle lot more than they think they will when he is gone. He is a terrific all-rounder who constantly gets made fun off by his own people, we are stupid. He probably has more Indian fans than Aussie ones.

    Mitch Marsh, Steve Smith et al should not be any where near the ODI side for a few years yet. In Smith's case, the selectors want him to develop his game more on the domestic scene and not over work him (ironic that BBL is on though). In Mitch Marsh's case, he need another good 3/4 years in domestic cricket before he is ready i think. He has started to show signs of consistency this season and needs to carry on that path.

  • D-Train on January 16, 2014, 4:47 GMT

    Dan Christian? What are they basing that on? Not good enough as a batsman not good enough as a bowler. Instead of having him I reckon you could have Faulkner at 7, Coulter-Nile 8, Johnson at 9. Still a fairly reasonable tail and that also gives you a fast bowling line up including McKay, Johnson, Coulter-Nile and Faulkner

  • on January 16, 2014, 4:29 GMT

    @daniel, u fail to realise that all world-class players(styen, cayle, de villiers,...) play in IPL. Watson is not just australia's property. We enjoy and appreciate him far beyond than aussies do. Several aussie t20 players( johnson, warner, hussey, ..) have been playing in IPL from past few seasons. The difference is... most aussies dont appreciate him playing for Aus., while we are waiting to see him back in action in IPL.

  • pat_one_back on January 16, 2014, 4:22 GMT

    Australian selectors need to be telling young batsmen to work on their bowling, the country seems to be full of bowlers who can hit a ball, even grind out a handy score but where are the batsmen that can deliver a few overs of handy medium pace??? It's no wonder Watto has a head about him when no-one is putting on any genuine pressure to bat top 6 and bowl 5-10 overs be that in ODI or Test form.

  • RVC-38 on January 16, 2014, 4:16 GMT

    @Dean Frenkel.... he has just played his favourite tournament, now he wants to keep fit for some EASY MONEY.

  • on January 16, 2014, 4:10 GMT

    The break was long-due. He went through hell of a workload. The long break was must for him.

  • on January 16, 2014, 4:08 GMT

    Why is Steve Smith not in the one day team??

  • on January 16, 2014, 4:04 GMT

    Gotta keep Watto fresh for the IPL. Hell it'd be terrible if he got injured during his favourite tournament.

  • on January 16, 2014, 3:59 GMT

    Instead of dan christian australlia could have replaced watson with steven smith as he is in his form of his life and his leg spin In odi's could be very handy..

  • that_guy on January 16, 2014, 3:54 GMT

    Great the heats BBL just went from worse to worserer

  • RedbacksFan on January 16, 2014, 3:47 GMT

    Christian is too inconsistent, as his track record from SA to QLD to VIC over the past three years shows. Mitch Marsh would be a better choice as far as like-for-like players go. Boof has a soft spot for DC though due to his South Oz roots.

  • D-Ascendant on January 16, 2014, 2:42 GMT

    Don't swap him out for a bowling allrounder like Christian. Instead, look to give game time to a prospective No. 3 for the 2015 WC.

  • on January 16, 2014, 2:34 GMT

    This is ridiculous. Watson is a far superior limited overs player than he is a Test player. He should be rested from Tests in order to ensure that he is available for as many ODI's and T20's as possible. There is especially no point saving him to play South Africa because quality bowlers like Steyn and Philander will have no trouble exploiting his technical deficiencies again as they always have in the past. He averages around 22 in both Tests and ODI's against SA. He will have his confidence destroyed in SA and probably also get injured there with the World T20 championships starting in March. Australia will be a stronger Test team without him there and a stronger limited- overs side with him there. Will the selectors ever work this out?

  • hmmmmm... on January 16, 2014, 2:21 GMT

    In the context of ODI's, it should really be a top order batsmen added to the team - daniel christian is yet another one of the bits and pieces players like faulkener, maxwell, marsh...

  • Chris_P on January 16, 2014, 1:14 GMT

    It's only a non event ODI series. Rest him if he part of the future plans. Christian, at least, had reasonable Ryobi Cup form so on that basis alone, deserves the call-up.

  • mvkk on January 16, 2014, 0:48 GMT

    Being a South Africa supporter i want him to be in the team for SA tour...it is going to be interesting how he comes out the SA bowling attack...

  • AidanFX on January 16, 2014, 0:45 GMT

    Christian? The only memory I have of him is bowling 6 slower balls in a row in the final over of a Champions League match where he was destroyed; may have included a 6 on final delivery to win the match.

    I think Mitchell Marsh is ripe for selection here. Unfortunately i think he has lost a little pace, perhaps more out of caution than anything.

  • on January 16, 2014, 0:40 GMT

    Dan christian is not a right choice they could have gone with Cameron white

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on January 16, 2014, 0:40 GMT

    Dan christian is not a right choice they could have gone with Cameron white

  • AidanFX on January 16, 2014, 0:45 GMT

    Christian? The only memory I have of him is bowling 6 slower balls in a row in the final over of a Champions League match where he was destroyed; may have included a 6 on final delivery to win the match.

    I think Mitchell Marsh is ripe for selection here. Unfortunately i think he has lost a little pace, perhaps more out of caution than anything.

  • mvkk on January 16, 2014, 0:48 GMT

    Being a South Africa supporter i want him to be in the team for SA tour...it is going to be interesting how he comes out the SA bowling attack...

  • Chris_P on January 16, 2014, 1:14 GMT

    It's only a non event ODI series. Rest him if he part of the future plans. Christian, at least, had reasonable Ryobi Cup form so on that basis alone, deserves the call-up.

  • hmmmmm... on January 16, 2014, 2:21 GMT

    In the context of ODI's, it should really be a top order batsmen added to the team - daniel christian is yet another one of the bits and pieces players like faulkener, maxwell, marsh...

  • on January 16, 2014, 2:34 GMT

    This is ridiculous. Watson is a far superior limited overs player than he is a Test player. He should be rested from Tests in order to ensure that he is available for as many ODI's and T20's as possible. There is especially no point saving him to play South Africa because quality bowlers like Steyn and Philander will have no trouble exploiting his technical deficiencies again as they always have in the past. He averages around 22 in both Tests and ODI's against SA. He will have his confidence destroyed in SA and probably also get injured there with the World T20 championships starting in March. Australia will be a stronger Test team without him there and a stronger limited- overs side with him there. Will the selectors ever work this out?

  • D-Ascendant on January 16, 2014, 2:42 GMT

    Don't swap him out for a bowling allrounder like Christian. Instead, look to give game time to a prospective No. 3 for the 2015 WC.

  • RedbacksFan on January 16, 2014, 3:47 GMT

    Christian is too inconsistent, as his track record from SA to QLD to VIC over the past three years shows. Mitch Marsh would be a better choice as far as like-for-like players go. Boof has a soft spot for DC though due to his South Oz roots.

  • that_guy on January 16, 2014, 3:54 GMT

    Great the heats BBL just went from worse to worserer

  • on January 16, 2014, 3:59 GMT

    Instead of dan christian australlia could have replaced watson with steven smith as he is in his form of his life and his leg spin In odi's could be very handy..