The Investec Ashes 2013 July 23, 2013

Watson misses Hove for London nets


Shane Watson will remain in London to work on a technical hitch rather than join the rest of the Australia squad to play against Sussex in a three-day match starting on Friday. Chris Rogers will also stay with Watson who is trying to erase the fault that has seen him dismissed lbw three times in four innings against England.

Alongside Watson and Rogers, fast bowlers Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and the injured James Pattinson have also remained at the team's Kensington base to recover from their exertions in the first two back-to-back Tests. For Pattinson it will be the start of his long road to recovery from a back stress fracture that has ended his Investec Ashes series. He and Harris will remain in London until Thursday before joining the rest of the squad at Hove.

The decision to keep Watson in London and not furnish him with the chance for another pair of innings is largely related to his recovery from the overs bowled in the first two Tests. But it will allow him time to concentrate intensively on the technical issues that have been exposed so ruthlessly by James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan.

So far on this tour the Australians have shown a willingness to break-up their squad at times, leaving the tourists spread widely across England in the aftermath of their early Champions Trophy elimination. Pat Howard, the team performance manager, said Watson's place in the side was secure and that in his eyes the group remained united despite the horrors of Lord's.

"I'm not going to go into Shane but he and I had a lovely chat for an hour last night," Howard said. "The team is galvanised. I appreciate outside the tent, we played poorly, and we can't buck away from that. The fact that we batted for 50 overs meant that some young bowlers had to go out again.

"When you've got young bowlers backing up from Test to Test and turning around, that has flow on effects beyond not scoring runs. But in terms of the team, I don't think administrators sitting in the change rooms is a great thing but when you lose you have got to be part of it, and they are together, they're good."

David Warner, who was sent to play for Australia A after his disciplinary issues, will eventually join the squad in Sussex. He will take part in one further fixture for Australia A in South Africa before flying back to England on Sunday.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mashuq on July 28, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    Watson will need more than a week to sort out his batting. Pick him at #4 in place of Hughes and have one of Hughes/Warner open. Imo all 3 (+Cowan and Rogers) should be axed for Ashes II if they don't take their chances. In that event a better line-up would be Doolan, Khawaja, Burns, Clarke, Smith, Paine, Faulkner, Pattinson, Cummins, Bird, Fawad Ahmed. That lot on Aussie tracks should be persisted with for two tests before some tinkering for the rest of the series becomes necessary.

  • far on July 28, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    "Watson misses Hove for London nets" if he is that bad then drop him sport because only low grade matches will he be able to get his form back

  • Reece on July 25, 2013, 13:20 GMT

    Ive heard a lot of people calling for Watson to be dropped, which is quite fair in all honesty because he hasn't been performing, which is a great mystery given how effortless he makes bating seem at times, but he is forever playing in front of his front pad and planting his foot down the track. The problem is there is no one putting up their hand to replace him. I've read fellow cricinfo users talk about Marsh, Forrest, Bailey, Voges, Hussey and Ferguson coming in to replace him and others in the squad, apart from Voges none of them have shown any form in shield cricket this year, most of them haven't played for 2-3 months. Katich has been thrown up a lot in the comments, but it would be difficult, not to mention very awkward to throw him back into a squad with Michael Clarke. People have to accept there is no quick and easy fix to their problems and that it will be a few rough months/years ahead of them, they just have to show faith in an inexperienced side as they did with Border.

  • Peter on July 25, 2013, 12:39 GMT

    @H_Z_O. Agree with the talk about Warner at 6 , but really, I have no idea what the selectors are thinking so nothing they do will surprise me. Not sure if this match will show up much, batting wise, perhaps it may give Cowan to rediscover the reason he was initially selected. It doesn't concern me which quick bowler they bring in as I rate them all, & Lyon has another opportunity albeit will have Wade keeping to him.

  • shankar on July 25, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    @niroshw, If you think Test average of 35 is no good and Shane must be removed, then you obviously have not seen the Aussie Shield averages.

  • Dummy4 on July 25, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    It's more Watson's attitude than a technical hitch. Finding the middle of his bat is not a problem, because of the boundaries that he's struck. He wants to dominate the new-ball bowlers and that's all well and good if you have the temperament of a Hayden, Sehwag or Gayle. I use those three as a example because despite their attacking nature, they have scored triple-centuries. They have the capacity to go big, once they play themselves in, Watson's got a bad habit of switching-off and playing across the line of a accurate-length ball on the stumps or being a little slow in defence, with the ball's getting him pad-first. He's your typical Aussie-type batsman, whose full of confidence and likes coming hard at the ball, but he just needs to be more weary of his shot-selection and concentration-powers when the bowler is getting the better of him. There's no doubting his ability, but if he's serious about opening in Test Matches, then he needs to play each ball on it's merits.

  • H on July 25, 2013, 9:00 GMT

    @mondotv oh don't get me wrong, from what I saw of him Paine's got a very sound technique, especially defensively as you say, and I agree he looked very classical. I would say Wade's a better batsman, but I didn't mean to imply Paine can't bat. He's probably more of a guy to shepherd the tail (and since pretty much all your bowlers bat, that's more than enough) than to win a match off his own bat, but he looked a vastly superior gloveman to Wade, and I'd argue he looked better than Haddin with the gloves too.

    @Chris_P well if Paine can come through with the gloves, Wade looks to be a good shout as a specialist batsman. It's not like you're stacked with quality middle order players. I don't understand this idea of Warner at 6. It might have made sense back in the old days when the top 6 were solid and Gilly came out to blast away but right now Australia are much more likely to be 50-4 than 500-4.

    If he comes back, it surely has to be to partner Rogers at the top of the order.

  • NIrosh on July 25, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    How long will it be for us to realize that investment in Watson is a myth..... 43 test at Avg of 34.94. Time to move.... Quicker the better. Invest time and energy for a younger player who understands team game.

  • Dummy4 on July 25, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    What is baffling that Australian Cricketers who looking world beaters when they started are all in the realms of mediocrity. Player like Shaun Marsh who looks world class when he is not part of Australian set up, looks mediocre in Aussie colors.

    Promising players who emerged under Ricky Ponting's leadership, like Ferguson, Paine, White could not improve their game for various reasons. Their records became relatively worst after a while. Peter Forrest looked rock solid and started well his ODI career, but just look at his last season? Beyond mediocre.

    Some player surely will not be able to cope the pressure of high level Cricket, but is there a pattern emerging with Australian Cricket?

  • Peter on July 25, 2013, 3:09 GMT

    @H_Z_O . Totally agree that Paine is the best man for the job, but right now, the Aussie team is devoid of senior experienced players, that is needed, short term, given Haddin fits that mould, (and has come off our last domestic season as one of our leading batsman). I can't see Haddin lasting too long. What worries me about Wade was, during the Sri Lankan series, he owned up he had a lot of work to do with the gloves & was taking intensive lessons to improve. The result in India was embarrassing, very much so. I have followed Prior's career & am well aware of his early struggles, but even back then, he had the basics, Wade, I am afraid does not. He really should toss them away, like Hughes did early in his career (actually, Hughes was gloving them better than Wade when he took over the keeping duties when Wade bowled in Hobart!).