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July 23, 2013
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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 hereFeeds: Daniel Brettig
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