The Investec Ashes 2013 August 15, 2013

Watson to lead Australians in tour game

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Shane Watson will lead the Australian XI in their two-day tour match against the England Lions in Northampton, with the captain Michael Clarke and vice-captain Brad Haddin both resting from the fixture.

Watson has been passed fit to bat in the match, which starts on Friday, but he will not bowl as he continues to work towards full fitness after suffering pain in his right hip/groin during the fourth Test. However, the Australians are confident Watson will be able to bowl in the final Test at The Oval, which begins next Wednesday.

Haddin, Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle have already headed to London to prepare, and Clarke, Chris Rogers and Jackson Bird are the other squad members who will sit out of the Northampton game. That leaves Mitchell Starc and James Faulkner as the only pace bowlers in the team, although the coach Darren Lehmann floated the possibility of wicketkeeper Matthew Wade sending down some seamers if required.

Wade bowled his only first-class over during the Hobart Test against Sri Lanka in December and it was impressive, skiddy and quicker than expected. Lehmann said the match would be a good opportunity to get a large amount of overs from spinners Nathan Lyon and Ashton Agar, and also to give the batsmen some time in the middle.

"We'll give them [Agar and Lyon] a decent bowl," Lehmann said. "You'd be mad not to. It's a great opportunity to bowl a lot of overs. Steve Smith will bowl a few, you might see Wade or Warner bowl a few. We'll see how we go.

"The thing for us is to just get the batters some time in the middle. We can only bat for a day and bowl for a day. I suppose it's like a longer training session, if you like, and it's not first-class. For us it's still a chance to impress the selectors and perform really well and get to where we want to get to. It's still important, it's two long days."

The match will be played to a maximum of 100 overs per side for the first innings.

Australian XI Shane Watson (capt), Ashton Agar, Ed Cowan, James Faulkner, Phillip Hughes, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade (wk), David Warner.

England Lions Eoin Morgan (capt), Moeen Ali, Gary Ballance, Keith Barker, Jos Buttler, James Harris, Simon Kerrigan, Alex Lees, Liam Plunkett, Ben Stokes.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | August 15, 2013, 15:54 GMT

    watson ,all the natural aggressive talent to dismantle any bowling attack ,and just like gayle ,his footwork is weak ,reducing him to cannon fodder for any bowler who bowls wicket to wicket ,such a shame ,that he understands what bowlers are trying to do to him ,and refusing to get himself into line ,he is a genuine allrounder ,so this is really disappointing to see .until he shows that he belongs in test level cricket ,by scoring 100 runs every test match ,he cannot be a fixture in the side ,there are less talented players in australia ,but like rogers ,they have basic defensive techniques to pull them through ,and should do more damage than watson has so far ,shaun marsh is one and there are others playing in division one and two right in england

  • POSTED BY 2MikeGattings on | August 16, 2013, 15:15 GMT

    What happened to Varun Chopra, didn't he get a double century recently?

  • POSTED BY Ms.Cricket on | August 16, 2013, 12:44 GMT

    Hopefully the England Lions will bowl the Australians out twice in two days and score enough runs batting once to win by tea on day 2 ;)

  • POSTED BY willsrustynuts on | August 16, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    Crazy preparation continues. Can't blame Shrek for the ill thought out schedule.

    Will be funny if it rains for a day and then Australia get bowled out in 40 overs!

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2013, 12:11 GMT

    I am just curious, which WK-batsman, Cricket Australia wants to groom in, as THE successor to Gilly? So far it looked like a game of Musical Chair. "Had(guys)in" ; Had-out! Someone or the other is allowed to "Wade" in. And, Fade-out! It gives us (the admirer's of Gilly), a little "Paine" to watch the goings-on, goings-in, and goings-out on this front!

  • POSTED BY Malx on | August 16, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    What a rubbish game of cricket, 2 days !! It doesn't matter what happens, I saw Watson play straight and smash Worcester around for a ton but in the Tests he plays across the line. The selectors couldn't pick their noses, Lehmann is changing the side every game, he wouldn't know if the sun was out ! Stick with your best 11. These guys need experience.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    @Chris_P, i would go in with 5 bowlers here and also bring back Hughes as an opener, I thought he'd be a good long term no.3, but I didn't realise that his batting against spin was so poor, so i'd bump him up to opener with Warner and play Rogers at 3.

    I'd like to see Agar get another run, but only if he is fully fit and recovered from his hip and finger injuries, Lyon should also play. Starc brings good variety, i swear he is so close now to becoming a very good test match bowler, we need to keep putting him in there and letting him work it out. Siddle and Harris round it out. Added to that I think the likes of Agar and Starc are genuine run scorers and they don't have the pressure of being specialist batsmen and the expectations that go with it. I would leave out Khawaja, Watson and Bird here. I like Bird, but he is surplus to requirements with Siddle and Harris bowling so well right now.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    MInerva it's better than nothing. it was not remarked upon at the time but the "homeworkgate" fiasco happened when there were I think 9 days before the next test and not a single second of competitive cricket scheduled. disaster!

  • POSTED BY dashe on | August 16, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    MonishaCS: What are you talking about Watson promoted The Big Show (chuckles) to open in a test match.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 16, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    2 day limited over game... So pointless, Australia would be better served batting for two days than ever bothering bowling...

  • POSTED BY on | August 15, 2013, 15:54 GMT

    watson ,all the natural aggressive talent to dismantle any bowling attack ,and just like gayle ,his footwork is weak ,reducing him to cannon fodder for any bowler who bowls wicket to wicket ,such a shame ,that he understands what bowlers are trying to do to him ,and refusing to get himself into line ,he is a genuine allrounder ,so this is really disappointing to see .until he shows that he belongs in test level cricket ,by scoring 100 runs every test match ,he cannot be a fixture in the side ,there are less talented players in australia ,but like rogers ,they have basic defensive techniques to pull them through ,and should do more damage than watson has so far ,shaun marsh is one and there are others playing in division one and two right in england

  • POSTED BY 2MikeGattings on | August 16, 2013, 15:15 GMT

    What happened to Varun Chopra, didn't he get a double century recently?

  • POSTED BY Ms.Cricket on | August 16, 2013, 12:44 GMT

    Hopefully the England Lions will bowl the Australians out twice in two days and score enough runs batting once to win by tea on day 2 ;)

  • POSTED BY willsrustynuts on | August 16, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    Crazy preparation continues. Can't blame Shrek for the ill thought out schedule.

    Will be funny if it rains for a day and then Australia get bowled out in 40 overs!

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2013, 12:11 GMT

    I am just curious, which WK-batsman, Cricket Australia wants to groom in, as THE successor to Gilly? So far it looked like a game of Musical Chair. "Had(guys)in" ; Had-out! Someone or the other is allowed to "Wade" in. And, Fade-out! It gives us (the admirer's of Gilly), a little "Paine" to watch the goings-on, goings-in, and goings-out on this front!

  • POSTED BY Malx on | August 16, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    What a rubbish game of cricket, 2 days !! It doesn't matter what happens, I saw Watson play straight and smash Worcester around for a ton but in the Tests he plays across the line. The selectors couldn't pick their noses, Lehmann is changing the side every game, he wouldn't know if the sun was out ! Stick with your best 11. These guys need experience.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    @Chris_P, i would go in with 5 bowlers here and also bring back Hughes as an opener, I thought he'd be a good long term no.3, but I didn't realise that his batting against spin was so poor, so i'd bump him up to opener with Warner and play Rogers at 3.

    I'd like to see Agar get another run, but only if he is fully fit and recovered from his hip and finger injuries, Lyon should also play. Starc brings good variety, i swear he is so close now to becoming a very good test match bowler, we need to keep putting him in there and letting him work it out. Siddle and Harris round it out. Added to that I think the likes of Agar and Starc are genuine run scorers and they don't have the pressure of being specialist batsmen and the expectations that go with it. I would leave out Khawaja, Watson and Bird here. I like Bird, but he is surplus to requirements with Siddle and Harris bowling so well right now.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    MInerva it's better than nothing. it was not remarked upon at the time but the "homeworkgate" fiasco happened when there were I think 9 days before the next test and not a single second of competitive cricket scheduled. disaster!

  • POSTED BY dashe on | August 16, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    MonishaCS: What are you talking about Watson promoted The Big Show (chuckles) to open in a test match.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 16, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    2 day limited over game... So pointless, Australia would be better served batting for two days than ever bothering bowling...

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | August 16, 2013, 3:41 GMT

    THIS is the opportunity for Ed Cowan, Usman Khawaja and Shane Watson to post good scores and Mitchell Starc to throw out the useless Jackson Bird.

  • POSTED BY farkin on | August 16, 2013, 3:29 GMT

    and the stupidity keeps on rolling on

  • POSTED BY browners76 on | August 16, 2013, 2:43 GMT

    What a waste of time. Why not play an extra day and at least make a game of it. Ridiculous. At least it's a reasonably progressive selection for the Lions and not the usual same faces. Interesting to see how Barker does with the ball and how young Lees fairs at the top of the order. It's been a meteoric rise for the guy. Not sure why Morgan is involved let alone as captain when he's hardly done anything to justify selection.

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | August 16, 2013, 2:13 GMT

    @ Jono Makim. If Watson can't bowl it makes it tricky with Harris. Do they select him & hope the workload to date hasn't burnt him out or do they give him some respite by adding Starc/Agar or Faulkner in as the 5th bowler (or 2 of them if Bird is not selected)? All of them have claims to batting prowess, although not at accomplished levels, but it does make an interesting theory.

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | August 16, 2013, 2:10 GMT

    @MonishaCS. Watson a good captain? You're kidding, right? On another note, if any of my English friends can tell me, is this being televised over there & if so, I would be interested in thoughts of how Hughes kept if & when Wade bowls. Hughes was a keeper right up to 18 years of age, & actually looked pretty good gloving them in Hobart when he had the gloves to Matthew Wade. Not that I am advocating a return to them, just curious is all.

  • POSTED BY ToneMalone on | August 16, 2013, 2:00 GMT

    Australian bowling attack: two paceman, one wicketkeeper and four slow bowlers of greatly varying credentials. One hundred overs could still be a long time in the field, hope the pitch takes some turn!

  • POSTED BY pom_don on | August 15, 2013, 23:22 GMT

    It will be interesting to see how Kerrigan & Stokes go against the Aussies.

  • POSTED BY ScottStevo on | August 15, 2013, 22:19 GMT

    @Milhouse @Maximum, that would be a change from the Eng first XI doing so poorly in their first innings? In fact, in this Ashes, Eng have been on the wrong side 3 of 4 times. But, yeah, the second XI (the same team that got beat by every single low quality Aus side they faced in Aus recently) will do any better??? V clever, chaps.

  • POSTED BY on | August 15, 2013, 18:55 GMT

    @Krishna Gopaul: "and just like gayle ,his footwork is weak ,reducing him to cannon fodder for any bowler who bowls wicket to wicket ,such a shame"

    I'm sorry, did you just compare Shane "Can I please review that, mate?" Watson to Chris Gayle?! Gayle is twice the cricketer Watson will ever be, fellow!

  • POSTED BY SDHM on | August 15, 2013, 18:21 GMT

    Playing two spinners when the Northampton pitch has favoured seam all year! But that said, it's not really a game about winning, although I'm sure the Lions would like to put one over Oz and keep them down. Bit of a scratch looking Lions side though, certainly not a first choice XI.

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | August 15, 2013, 18:07 GMT

    Shane Watson captains Australia? You really don't have much respect for your team if you let him captain after the issues he presents.What does he have to do to get dropped?

  • POSTED BY on | August 15, 2013, 17:21 GMT

    lions r very confident that they r playing with 10 man team great :)

  • POSTED BY on | August 15, 2013, 16:12 GMT

    Why have a 2-Day game anyway?? It's not even a first class match. Australia has to modify/compromise/adapt/experiment/bowl or bat 100 overs... Whatever it is; it's not preparation for a test match.

  • POSTED BY Jaffa79 on | August 15, 2013, 16:11 GMT

    The Lions are so confident that they are only going to play with 10 men!

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | August 15, 2013, 15:16 GMT

    Lions to win in 2 days!

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 15, 2013, 15:07 GMT

    I wish Barker will show his talent and give competition for the no7 spot in ODIs.

  • POSTED BY on | August 15, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    Very interested to see how Keith Barker goes against the Australians. I've been a Barker booster for ages...

  • POSTED BY MonishaCS on | August 15, 2013, 14:20 GMT

    I think Watson would make a good captain. He did a pretty impressive job captaining the team in the last match of the India tour. Even though they lost, at least the team showed some spunk. They need all the spunk they can get.

  • POSTED BY PrasPunter on | August 15, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    Just can't avoid the feeling that we have missed a golden opportunity to reclaim the Ashes. So near yet so far !!! If at all... no.. stopping here. It just hurts, isn't it ? Good luck anyway to my Aussies for Oval and Ashes II.

  • POSTED BY on | August 15, 2013, 14:00 GMT

    I wonder if we'll see a five man attack at The Oval, I wouldn't mind seeing Agar and Starc both play, we don't have anything to lose at this point and these two guys need the games under their belt. For mine we have the talent, we just have to keep building up the experiene for these guys.

  • POSTED BY hmmmmm... on | August 15, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    Watch watson get a 100 off 90 balls then get out LBW for 20-40 in the test...

  • POSTED BY D-Train on | August 15, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    He's one of the most selfish and mentally weak players to ever don the baggy green. Should never be captain.

  • POSTED BY D-Train on | August 15, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    He's one of the most selfish and mentally weak players to ever don the baggy green. Should never be captain.

  • POSTED BY hmmmmm... on | August 15, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    Watch watson get a 100 off 90 balls then get out LBW for 20-40 in the test...

  • POSTED BY on | August 15, 2013, 14:00 GMT

    I wonder if we'll see a five man attack at The Oval, I wouldn't mind seeing Agar and Starc both play, we don't have anything to lose at this point and these two guys need the games under their belt. For mine we have the talent, we just have to keep building up the experiene for these guys.

  • POSTED BY PrasPunter on | August 15, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    Just can't avoid the feeling that we have missed a golden opportunity to reclaim the Ashes. So near yet so far !!! If at all... no.. stopping here. It just hurts, isn't it ? Good luck anyway to my Aussies for Oval and Ashes II.

  • POSTED BY MonishaCS on | August 15, 2013, 14:20 GMT

    I think Watson would make a good captain. He did a pretty impressive job captaining the team in the last match of the India tour. Even though they lost, at least the team showed some spunk. They need all the spunk they can get.

  • POSTED BY on | August 15, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    Very interested to see how Keith Barker goes against the Australians. I've been a Barker booster for ages...

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 15, 2013, 15:07 GMT

    I wish Barker will show his talent and give competition for the no7 spot in ODIs.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | August 15, 2013, 15:16 GMT

    Lions to win in 2 days!

  • POSTED BY Jaffa79 on | August 15, 2013, 16:11 GMT

    The Lions are so confident that they are only going to play with 10 men!

  • POSTED BY on | August 15, 2013, 16:12 GMT

    Why have a 2-Day game anyway?? It's not even a first class match. Australia has to modify/compromise/adapt/experiment/bowl or bat 100 overs... Whatever it is; it's not preparation for a test match.