Home > Features >

Australia can do without less-than-100% fit Shane Watson for the Adelaide Test

image_20121121091810

Captain Michael Clarke (left) talks to Shane Watson during an Australian training session at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday at Adelaide, Australia © Getty Images

The much-awaited Test series between Australia and South Africa began with the first Test at Brisbane ending in a well-contested draw. The game saw everything except a result, with centuries from Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla, a maiden Test century for Australia’s Ed Cowan and, of course, a brilliant double from Michael Clarke, which made the Australian captain the only batsman other than Donald Bradman to score two double centuries and one triple century in the same calendar year.

The second Test commencing on Thursday promises yet another draining battle between two sides – one the current No 1 in Tests, and the other that has been at the top for the longest period till not ago.

In a bid to add to their batting strengths and experience to the line-up, the Aussies seem to be pondering over the idea of rushing Shane Watson back into the side, even if only half fit. If Watson’s experience is put aside, he has struggled in the longest format of the game in the recent past. While he enjoyed a purple patch in the recently-concluded T20 World Cup and has been a consistent performer in both ODIs and T20s, his Test form has been rather poor owing to his recurring injuries. In fact, Australia have been without Watson in their last seven home games.

His most recent injury came when he played a First-Class match, his first in six months, where he limped off the ground after bowling just six deliveries. This injury ruled him out of the first Test with a calf strain and he has been fighting against time to make for to the Adelaide Test starting on Thursday.

Even if he manages to pass all the fitness tests that Cricket Australia have lined up for him to undergo on Wednesday, he may still not be 100% match fit. This is evident as he himself went on record stating that he may not be able to bowl for a while.

Although the idea of playing Watson purely as a batsman doesn’t look like that bad an idea, it’s a dilemma that Cricket Australia can easily do without. With the inexperienced Rob Quiney at No 3 and an out-of-sorts Ricky Ponting at No 4, throwing a half-fit Shane Watson into the side seems like a safe option, but his lack of complete fitness could repercussions on his batting too.

If Watson, an all-rounder who is often expected to bowl long spells and come back to hold an innings at No 3, is not fit enough to bowl, what makes him fit enough to face a bowling attack that is considered second to none today? How is he fit enough to give Michael Clarke the much-needed depth in the batting order but not fulfill his bowling duties at the same time? Such questions are what the board can easily avoid. Looking at the kind of bold decisions that Cricket Australia have taken in the past, the decision to keep Shane Watson out of this game seems like a no-brainer.

To be fair, Quiney did well for his 85 when the visitors played against Australia A and was certainly looking like he could get his eye in before Dale Steyn pulled off a stunner at the fine-leg boundary to dismiss the debutant. Clarke is better off giving Quiney another crack at No 3 and have Watson regain complete fitness to face the Proteas in the final Test at Perth starting on November 30.

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test: Australia's practice session

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Kevin Pietersen saga: Stuart Broad, James Anderson saddened by bullying claims

Live Cricket Score India A vs Sri Lanka, warm-up match at Mumbai: India A maul Sri Lanka by 87 runs

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs South Zone, final at Delhi Day 2: South Zone lead by 32 runs at the end of second day’s play

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test at Abu Dhabi Day 1: Pakistan 158/2 at tea

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Rohit Sharma or Ajinkya Rahane — who should open for India?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 Sri Lanka Zimbabwe

Sachin Tendulkar honoured with place in Bradman Hall of Fame

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: KL Rahul’s unbeaten 168 gives South Zone 32 runs lead over Central Zone

Stuart Broad rubbishes Kevin Pietersen’s comments on bullying

India A beat Sri Lanka by 87 runs in tour match; Rohit Sharma, Manish Pandey, Karn Sharma shine

Younis Khan guides Pakistan to commanding position at tea on Day 1 of 2nd Test against Australia

Highest identical scores in both innings of a Test

Younis Khan — perhaps Pakistan’s greatest batsman ever

India A vs Sri Lankans tour match: Players look to make the most of opportunities

Viv Richards: How did he perform against the West Indian quicks?

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Rohit Sharma or Ajinkya Rahane — who should open for India?

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

NGOs pursue education for all

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Alia Bhatt to play the lead in Rock On 2?

‘No Kolkata, no ISL’ for Shah Rukh Khan

Sonakshi Sinha on Harper’s Bazaar cover: Elegant in a Dior dress!

क्यों युवा हो रहे हैं दिमाग की बीमारी से ग्रस्त

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: KL Rahul’s century puts South Zone in command against Central Zone

Twitter, IBM join forces on business data analytics

India A vs Sri Lanka tour match: Sangakkara, Tharanga lead Lanka’s chase of 382

Honey — home remedy for soft and supple skin

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here