Australia chief selector asks Shane Watson to focus entirely on his fitness

Shane Watson missed the Test series against India due to a calf-injury Getty Images

Melbourne: Jan 25, 2012

Australia’s chief selector John Inverarity has told injury-ravaged all-rounder Shane Watson to give up on leadership ambitions despite being the vice-captain and focus on regaining fitness and form.

Watson is currently nursing a calf strain that has kept him out of the ongoing Test series against India.

“From Shane’s point of view I think a guy who is an all-rounder, a batsman and a bowler, in all three formats of cricket, and has some difficulty remaining fit all the time, I think he’s got enough on his plate without leadership responsibilities,” Inverarity told Herald Sun.

“Shane is a terrific batsman and bowler who plays year-round cricket. He’s got plenty to worry about.”

Inverarity said the injury-ravaged but prolific all-rounder has been told get his body in perfect shape before even considering his much-anticipated return.

“I had a conversation with Shane the other day because there has been a lot of to-ing and fro-ing about would he be ready for the Boxing Day Test, can he be ready for Perth, let’s try for Adelaide,” Inverarity said.

“He had a setback recently when his leg pulled up a bit sore. My conversation with Shane was ‘take the time you need to get 100 per cent fit without the pressure of people saying can you make it for this or will you be able to do that?’.

“(I said) ‘Take your time, keep in touch, and when you’re ready let us know and we’ll go from there’. My guess is it will be some time during the one-day series (next month) but I don’t want him to feel pressured and then it’s two steps forward and one step back,” he added. (PTI)