Mickey Arthur eyes Shane Watson's return in CB Series

Shane Watson has missed six home Tests this summer against New Zealand and India with hamstring and calf injuries Getty Images

By CricketCountry Staff

Melbourne: Feb 8, 2012

Australia coach Mickey Arthur hopes that all-rounder Shane Watson clears his fitness test this week, as he is set to play for Sydney-based club Sutherland.

Arthur expects that Watson will be fit to return to the national side at some point during the ongoing Commonwealth Bank Series against India and Sri Lanka.

“It’s been frustrating for us and frustrating for Shane,” Arthur said.

“Hopefully it goes well for him this weekend then we can re-asses where he is and hopefully get him back for the one-day comp. But I don’t think we can put a time frame on that. We’ve got to be happy and he’s got to be happy his body can sustain batting and bowling,” Arthur was quoted as saying by ABC Grandstand.

The 30-year-old all-rounder has been out of action due to calf and hamstring injuries, due to which missed the entire Test series against India which his side won 4-0.

Arthur asserted that despite missing many important matches, Watson will remain among Australia s top priority cricketers.

Watson wants to continue batting in the top-order once he returns to the Test team even though his increased bowling workload has made it difficult to balance his role as an opening batsman.

Watson, who missed six home Tests this summer against New Zealand and India with hamstring and calf injuries, hopes to return to action in a few weeks time.

“I would prefer to definitely continue to bat high in the order and keep an eye on my bowling workloads,” Watson was quoted as saying by Fox Sports.

The 30-year-old Test vice-captain says a change of captaincy from Ricky Ponting to Michael Clarke last year has increased his bowling role within the side.

“Physically up until just recently, I was able to open the batting and bowl. The difference between Ricky and Michael is the way they use me as a bowler. But there’s going to be times and situations in a game where that goes all out the window. It’s actually doing what you have to do to be able to win the game,” he said.