North may push out Symonds, Watson for AshesMarch 2nd, 2009 - 7:11 pm ICT by IANS
Sydney, March 2 (IANS) A century on his debut has tipped Australian all-rounder Marcus North above Andrew Symonds and Shane Watson for the Ashes series in July.
With selectors likely to take only 14 or 15 players to England, Shane Watson, Andrew Symonds and Phil Jaques could be squeezed out of the tour.
At best there is likely to be room for one of them, and that may be as a reserve batsman because North has, in the short term at least, pinned down the No. 6 spot.
Jaques appears least likely to tour after a summer which has netted him 102 first-class runs after back surgery.
It is well known Symonds and Watson are rated by the selectors but neither are bowling because of recent injuries and need to convince the panel that they are worthy Ashes tourists.
With just two first-class half- centuries for the summer, a patchy disciplinary record and an uncertain future as a bowler, Symonds would be doing well to force his way into the squad.
Watson will not bowl until the Indian Premier League next month and his form will be watched closely. He is still rated at least a 50-50 chance of touring.