Shane Watson’s Ashes hopes revived

May 14th, 2009 - 8:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, May 14 (IANS) Australian all-rounder Shane Watson’s Ashes prospects have been boosted by the news that his groin injury is only minor, but he still faces an anxious wait to see if the selectors are prepared to pick him without seeing him bowl.
Scans revealed a slight groin strain and the team’s medical staff hope that Watson will be fit for next month’s Twenty20 World Cup.

“We expect him to be fit to play in the ICC World Twenty20,” team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald. “He’ll be monitored over the coming weeks and is expected to be available for consideration for Ashes selection.”

Selection committee chairman Andrew Hilditch has indicated Watson could tour England for the Ashes as a spare batsman while his fast bowling abilities will be an obvious bonus. But the injury has deprived him of the chance to bowl before the Ashes squad is finalised, five months after succumbing to stress fractures.

The squad could accommodate two of the three all-rounders competing for selection, with Andrew McDonald earning respect as the incumbent and Andrew Symonds trying to force his way back through his exploits in the Indian Premier League (IPL), after a season marred by poor form and behavioural problems.

Injury setbacks aside, Watson seems the most appealing choice after plundering 271 runs at 90.33 in his comeback series against Pakistan in United Arab Emirates (UAE).

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