Watson recalled by Australia
by Cricket Archive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 7th February 2007
Australia have recalled injury-plagued allrounder Shane Watson for the
finals of the triangular one-day series, starting in Melbourne on
Watson was expected to be a key player in both the Ashes Tests and
tri-series with his solid batting and pace bowling, but has missed
almost the entire season with a recurring hamstring injury.
Having proven his fitness in domestic cricket, he has been recalled to
replace injured Queensland teammate Andrew Symonds in a 13-man squad
for the best-of-three finals series.
Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said Watson's allround talents
were needed in light of the injury to Symonds.
"Shane has been given a full medical clearance and has successfully
returned to domestic cricket," Hilditch said in a statement released on
Tuesday. "We feel the time is now right for him to return to
international cricket. Shane adds a great balance to the Australian
one-day side and was an important member of the victorious Australian
side at the ICC Champions Trophy."
Unlucky paceman Shaun Tait, who bowled a 160-kilometres-an-hour
(99-miles-an-hour) delivery in returning 1-26 from 10 overs in just his
second one-day international against New Zealand on Sunday, has been
dropped from the squad.
Test star Stuart Clark was also surprisingly axed, while spinner Brad
Hogg has been retained despite playing just one game in the tri-series.
Hilditch said the omission of Tait and Clark was a simple matter of
team balance and that both were still in contention for the World Cup.
"With Shane Watson returning to the side there is no need to continue
with five specialist fast bowlers in the squad," he said. "Both Stuart
and Shaun were unlucky to be omitted and remain very much in contention
for selection in the World Cup squad, which will be named at the
conclusion of the finals series."
Hilditch said Hogg had been rewarded for his good form domestically and
would be considered when pitch conditions were suitable.