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Overlooked for ODIs, Watson faces cricket mortality

Cricket

Shane Watson’s international career could have drawn to a close after he was left out of Australia’s one-day international squad to play India.

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Watson retired from Test cricket after Australia’s disastrous tour of England last year, but the World Cup winner remains available for international selection in the shorter formats of the game.

However the 34-year-old’s domestic efforts in Australia this season haven’t been enough to keep him at the front of the selectors’ minds.

Watson managed 132 runs at 33 in five innings in the one-day domestic tournament with a top score of 64 before he suffered a recurrence of the calf injury he suffered in England last year.

The Sydney Thunder No.3 has struggled for runs in the Big Bash League (BBL) too. He managed a season high of 46 in the loss to Brisbane Heat on Sunday but before then hit 0, 13, 1 and 16.

His seam bowling has played a key role in the Thunder’s emergence as a BBL contender but that alone wasn’t enough to force his way back into the Australia team.

The ODI squad named today is for the first three games of the series. But given the focus on the future from selectors Watson is unlikely to be picked for the final two games.

Unless his form dramatically improves he will also struggle to force his way into Australia’s T20 side for three matches later this summer and for the World Cup in March and April.

Last week Watson maintained he still had designs on heading to India for the tournament.

“There’s no doubt the Twenty20 World Cup I’ve had in the past, and during the (Indian Premier League), I’ve had quite a bit of success over there,” he said.

“I know the conditions very well. I just need to get back to my best, and I know what I can bring to the team when I’m there.

“The hitting at the moment is a little bit off but I’ve been working on a few things just to get my batting back to where I know it can get to,” he said.

“I feel like the ball’s coming out well in my bowling. I’m one innings away from being able to contribute really well with the bat as well.

-AAP

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