Sunday, 23 October 2011

Watson tipped to play

23 October, 2011
Shane Watson
Shane Watson
Injury-doubt Shane Watson will play in the second one-day international against South Africa, according to Australia captain Michael Clarke.
Watson picked up a hip problem during the second Twenty20 international in Johannesburg last week and missed Australia's victory in the first ODI on Wednesday.
But the all-rounder's absence from the last match in Centurion was largely precautionary, with two remaining ODIs and two Test matches still to come in the tour.
"I'm confident with how Shane trained yesterday and that he'll be fine to go," Clarke said ahead of Sunday's clash in Port Elizabeth.
Shaun Marsh remains in doubt due to a shoulder injury, but will be allowed as much time as possible to prove his fitness.
If both men are deemed to be available, Australia will have four players capable of opening the batting, after David Warner and former skipper Ricky Ponting filled the top spots for the win at SuperSport Park.
"It's not a bad problem to have," Clarke said.
"We will wait and see what happens with Shaun today and with Shane. We'll see how he pulls up and we will work out what the best XI is in these conditions. We need to make sure we assess them correctly."
South Africa's former ODI captain Graeme Smith is under the spotlight in the series after failing to make so much as a half century from his last 13 international innings in all forms of the game.
As another senior player to have struggled for form in recent years, Clarke can sympathise with Smith's situation, but believes the 30-year-old remains a threat to Australia.
"There's certainly going to be a time in this series when Graeme will make runs," Clarke said. "He is a good player and his statistics certainly show that."
"He has been a very good captain and a very good player so I don't know why he copped so much criticism."
"In regards to playing against him, I respect him."

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