Former Test greats urged Watson to quit ODI cricket | Pakistan Today

Former Test greats urged Watson to quit ODI cricket

Former Test stars have advised Shane Watson to consider quitting one-day cricket to safeguard his body and alleviate growing tensions within the Australian set-up over his chronic injury battles. Watson has been named in a 13-man squad for the second Test in Adelaide starting Thursday, but must yet convince Australia’s selectors he has fully recovered from a calf problem – his 15th injury in nine years. Once considered a selection untouchable, Watson’s credit points are fast diminishing with Australian cricket hierarchy, whose patience is being sorely tested by the all-rounder’s struggle to consistently remain on the park.
Alarm bells first rang on the eve of the first Test when skipper Michael Clarke admitted his deputy was not a walk-up start for the Adelaide clash against South Africa at the expense of Gabba debutant Rob Quiney. Within days, Cricket Australia high-performance boss Pat Howard put Watson on notice, admitting the 31-year-old would not be an automatic choice for the second Test if the hoped to play as a batsman only. Watson’s talent is beyond dispute but there is an increasing sentiment he needs to shake his repeated injury breakdowns and play consistently to reward Cricket Australia for their sustained investment in the Ipswich product.
Former Test quick Len Pascoe believes it is time for Watson to walk away from 50-over cricket, while legendary paceman Jeff Thomson hopes the vice-captain’s injury woes haven’t put him offside with national selectors. “Maybe they are sick of his injuries, I don’t know,” Thomson said. “He seems to get a lot of injuries and you can understand if the hierarchy are getting annoyed by it.
Whether it is a major problem internally I don’t know, but I really hope they keep faith in Watson because he is a better cricketer than most of the blokes we have running around. “I’ll admit I bagged the bloke a few years ago, but I think he has improved. There’s no question for me he is in our top six batsmen.
“There’s very few days where, as a professional cricketer, you feel 100 per cent. The rest of the time you battle. “Ask any bloke who plays international cricket, you’re always battling soreness and some sort of pain, so you have to do deal with it. “I didn’t get a lot of injuries, I was pretty lucky in that regard, but if Shane does have injuryit is very hard for him to bowl properly.”
Pascoe says the time has come for Cricket Australia to save Watson from himself and instruct him to retire from limited-overs cricket. “The answer is for Shane to give away the 50-over game, that does the damage,” he said. “We have to take care of Shane. I would think he has a career as long as he wants it, but we have a duty of care to use Shane in the best way possible in the modern game. “I think Shane is more than tough enough, but he is such a competitive person that he pushes himself that little bit too hard. He has a fast bowler’s heart and that acts against him. “To me he is one of the top three batsmen in the world.
“On the bowling side of things, he should be used less and no longer be regarded as an all-rounder. “I don’t think the 50-over game is beneficial for Shane now. “Give someone in their early 20s a chance and let’s save Watto’s body for Test cricket and Twenty20s.”
Pace legend Craig McDermott, who worked closely with Watson before recently resigning as Australia’s bowling coach, dismissed suggestions the all-rounder is being pushed to breaking point by an excessive workload.
“That’s not a factor, having been involved in the Australian set-up, I don’t think that’s a problem at all,” he said.
“I don’t think it’s a workload issue, Watto doesn’t bowl the amount of overs the other guys bowl. “Unfortunately, he keeps coming up with niggling injuries that are putting his career on hold and I know it would be very disappointing from Shane’s point of view. “But when I worked with Shane, he always prepared well. He dots his Is and crosses his Ts. His action is good, at training he goes through the facets of preparation required.

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