Watson trying to fill the void in Oz left by Symonds

Published: Wednesday, September 3, 2008, 16:02 [IST]
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Melbourne: Australia's Shane Watson is keen to fill the void created by Symond's exit from the side.

As Symonds is sure to miss Australia's tour of India October-and with no gurantee the strife-torn all-rounder will ever return-the way has been cleared for Watson to reclaim the Oz cap he last wore in 2005.

Watson's career has been affected with injuries and there are concerns whether his body will cope with Tests in India.

Watson, however, insists he has never been in better shape after cutting down the workload of an over-the-top training regime that had him wound up too tight.
At 27, he expects he will have no problems getting through the toughest tour in world cricket.

"I am in physically the best shape I have ever been in my career," he said.

"The most important change is that I''m not over-training these days. I have realized that you don't lose your talent in a day and I don''t keep training any more just for the sake of it," Fox Sports quoted him , as saying further.

Watson burst back earlier this year when he was named player of the Indian Premier League with 472 runs and 17 wickets for Shane Warne''s victorious Jaipur franchise.

He returned to the Australian ODI team during the tour of the Caribbean earlier this year when Matthew Hayden was forced home with injury.

Regardless of Symonds' situation, Watson would have been named in Australia's squad to tour India.

However, suddenly he will be thrust from the role of back-up allrounder, unlikely to play a Test, into Symonds' place.

Watson has never been given time to shine at Test level, although his partnership-breaking medium pace bowling has always been rated ahead of Symonds'off-spin.

It is a big opportunity for Watson as there was little light at the end of the tunnel while Symonds was in the Test side.

The irony is that despite Symonds' repeated disciplinary lapses he had been in great form over the past 12 months and would have been one of the first players picked in the Test side.

For Watson, who will return from a broken toe and a minor calf injury in today''s one-dayer against Bangladesh in Darwin, the Symonds situation represents an unexpected chance to re-establish himself at the top level.




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