Watson fit for Newlands

2014-02-27 20:00

Cape Town - Australia is expected to recall all-rounder Shane Watson for the third Test against South Africa as it attempts to bounce back from its first defeat in six Test outings and clinch a series win over the world's top-ranked side.

The tourists were made to pay for going into the second Test in Port Elizabeth with just three seamers, who laboured for 133 overs in a 231-run defeat.

Watson missed the first two Tests when a calf strain left him unable to bowl, but came through a crucial training session on Thursday to confirm his fitness for Saturday's decider at Newlands.

Either Alex Doolan or Shaun Marsh, who scored heavily in Australia's victory in the first Test, will make way if Watson returns as anticipated.

"Having Watto back would be huge, having that extra bowler," fast bowler Ryan Harris said.

"We've seen when Davey (Warner) has to bowl a few and Michael (Clarke) has to fill in, they're bowling Watto's overs.

Watson claimed 5-17 in his last outing at Newlands, but Australia lost that 2011 match after being bowled out for 47.

Although he has spent most of his career batting in the top order, Watson is expected to slot in at number six as Clarke and Steve Smith move up a spot.

South Africa, meanwhile, have decisions to make over the identity of their opening pair and their number eight.

Alviro Petersen has recovered from the bout of gastroenteritis that kept him out of the Port Elizabeth win, and coach Russell Domingo suggested that the batsman's return will force Dean Elgar back into the middle order, leading Quinton de Kock to drop out of the side.

Standing in for Petersen as an opener, Elgar scored a gutsy 83 that helped turn the series back in South Africa's favour.

"Batting at six it's a massive advantage for him that he has been opening, because he's often going to face the second new ball," Domingo noted.

"That's a big bonus for us to have, an option like that batting at six.

"We'll decide on those things closer to the day."

With Wayne Parnell ruled out by a groin strain, Domingo and convenor of selectors Andrew Hudson must decide if fellow all-rounder Ryan McLaren remains the most logical replacement.

McLaren was kept out of the second Test with a Mitchell Johnson-induced concussion, but has recovered sufficiently to be considered for selection again. Fast bowlers Rory Kleinveldt and Kyle Abbott are South Africa's other options.

Domingo indicated that the Proteas would continue to play without a frontline spinner, leaving Robin Peterson on the sidelines.

The lead-up to the series decider has been dominated by comments from Warner, who suggested that South Africa wicketkeeper AB de Villiers had changed the condition of the ball to aid reverse-swing in South Africa's thumping victory in Port Elizabeth.

Warner was fined by 15% of his match fee by the ICC, while South Africa's team manager Dr. Mohammad Moosajee labelled the comments as "sour grapes".


  • Rasikh Raina - 2014-02-27 19:39

    watson is very weak player nowadays

  • Rasikh Raina - 2014-02-27 19:43

    watson is very weak player nowadays

  • Ntlanganiso Qwabe - 2014-02-27 19:43

    Trouble for South Africa.

  • Kgosi Samuel Mogosetso - 2014-02-27 20:18

    Please play kyle Abbot instead of both rory kleinvelt and ryan mc'claren because he is better than both of them put together and he is in form bowler in the domestic league right now

      Sooth Sayer - 2014-02-27 20:29


  • musal - 2014-02-27 21:03

    So Proteas won't bounce back u little racist

  • Trevor Ives - 2014-02-27 21:09

    So now 10 players have a batting review, and Watson has one...

  • Baainaar Hofman - 2014-02-27 21:26

    The biggest problem will be quota morkel he needs to be dropped his 1wicket or sometimes 2wickets is not good enough

      Lloyd Eloff - 2014-02-27 21:52

      All you can do is talk about qouta and race!!!! Get over ureself pig.... You know nothing abour cricket all you want is your colour in the team.... You want to take all the white players out!!???? I gaurentee proteas would never win.. :) pick on form regardless of colour. Now go suck it

  • Lloyd Eloff - 2014-02-27 21:54

    Why do people always have to bring race into it??? You think kleinvelt would want to play only because he's a qouta??? No no...... Abbots stats speak for themselves he's earned a shot!!!

      Baainaar Hofman - 2014-02-28 03:27

      U a trash u cont y cant u and ur people see how useless morkel is if u knw so much about cricket give me his career stats and also give me his stats for 2012/13 and 14 then we can talk again y do u turn a blind eye on this dude but if it was a player if color it wouldv been a big thing i dont give a dem about the whites in the team

      Lloyd Eloff - 2014-02-28 09:39

      Ur a racist pig !!! Dirty dog..... U want a team full of your own people???? Because you simply can't stand whites???? Go get help man... Or die ur choice

      Luané Swart - 2014-02-28 12:22

      Baainaar Hofman wat de hel dude? Go stay in Nigeria :)

  • Mario Kleynhans - 2014-02-27 22:58

    Another 32 year old. The future for Aus cricket

  • Juanroux Stiffler Greyling - 2014-02-28 08:37

    When I read the heading, I almost though they were talking about Puke joining the stormers again........sheeeeeesh I almost smashed my keyboard

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