Tuesday, October 26, 2021
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Watson’s selection no longer elementary for Australia

The perennial fitness battles of Shane Watson are likely to rule the all-rounder out of Australia’s second test against South Africa. Selectors are unlikely to be crying.

Watson’s unique ability to hog the spotlight whether playing or languishing injured on the sidelines may be unmatched in test cricket, but another win for Australia in Port Elizabeth could put the 32-year-old’s career at a cross-roads.

Struggling to recover from yet another calf injury, Watson trained apart from the team on Tuesday.

One of the game’s great survivors, the barrel-chested Queenslander has clawed his way back into the team after each breakdown, but his place in Michael Clarke’s team has rarely seemed so precarious.

Like so many times before, Watson’s injury in the leadup to the first test at Centurion disrupted Australia’s plans, forcing selectors to hastily reshuffle the team, blood a debutant in Alex Doolan and fly in test exile Shaun Marsh.

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