Sydney, Oct.24 (ANI): The Australian cricketers selected for the seven one-day matches against India will stretch every sinew of their bodies in putting up performances before their selectors in the hope to make it or be recalled to the Test squad this summer.
According to a report appearing in the Sydney Morning Herald, every run from all-rounder Shane Watson will act as another nail in opener Phillip Hughes's coffin bag, and every wicket that fast bowler Brett Lee snares, will scream for a Test recall.
Form and confidence will be the key criterion for selection.
Watson played the last three Ashes Tests in place of Hughes, doing a bang-up job even if he didn't convert all manner of starts into hundreds. He'd be unlucky to lose his place as an opener ... nearly as unlucky as Hughes was to be punted during the Ashes.
Watson rides into India on the back of consecutive centuries against England and New Zealand in the semi-final and the final of the Champions Trophy. He will be in the Test team as an all-rounder, there's no doubt about that, but whether he's a genuine long-term opener or just a makeshift option who should revert to the middle order in a traditional all-rounder's role is going to become the subject of heated debate before the first Test against the West Indies next month.
Watson is now firing on all cylinders. He's physically intimidating. You can sense the deep-seated self-belief.
Watson, Australian coach Tim Nielsen and captain Ricky Ponting are all trumpeting these one-dayers as an important stepping stone to the 2011 World Cup on the subcontinent.
As well as giving Watson and Lee the chance to show their wares, off-spinner Nathan Hauritz gets another chance to convince the right people their indecision about him is wrong.
Bowling to masters of spin on their home dust bowls will be a thorough examination of Hauritz's capabilities. (ANI)