Watson critical to Australia''s chance of success: Chappell

Melbourne, Jan 14 (PTI) Cricket Australia (CA) selectorand former India coach, Greg Chappell believes that ShaneWatson is the most important component of Kangaroo''s bid todefend the upcoming World Cup in the sub-continent.

Chappell while signifying the role of the 29-year-oldsaid, "He''s critical to our chance of success. If he performswell, it''s more likely that we''ll do well."

Watson with an aggregate of 435 runs at an impressiveaverage of 48.33 was one of the few bright spots inAustralia''s floundered Ashes contest which saw the hosts godown 1-3 to traditional rivals, England.

He again proved his worth on Wednesday when hesingle-handedly almost took the hosts over the line during theseries opening Twenty20 match against England, which ended ina last ball victory in favour of the visiting team.

"He would probably be the hardest player to replace inour line-up at the moment," said Chappell while hailing theall-rounder''s effort.

"I think the modern cricketer has to be much moreadaptable than ever before because of the three formats. Isuppose if you''re looking at the quintessential moderncricketer Shane would fit that bill," the selector told''Sydney Morning Herald''.

Emphasising on the flexibility factor which the talentedcricketer imparts to the team, Chappell said, "The fact he canbat in the top six and bowl is a hell of a difference with thebalance of a side. The fact that he plays all three formats isimportant and is capable of adapting a game to each format.

"He''s a very important player. I wouldn''t like to put anumber on it but he is certainly very important because of allthose things," he added.

With the enormous responsibility on Watson''s broadshoulders, the only impediment to his progression can be anincreased susceptibility to an injury. However, Chappell saidthere were no plans to rest the all-rounder during theseven-game ODI series against England.

"I think he wants to play every game he can at themoment, we''re happy to accommodate that," Chappell insisted.

"He''ll get a break after the IPL for a few months sohopefully he''ll get through the period until then," he said.

Watson was retained by Rajasthan Royals for the fourthedition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) for a sum of USD1.3 million.

Chappell though added, "If we felt the workload had beenextremely heavy at any time we''d suggest it to him but we haveno plans of doing that at the moment. All in all, we as aselection panel are very happy to have him at the moment." PTISNK CM

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