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Speed of essence to Watson

Shane Watson last night declared he would not be frightened of being a fast bowler despite the fact it is threatening his international future.

Most of Watson's injuries have come from bowling, from the time he broke down as a teenager with stress fractures in his back to his latest mishap, when he strained his left calf against Bangladesh.

The all rounder has a week to show the injury is improving enough for him to play a part in the later stages of the World Cup, otherwise he will be sent home.

"I absolutely love being an all-rounder. I have always enjoyed being a part of the game, whether it's in the field, bowling or batting," Watson said.

"There are always going to be injuries in sport. The majority of bowlers get injuries, whether it's in blocks, or over certain times of their career.

"It's part and parcel of their career. If I was 30 or 31 and things were continually to happen like this, yeah, it's probably then a time to worry.

"I am only 25. It does take a while to develop, for your muscles to build momentum."

While Watson remains positive, the bottom line is that, at his age, he should be in peak physical fitness.

Whether he is good enough to hold his spot purely as a batsman is open to debate, although that may be possible down the track if he becomes a full-time opening batsman.

He would most likely have opened the batting in the World Cup had he not torn his hamstring in the home summer, which derailed his season until the losing tri-series finals against England.

There are past examples of all rounders becoming specialist batsmen because of injuries, with Steve Waugh at the forefront.

Watson's loss hurts the unbeaten Australia as there is no straight replacement for him.

Victoria batsman Brad Hodge, who can bowl some handy off-spin, is favoured to be drafted into the XI for Sunday's match against England, but some thought will go into recalling either Stuart Clark or Mitchell Johnson and playing four specialist quicks.

Australia's original plan was to field four quicks, but that changed when Brad Hogg showed he was still capable of at least curbing the world's premier batsmen.

Watson was in fine form in Australia's five matches.

In limited opportunities, he had contributed 77 runs at a strike rate of 154 runs per 100 balls in four innings, without being dismissed.


While he took one wicket only, he ensured the pressure remained high during the power-play overs, conceding just 4.18 runs per over in 34.4 overs.

His brilliant run out of South Africa's AB de Villiers just eight runs short of his century was the turning point of Australia's final pool match in St Kitts.

"I know I have been able to contribute to the middle order," Watson said. "I haven't been dismissed yet. I feel I am bowling really well. I am able to contribute in the power-plays, especially when it's a time when batters can really get going."

source - foxsports.com.au
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