rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Watson back in Australia Test squad

Watson back in Australia Test squad

December 08, 2008 14:33 IST

All-rounder Shane Watson was on Monday recalled to Australia's squad for next week's first Test against South Africa, which also includes off-spinner Jason Krejza subject to his fitness.

"Shane Watson is back into the 12 and one of the main reasons he wasn't in the 12 for Adelaide was that we wanted to take the opportunity for him to play for Queensland," National Selection Panel (NSP) chairman Andrew Hilditch said.

"He had a good Sheffield Shield game against South Australia, taking wickets and making runs, and adds great flexibility to the squad for this first Test.

"Peter Siddle is omitted from the 12 but he continues to impress following his debut in India. We're keen for him to resume State cricket for Victoria and expect Peter to continue to push hard for national selection," Hilditch said.

On the squad, Hilditch said, "The 12 picked for the first Test against South Africa reflects the fact that the NSP thinks the team played well against New Zealand recently. It is quite difficult to bounce back from the series in India, which was a tough tour, and to adapt quickly to Australian conditions.

"One of the most pleasing parts of the New Zealand series was the good form of Brett Lee, whose bowling improved as the series went on. We expect him to be back to his very best against South Africa."

Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin came in for some special praise from the selectors after his century against New Zealand in Adelaide recently.

"Brad Haddin has been under extreme focus since he's taken over the gloves in Test cricket following Adam Gilchrist's retirement. Brad emerged from that period of scrutiny well, his 'keeping' improves with each Test and his batting blossomed in Adelaide as we would've expected with someone with such a good domestic record.

"Mitchell Johnson had an outstanding tour of India and his progress continued against New Zealand. He's presenting himself as a very exciting, wicket-taking package for Australia. The batting group played very well against New Zealand and we consider that all our batsmen are in good form for the coming series," Hilditch said.

Off-spinner Krejza, who is still recovering from his injury, was also included in the squad.

"He's been picked subject to fitness but all reports suggest he'll be fit and will resume cricket for Tasmania this week. Jason richly deserves to be back in the Test squad following his debut in India," Hilditch said.

Squad: Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Clarke (vice-captain), Stuart Clark, Brad Haddin, Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Simon Katich, Jason Krejza, Brett Lee, Andrew Symonds and Shane Watson.

© Copyright 2013 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.