Monday, March 18, 2013

Australians caught in spin as Shane Watson returns

Watson hit back saying the cricket chief was from a rugby background and further denied Howard’s claims of tensions between he and Clarke.

The vice-captain also let it be known he thought that being banished from the third Test for not completing an assignment was excessive.

A press release by Cricket Australia with quotes from all parties attempts to extinguish the flames as all sides claimed that things were much better than a week ago.

“I’ve had several constructive discussions with team management back in Mohali over the past few days,” Watson is quoted as saying.

“We've spoken about how we are going to work together to move forward, as Australia attempts to climb back to the top of the ICC rankings. I’ve a burning ambition to be an Australian Test player for as long as I can be and help Australia win those big Test series’ as well as the big ICC tournaments.
“I have also had a number of chats with Pat Howard over the last week and we are both now on the same page and are really looking forward to working together to get Australia to be the best team in the world.
“I’m looking forward to getting around the boys again and concentrating on moving forward. I’m entirely committed to the team and being the best player I can be.”

Howard too was quoted as saying the pair had moved on.

"Shane and I have had a number of positive conversations. I am glad to say that Shane will return from compassionate leave and rejoin the squad in India as the team prepares for the fourth Test in Delhi,” the high performance manager said.

Coach Mickey Arthur also joined the happy chorus.
“It’s been a big week for us all – both on and off the pitch,” he said. “The whole Australian cricket team  congratulates Lee and Shane on the safe arrival of baby Will.
"Covering all the bases while preparing for any Test match is key to both us and Shane’s recommitment to the team in his chats with me this week have been really positive. We’re looking forward to having Watto back and around the group as we prepare for the fourth Test.”

Back at the cricket Australia is trying to hold off defeat in the third Test but the loss of three wickets in the first session has made that task more difficult.

Resuming on 3-75, the visitors lost nightwatchman Nathan Lyon to the spin of Ojha with the total 89.

Michael Clarke, whose back injury has added an intriguing subplot to the Watson drama, came in at No6 but was obviously struggling. He lasted almost an hour before being dismissed caught at the wicket of Ravi Jadeja’s bowling.

Replays suggested it might have been a no-ball, but the umpire’s stuck with their original decision.

The best news of the innings to date was Phil Hughes batting as struggled hard to reach 69.  But his dismissal - adjudged LBW by umpire Aleem Dar to Ravi Ashwin - was harsh as it appeared to be sliding down leg.

Mitchell Starc (35), Xavier Doherty (18no) and Brad Haddin (30) offered some resistance taking the total to 223 in the afternoon session.

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