Aspiring allrounders given hope by Watson
For Shane Watson the decision to take a break from bowling would have been heartbreaking.
For the likes of Dan Christian and Moises Henriques it’s provided fresh hope of a maiden Test cap.
Christian and Henriques, who have both played Twenty20 and one-day cricket for Australia, are among the list of allrounders who have come into contention for the Ashes after Watson elected to focus on batting.
National selectors are expected to field a spinning allrounder in the upcoming Test tour of India.
However many pundits have called for a medium-pace all-round option for the Ashes battle that follows, with the feats of Andrew Flintoff in 2005 still fresh in their minds.
Mitchell Johnson performed the role at the SCG Test, but some have questioned whether his batting will hold up against a more fearsome bowling attack.
It leaves an open field, even more so given Andrew McDonald’s injury concerns.
Henriques felt he was more mentally ready for the rigours of international cricket, but didn’t want to get picked on potential.
“Whether you’re a bowling allrounder or a batting allrounder, you can’t just be in the team as a bits-and-pieces player,” the 25-year-old said.
“You’ve got to be good enough to be picked in the team as a bowler and a batter.
“I’m hoping, with some better performances after Christmas, that I can prove that.”
Christian, 12th man in two Tests last summer when Watson was sidelined, admitted he was a “bit disappointed” to be left out of Australia’s squad for the one-day series.
However the 29-year-old was upbeat there would not be the same dearth of seam allrounders in future Australian Test teams.
“If they are looking for that allrounder position, I’d love to do it if I’ve got the runs and wickets behind me,” Christian said.
“Personally I don’t think a spinning allrounder is the best way to go. You need a seam allrounder and there’s quite a few of those around the country.”
Henriques impressed with a tally of 314 runs and 13 wickets from four matches in the first half of the Sheffield Shield season, but didn’t want selectors to call him until he had a mountain of both.
“I’m 25 and happy to keep learning my craft … as much as I’d love to play for Australia as soon as possible, I’m not in any great rush to get there,” he said.
“If I do get there, I want to make sure I’m playing as well as I can.”© AAP 2014