Shane Watson has sent a shockwave through Australia’s Ashes camp after suffering a hamstring injury in India to put his Gabba availability in doubt.
Less than three weeks out from the opening Test in Brisbane, Watson sustained the injury in the seventh and deciding one-day match of Australia’s tour of India on Saturday.
As he ran in to begin his sixth over, Watson pulled up in his delivery stride.
He gingerly walked back to his mark and attempted a stretch before succumbing to the injury.
Watson is being assessed by medical staff at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, but his availability for the Ashes-opening Test starting on November 21 is in doubt.
Watson has a history of hamstring injuries.
He was ruled out of the 2006-07 Ashes series after injuring his hamstring in a domestic one-day game.
He missed the bulk of the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup to a similar complaint, and was plagued by hamstring troubles in 2011.
Making matters worse, Australia had sent fast bowler Mitchell Johnson on Thursday in order to give him the best preparation possible for the Ashes.
Considering Watson’s extensive injury history, they may now be wishing they’d booked the crucial allrounder a ticket on the same flight.
Watson is as important as any member of Michael Clarke’s team.
The 32-year-old has taken over the vital No.3 batting role, smashing a career-best 176 at the Oval in August this year.
But should he miss any games, his roles as Australia’s first slip and reliable medium pace will also be sorely missed.