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Will Shane Watson represent Australia again?

Shane Watson was once hugely important for Australia. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)
Roar Guru
4th January, 2016
5

The Australian squad for the January one-day international series against India, announced on Monday, featured an underlying message about Shane Watson.

The polarising 34-year-old has not been included in the squad for the first three ODI matches – nor should he have been.

The selectors already have an abundance of all-rounders in Mitchell Marsh, James Faulkner and Glenn Maxwell. Heck, given current form, I would prefer Dan Christian be called up ahead of Watson.

When Watson called time on his Test career following the Ashes defeat in 2015, many were still optimistic about his international future on the limited-overs scene.

However, I now wonder if he will be seen in Australian colours again.

Despite having a solid ODI record for his country, boasting close to 6000 runs and 168 wickets, his form in October’s domestic one-day cup for the Blues was hardly breathtaking. To keep his name high on the selectors’ priority list, he really needed to fire in that tournament.

Watson has been reasonably useful most recently in the BBL, particularly with his controlled and effective bowling, which has handed him five wickets from five matches. However, with the bat he is yet to be as impressive – his 46 against the Brisbane Heat on Sunday night was his first knock of real impact.

The selectors no doubt have one eye on the World T20 in March, in India. Speaking on Grandstand radio on Monday, Trevor Hohns made it clear Watson was still very much in selection frame, and will definitely come into consideration, particularly with his experience and record in India.

I’d say it’s a long shot at best, given the all-rounders ahead of him, his so-so form of late, and the fact he probably won’t feature as part of the next world cup in 2019. Looking to the future may be more logical.

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Are we calling time on Shane Watson playing for Australia? I wouldn’t say it’s a definite, but the signs don’t favour him.