Shane Watson to concentrate on his batting as his injury problems continue

Last Updated: 07/01/13 10:31am

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Shane Watson: Batting will be the focus for Australia all-rounder for a while

Shane Watson: Batting will be the focus for Australia all-rounder for a while

Sky Bet

Shane Watson is set to put his bowling career on hold to concentrate on his batting when he returns to the Australia team after injury.

All-rounder Watson missed the third Test win over Sri Lanka in Sydney last week with a calf strain he suffered in the previous match.

He also missed test matches last season due to injuries and it might have convinced him to give up bowling for the time being, according to Australia coach Mickey Arthur.

"Watto wants to come back as a batsman. He wants to come back into the team with a primary focus of batting," Arthur said.

"Shane Watson absolutely loves bowling. He still wants to bowl, but his primary focus right now is to make the team as an out-and-out batsman."
Mickey Arthur

"He feels every time he bats and then he gets injured bowling, he just loses a bit of momentum with his batting.

"Once he feels his body is going well and that he feels he's cemented his batting position, we will then take another look at how we want to go with Shane in terms of bowling.

"And that's a decision that only Watto can make. We'll be working very closely with him on that, because obviously Shane bowling a couple of overs is really good for us.

"Shane Watson absolutely loves bowling. He still wants to bowl, but his primary focus right now is to make the team as an out-and-out batsman."

The news will restore talk about Watson's best place in the batting order as he had been keen to open the innings, something selectors were not keen on if he was still bowling.

"I guess if he's not bowling it's worth the consideration," Arthur said. "I still maintain that number four was a really good fit for Shane Watson but that was (with) Shane Watson bowling some overs as well.

"We're lucky in that I think Watto can bat anywhere from number one to six in our order and has had some success there.

"Who knows? Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't (open) but it's probably too early to discuss it."

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