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Watson confident of recovery for World T20

Wisden India logo Wisden India 17-02-2016 Wisden India staff
© Provided by Wisden

Shane Watson, the Australian allrounder, has said he expects to be fully fit for the ICC World T20 starting in India next month, despite picking up an abdominal strain that prematurely ended his participation in the Pakistan Super League last week.

Watson, 34, sustained the injury while bowling for Islamabad United against Peshawar Zalmi last Friday in Sharjah, and immediately flew back to Sydney for scans and an assessment of the damage.

“It’s going to take me a couple of weeks to get back into batting and bowling,” Watson was quoted as saying by The Australian newspaper.

Adding that the injury was “not major”, Watson said, “We got it before it did too much damage. I’m very confident I’ll be right for the World Cup. That’s still three or four weeks away … It’s not like a side strain or anything like that. If everything goes to plan, I’ll be right.”

Watson has been plagued by a plethora of injuries during his 14-year international career, with a series of soft tissue injuries hampering his playing time in the recent past.

This latest injury occurred in his third match in as many days in the tournament. “I tried to bowl a slower ball but put too many revs on it and it twinged a bit,” he said.

Watson’s international career appeared in limbo after he retired from Test cricket last year, and then was left out for the One-Day International series against India in January. He also began the Big Bash League with a string of poor performances for Sydney Thunder before working his way back into form, and into the squad for the Twenty20 Internationals against India.

With Aaron Finch injured for the final game in Sydney, Watson took over the captaincy duties and slammed his maiden T20I century, though he couldn’t prevent India from completing a 3-0 series sweep.

“The T20 selection felt like the added bonus on top of what had happened for the previous six weeks,” said Watson, whose immense knowledge of Indian conditions should help Steven Smith, the new T20I skipper, no end.

An IPL veteran with the suspended Rajasthan Royals, Watson was the most expensive buy at the February 6 auction for season nine of the tournament after he was picked up by Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 9.5 crore.

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