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Shane Robert Watson (born 17 June 1981 in Ipswich, Queensland) is an Australian cricketer. He is a right handed batsman and a right handed fast medium bowler.
He debuted for the Australian cricket team in 2002, playing his first one-day international against South Africa. While he has become a regular member of the one-day squad, Watson has played few Test Matches for Australia, having debuted against Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground in January 2005. Despite being allocated to be Australia`s designated Test all-rounder, injuries have prevented him from claiming his position in the Test team.
Watson started his first-class cricketing career for Tasmanian Tigers after leaving his home state of Queensland, but returned to play for his native Queensland Bulls as his international career was beginning. He has also played for Hampshire in the English County Championship. He regards Terry Alderman as one of his mentors.
Watson was selected for his first Australian team in early 2002, being selected to tour South Africa with the Test team after topping the Pura Cup wicket-taking charts for Tasmania, as well as steady middle-order batting performances. Australian captain at the time Steve Waugh stated that Watson would possibly be Australia`s first genuine all rounder since Keith Miller and Alan Davidson in the 1950s. Watson expressed joy at being selected in an Australian team with Waugh, whom he cited as his idol. Watson scored an unbeaten century on his debut in a tour match, but did not play in the Tests as the selectors retained the same XI that had swept South Africa 3-0 in the Australian season. Watson did make his ODI debut on tour, ironically replacing Waugh, who was sacked after the team failed to make the ODI finals in the preceding Australian summer. Watson continued as a regular member of the ODI team until he three stress fractures in his back, at the start of 2003, missing the 2003 Cricket World Cup. He was replaced by his Queensland teammate Andrew Symonds, who proceeded to establish his position as the all rounder after scoring 140* and 91 during the tournament.
Watson`s injury sidelined him until the 2003/04 Australian season, and during his rehabilitation he played most of the season as a batsman, allowing himself to improve his batting skills while his back was still healing. During this time he smashed an unbeaten 300* for his club side, Lindisfarne.
Watson returned to regular ODI duty in the 2004/05 season, as a bowling all rounder. He also played in the Third Test against Pakistan as the fifth bowler, in order to allow Australia to play two spinners and three pace bowlers on a dry Sydney Cricket Ground pitch.
Following England`s Ashes victory over Australia in 2005 with a five bowler strategy, Australia responded by including Watson as the fifth bowler and all rounder in all Test matches. Watson stated his intention to emulate Andrew Flintoff, who plays the analogous role for England. Watson played against the ICC World XI in the role, but he dislocated his shoulder in just his second Test in that designated role against the West Indies, after diving to field a ball. Watson was again replaced by Symonds and was unable to represent Australia for the remainder of the summer.
He was recalled for the one day squad for the 2006 tour of South Africa but was dropped when all-rounder Andrew Symonds returned from injury. Watson was looking to establish a place in the Test side when he got injured, and Andrew Symonds stepped in to fill the gap.
Watson had been previously criticised for his relatively flat bowling trajectory and inability to move the ball, reflected in his relatively high bowling average. Jamie Cox, a former Tasmanian team-mate and future Australian selector, felt that Watson was being mis-used as a bowling allrounder, believing that he was better suited as a conventional batsman and part-timer bowler, rather than a bowler who engaged in power hitting in the latter part of an innings.
This changed when Watson opened the batting for Australia at the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy, alongside wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist, instead of Simon Katich. In the competition he impressed with both the ball and bat, as Australia moved to their first Champions Trophy victory. Critics and captain Ricky Ponting cited his better strike rate, straight hitting and the ability to bowl as the reasons why he was selected ahead of Katich. After failing in the first two matches against the West Indies and England, Watson made a 50 in Australia`s victory over India, which sealed their place in the semi-finals.
Ponting suggested that Watson would bat at the number 6 position in the Ashes series against England in 2006/07, and he was named in the squad. However, he came off the ground in a one-day domestic game the week before the first Test with a suspected hamstring tear, which ruled him out for the first three Tests. Michael Clarke was called up in Watson`s place, and responded with a half-century, and then a century to cement Clarke`s place in the team.
Watson was expected to be fit for the fourth Test on Boxing Day and the MCG in Melbourne, and because of Damien Martyn`s unexpected retirement, it looked likely that Watson would be included in the side. However, another injury setback in a match for Queensland ruled Watson out for the rest of the Ashes series. Watson eventually returned in February to the ODI side, replacing Cameron White in the all rounder position, However he again broke down with injury during the 2007 Cricket World Cup and missed most of the Super 8`s before returning in fine style smashing an unbeaten 65 of 32 balls against New Zealand. Injury again struck Watson prior to the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 as he missed most of the tournament due to hamstring strain.
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Full Name at Birth
Shane Robert Watson
Shane Robert Watson (born 17 June 1981) is an Australian cricketer. He is a right-handed batsman and a right-handed fast medium bowler.
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