31 Dec 2013

Watson injury could force three changes to Australia

11:43 am on 31 December 2013

The injury cloud hanging over Australian cricketer Shane Watson could trigger up to three changes to the national side for the fifth and final Ashes test which starts this Friday in Sydney.

Coach and selector Darren Lehmann is determined to field five bowlers in his team and has hinted allrounder Watson, in doubt because of a groin strain, is unlikely to play as a batsman only.

Fast bowler Ryan Harris is also under an injury cloud because of knee soreness and a foot blister.

Also under performing lower order batsman George Bailey could face the axe in a reshuffled batting order.

Australia have named a 14-man squad,including uncapped number three batsman Alex Doolan, uncapped paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile and one-test allrounder James Faulkner.

The inclusion of Faulkner if Watson fails a fitness test is unlikely to be a straight swap given that Watson bats at three.


Faulkner could find himself batting as low as number seven, one spot below in-form wicketkeeper/batsman Brad Haddin.

Coulter-Nile would be a possible replacement for Harris.