Watson wants one day opener job back - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Watson wants one day opener job back

By Laine Clark 24/01/2007 07:22:29 PM Comments (0)

Comeback kid Shane Watson is not one for bold predictions after being hamstrung by injury throughout his cricket career.

But Watson, 25, made it clear he wanted his Australian one-day opener's job back after his return from yet another hamstring injury was finally given the green light.

The allrounder will make his long-awaited return for Queensland as a batsman in a one-day showdown with Western Australia at the Gabba on Thursday.

He will return to full allrounder mode in Queensland's Pura Cup clash against WA starting in Brisbane on Saturday, albeit with a hint of anxiety.

No wonder - it seems every time opportunity knocks for Watson in the one day or Test Australian team, injury quickly answers.

Back stress fractures robbed him of the 2003 World Cup, a dislocated shoulder cut short his 2005 Test series against the West Indies and then not one but two hamstring injuries denied him any chance of sharing Ashes glory.

Finally fit again, Watson wants the one day opener's job back from good friend Matthew Hayden with the World Cup rapidly approaching.

Hayden has not made the most of his one-day opening recall, averaging just 18.40 with a paltry 74-run tri-series haul.

"I'd love to (open again) whether it be this season or next summer - I really loved opening the batting," Watson said.

"I found it helped my batting. I felt I was really improving and starting to grasp one day cricket better.

"Whether the opportunity comes sooner rather than later, it's a role I would want again."

Watson impressed as opener for Australia at the Champions Trophy with two half-centuries from his five innings.

His last one day game was arguably his best - nabbing 2-11 before smashing an unbeaten 57 to clinch an eight wicket Champions Trophy win for Australia over West Indies.

Since then, a recovering Watson has lost his Test spot to Andrew Symonds and his one day role to Hayden with Cameron White emerging to ensure competition for World Cup squad allrounder honours will be hot.

"Being out injured always gives others opportunities, as you can see in the Test side with Michael Clarke and Andrew Symonds stepping up and batting extremely well," Watson said.

"It can take a little while to drag back and get another opportunity.

"It's one of those things that does happen but I am confident in my game.

"I want to get some form under my belt and really enjoying getting back out there."

Watson said regaining confidence in his troublesome hamstring would be a game-by-game process.

"Now it is back to getting the confidence up each day I get through and each game," he said.

"That's the most important thing now - getting the confidence and knowing that it is not going to be injured again.

"After two months of not doing anything except rehab, it's been a very frustrating time."

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