Doubtful Watson skips batting camp, Cowan’s chances brighten | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Doubtful Watson skips batting camp, Cowan’s chances brighten

cricket Updated: Dec 21, 2011 01:22 IST
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Shane Watson’s hopes of playing in the Boxing Day Test suffered a set-back as he failed to take part in the opening day of Australia's batting camp here Tuesday while fellow all-rounder Dan Christian and Tasmania's opening batsman Ed Cowan moved closer to making a Test debut.

Instead of batting at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) nets, Watson, who is suffering from calf and hamstring injuries, helped assistant coach Justin Langer feed balls into the bowling machine and then hit the gym. But he couldn't take part in any of the drills designed by Cricket Australia (CA) to fine-tune its top order for the series-opener against India.

Watson has already said he won't bowl in the Boxing Day Test but his chances to play as an opener is also fading as he makes a slow recovery from hamstring and calf injuries.

Staking claim

Cowan made a strong case to open the batting on Boxing Day with 109 for a Cricket Australia Chairman's XI against the Indians while Christian's chances of breaking into the team improved after coach Mickey Arthur hinted he would prefer a genuine all-rounder in the side for the first two Tests.

“It’s almost as if you play with 12 players when you play with an all-rounder, so our preference for balance of the team is always to try and have an all-rounder,” Arthur said.