Minutes before the start of the Australia nets at the MCG on Tuesday, fast bowler James Pattinson, sporting a beard and wearing a baseball cap, walked into the Cricket Victoria office at the ground to pick up some parcels. Keen to make a comeback into the national side, Pattinson then rushed to the nets where Australia were practicing. The comeback trial at the nets though caused an incident after his bouncer struck Shane Watson flush on the helmet.
The struggling all-rounder, who was playing the match where Phillip Hughes was fatally felled by a bouncer, was left shaken by the knock. Watson left the nets and did not return to take further part in the training session.
Australia's support staff rushed to help Watson, although the bouncer didn't seem to have caused any damage beyond leaving the player rattled.
Later, wicketkeeper Brad Haddin told a press conference that all was well. "I had a chat with him. He is a bit shaken. He is okay. He just got hit in the head. He is shaken as anyone would be. I can't really go into any more because there are no more details to give you."
Watson had admitted before the Adelaide Test that he was still fighting his demons after the death of his teammate at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Chris Rogers, who was also was hit on the back of the helmet by Rohit Sharma's shot while fielding at forward short leg at the Gabba, was so shaken by it that he refused any medical attention from his team doctor, even trying to avoid him. "I'm not the bravest out there," said the opening batsman. "You get hit on the head, and with all that's happened recently, it's just two inches from where Phil got hit, a lot of things go through your mind. I'm 37 and standing at short leg. I think what the hell am I doing here? I was a little bit upset at that time and didn't really want to speak to anyone," said Rogers on Tuesday, before the training session.
There were more anxious moments when left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc was hit on his knee by a ball and left the nets to attend to the injury. However, Ryan Harris showed no discomfiture while bowling after missing the Brisbane Test.