Shane Watson in Aussie squad
All-rounder Shane Watson's stupendous show in the Indian Premier League has earned him a place in the Australia ODI squad for the five-match series against the West Indies, albeit as replacement for injured opener Matthew Hayden.
Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said Watson's domestic performance and the cracking form in the IPL, where he scored 472 runs and took 17 wickets for Rajasthan Royals to be adjudged player of the tournament, deserved to be rewarded.
Hilditch said the 26-year-old Queenslander would be an exciting replacement for Hayden, who returned home with an Achilles tendon injury without playing any part in the Test series, in the five-match ODI series starting with the first game on June 24 at St. Vincent.
"Shane has had a disappointing run with injuries but finished our interstate season well and has sustained his fitness levels throughout the IPL tournament. Shane is an exciting young player and deserves his opportunity to return to the Australian side," Hilditch said.
"Approximately 18 months ago we identified Shane as someone we thought could open the batting for Australia in one-day cricket and in the opportunities he has had since, he has played that role extremely well. He also adds great flexibility to our bowling attack in this format of the game," he said in a statement.
"We will certainly miss Matthew as he is such a dominant force at the top of the order in one-day cricket. However this does create opportunity to reintroduce Shane back into the Australian one-day side," Hilditch added.
Earlier, IPL top scorer Shaun Marsh too found a plce in the Australian team for his brilliant performance in the Twenty20 league.