Cricket - Watson calls a halt to bowling duties

Shane Watson is to drop bowling - perhaps permanently - to focus on fighting his way back into the Australia Test team as a specialist batsman, according to coach Mickey Arthur.

PA Sport
Cricket - Watson calls a halt to bowling duties
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Shane Watson is to focus solely on batting

Injuries have plagued the all-rounder of late, and a new plan under consideration by team management would see Watson considered only as a top-order batsman.

"'Watto' wants to come back as a batsman. He wants to come back into the team with a primary focus of batting," Arthur confirmed. "He feels every time he bats and then he gets injured bowling, he just loses a bit of momentum with his batting."

Watson missed the third Test win over Sri Lanka after limping out of the Boxing Day Test with a calf injury but is hopeful of a return during the upcoming one-day series.

Providing he does not break down again, Watson will be chosen for the four-Test tour to India next month but as a batsman only.

Arthur added: "Once he feels his body is going well and that he feels he's cemented his batting position, we will then take another look at how we want to go with Shane in terms of bowling.

"And that's a decision that only 'Watto' can make. We'll be working very closely with him on that, because obviously Shane bowling a couple of overs is really good for us.

"Shane Watson absolutely loves bowling. He still wants to bowl, but his primary focus right now is to make the team as an out-and-out batsman."

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