Mickey Arthur wants Shane Watson to cement batting spot

Updated: 08 January 2013 10:33 IST

Watson, who missed the third Test against Sri Lanka after limping out of the Boxing Day Test with a calf injury, is hopeful of a return during the upcoming one-day series which begins on January 11.

Mickey Arthur wants Shane Watson to cement batting spot

Bangalore:

Shane Watson, the Australian allrounder, has decided to focus on a return to the Australian Test team as a specialist batsman, according to Mickey Arthur, the coach.

Watson, who missed the third Test against Sri Lanka after limping out of the Boxing Day Test with a calf injury, is hopeful of a return during the upcoming one-day series which begins on January 11.

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

Watson, 31, was moved down from the top of the order to help manage his workload. Now that he won't bowl, Watson will be considered as a batsman only for the four-Test tour to India next month.

"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," said Arthur. "I still maintain that No.4 was a really good fit for Shane Watson but that was (with) him bowling some overs as well."

Arthur hinted at Watson's return as an opener, where he averaged 43.67 across 45 innings, if he permanently opts out of bowling. His average is far superior against the new ball than it is down the order and his two Test centuries have come when he has opened.

"We're lucky in that I think Watto can bat anywhere from No.1-6 in our order and has had some success there. Who knows? Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't (open) but it's probably too early to discuss it."

Topics : Cricket Australia Shane Watson Mickey Arthur
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