Watson role unclear at Royals

Watson role unclear at Royals

Rajasthan Royals batsman Brad Hodge on Sunday said he was not sure whether Shane Watson would be bowling in the upcoming Indian Premier League.

Watson was restricted solely to batting duties during Australia’s recent 0-4 whitewash against India in the Test series as a part of an injury-prevention plan so that he could be available as an all-rounder in full capacity for the Ashes series in July.

“I’m not sure. He might start bowling from third or fourth match. But it is up to him to decide if he wants to bowl or not. The Rajasthan team management is considering strategies in both cases. He would be available for entire IPL and it would be good to see him bowl,” the Australia batsman said.

Watson had decided to put bowling on the backburner after injuring his calf during the Sri Lanka series, but while watching Indian skipper MS Dhoni bludgeon the Aussie attack in the first Test he was convinced to eventually bowl again.

Hodge said that Watson is a dominating player and his presence would certainly lift Rajasthan Royals. “He is a dominating player. He might not have done so well recently but can change the face of the game,” he said.

Stating that Watson would put the ‘homework gate’ episode behind him when he takes the field for the Royals, Hodge said: “He would be happy to be with the Royals after what happened to him a few days back. He has a place for the Royals in his heart. Nice things (also) happened to him in the last week. He was blessed with a baby. He would be looking to get back into good form.” Hodge felt that the pulling out of the Sri Lankan players from Chennai matches would not give the Chennai Super Kings any undue advantage.