Pattinson bouncer leaves Watson a shaken man

Pattinson bouncer leaves Watson a shaken man

If the Australian cricketers were slowly recovering from the loss of Phillip Hughes, their emotional well-being was once again disturbed on Tuesday when Shane Watson was floored after the batsman was struck flush on the helmet by a James Pattinson bouncer.

The impact of the hit was so strong that the all-rounder landed on his backside that also left him shaken a bit. The 33-year-old slowly removed his helmet, carefully inspected it and then left the nets. He was visibly bothered as team doctor Peter Brukner attended to him.

Australia vice-captain Brad Haddin confirmed later that Watson had escaped without a major worry. "I had a chat to him - he's a bit shaken, but he's ok," Haddin said. "It's just getting hit in the head - he's just a bit shaken as anyone would be. I can't really go into any more details because there are no more details to give."

Paceman Pattinson, too, appeared shattered by the incident, and left for the dressing room immediately after enquiring Watson’s well-being. Watson, who will be examined on Wednesday morning, skipped the team's public appearance at Cricket’s Family Day activities and instead returned to the team hotel.

It can be recalled that Watson was part of New South Wales team on November 25 when Hughes was struck by the short ball that proved fatal. Prior to the Adelaide Test, he had also spoken as to how difficult it had been for him to prepare mentally for the Test series against India.

10 minutes before Watson walked off the nets, Mitchell Starc had inside-edged a delivery on to his knee from a net bowler. He sat writhing in pain before limping out of the nets. "I think he's trying to get out of having to bowl," Haddin joked. "He's all right. He just hit the ball onto the inside of his knee."

Starc, who looked out of sorts while bowling in India’s first innings in Brisbane, may be replaced in the 11 for the third Test with veteran paceman Ryan Harris likely to return from injury. Opener David Warner stayed away from nets tending to his injured thumb, but the left-hander is expected to play at the MCG.

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