Sydney, May 5 (ANI): Resurgent all rounder Shane Watson and newcomer Andrew McDonald may in all probability elbow out Andrew Symonds from this years Australian squad for the Ashes.
Watson’s stunning return to form in the United Arab Emirates, topping the one-day series run charts against Pakistan with 271 runs at 90, may have clicked one of the final Ashes jigsaw pieces into place.
The injury-plagued all rounder, who finished the series with a fine 116 in Australia’s seven-wicket loss in the final one-dayer yesterday, is yet to return to bowling in match conditions.
The 27-year-old has been bowling at full pace in the nets after returning from back stress fractures, and could even bowl in this week’s Twenty20 International against Pakistan in Dubai, reports the Courier Mail.
Regardless, Watson is likely to be back at peak bowling form for the tour of England and it is understood selection chairman Andrew Hilditch wants him as a likely inclusion.
The other allrounder in the Ashes squad is probably less clear but it is believed skipper Ricky Ponting was very impressed with McDonald during his breakthrough Test tour of South Africa.
Although McDonald cannot command a spot in the top six with his batting, there is a feeling his canny swing bowling could be a weapon on bowler-friendly English pitches.
Australia have generally been reluctant to change a winning combination and the 27-year-old Victorian has played in the past four Tests and Australia have won three.
Which means Symonds, who not that long ago was one of the first players picked in the Test side, could miss an Ashes Test berth that he desperately covets. (ANI)