Cricket Australia Items/news/2013/1/29/watson-set-for-nsw-return

Watson set for NSW return

UPDATED 12 February, 2013 4:00PM AEST | by Steve Orme, Omnisport 3

NSW all-rounder Shane Watson will continue his comeback from a calf injury against a new-look Western Australia line-up featuring former Test team-mate Mike Hussey in Wednesday's Ryobi Cup clash at the SCG.

Watson tested his injured left calf in a club game for Sutherland on Saturday, scoring 30 from 50 balls and emerging unscathed.

The 31-year-old's return is timely for the Blues, with all-rounder Moises Henriques ruled out of the must-win clash after aggravating a finger injury in the drawn Sheffield Shield encounter against the Warriors.

Watson is one of five changes to the Blues' line-up that suffered a 30-run loss to Queensland in early December.

Josh Hazlewood, Gurinder Sandhu, David Dawson and Trent Copeland come into the side for Sean Abbott, Josh Lalor, Nic Maddinson, Adam Zampa and Henriques.

The Warriors, who were rolled for 85 en route to a 107-run loss to Tasmania in December last start, have also made five changes.

The inclusion of Hussey and shock axing of Marcus North are the major talking points as new coach Justin Langer looks to revitalise his side's campaign.

Three players - Australian under-19 team-mates Ashton Agar and Joel Paris as well as John Rogers - are in line for their one-day debuts, while Liam Davis is the other inclusion.

Michael Beer is sidelined with a shoulder injury suffered at training last week, opening the door for 19-year-old left-arm off spinner Agar, who was a shining light for the Warriors in his Shield debut at Blacktown International Sportspark.

Travis Birt, Nathan Rimmington and Tom Triffitt are the other players to make way.

Both sides enter the clash on the back of three straight defeats and another loss will extinguish their already slim chance of making the final.

The Blues are fifth on four points, ahead of the bottom-placed Warriors on run-rate, 15 points adrift of ladder-leaders Victoria.

Play is scheduled to start at 2.15pm AEST on Wednesday.

New South Wales: Stephen O'Keefe (c), Doug Bollinger, Trent Copeland, David Dawson, Brad Haddin, Josh Hazlewood, Scott Henry, Peter Nevill, Ben Rohrer, Gurinder Sandhu, Steve Smith, Shane Watson.

Western Australia: Adam Voges (c), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Liam Davis, Michael Hogan, Mike Hussey, Shaun Marsh, Joel Paris, John Rogers, Sam Whiteman.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 29 January, 2013 1:37PM AEST

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