Sydney: Australian all-rounder Shane Watson will reportedly not play in the domestic Sheffield Shield matches between the Ashes Tests despite looking in need of a long hit against a red ball during the first Ashes Test.
Cricket Australia (CA) stipulated that no Test players were considered for the round of Shield games because it wants them all to assemble in Adelaide on Sunday ahead of the second Test.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, coach Darren Lehmann wants Watson to build up his bowling in readiness for a substantial role with the ball at Adelaide Oval, where he will be needed to provide relief for the fast bowlers on a more punishing surface than the Gabba pitch.
Watson is the only Test player who did not play a Shield game before the first Test, which was evident in his batting in Brisbane, in particular in his top-edged pull shot to a half-tracker from Chris Tremlett in the second innings.
With Watson expected to be able to play the full all-rounder`s role on the new drop-in pitch in Adelaide after a short Test in Brisbane, there are no plans to rest Ryan Harris from the Adelaide Test with a view to breaking him out of bubble wrap for a full-throttle assault on the pacy WA CA pitch afterwards, the report added.