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Well not really physically together, but, spiritually maybe - recovering from their various injuries, that is. After suffering a comprehensive hiding from a seemingly insurmountable position against South Africa last night, Team India will need to pull up their socks without the aid of their captain. On a similar tack, Michael Clarke is handed another opportunity to silence the critics and cement his spot in the Australian Test team by smashing an exquisite century in the second Ashes Test match at The Adelaide Oval.
No I am not talking rubbish. Cricinfo reports that Rahul Dravid has broken a finger while trying to unsuccessfully catch Justin Kemp off Harbhajan Singh in yesterday's match. Some would say that he may not have suffered the fate had he actually pouched the ball. However, we at The Match Referee do not appreciate cynicism so we will let that theory pass to the keeper.
This unfortunate twist of fate will result in either Suresh Raina getting a chance to turn his stalled career around with some intelligent and telling stroke-play or India reverting to the oft maligned 5 bowler strategy. In the current climate, it would be fair to say that playing a fifth bowler and losing, would force the fickle Indian fan base to demand that the team management exile themselves in the Tora Bora caves. We shall wait and watch as to the progression of this breaking news.
Similarly, Shane Watson has also received dreaded news that his latest injury is like all his others - slow in healing. He will, thus, miss the second Test at The Adelaide Oval and provide Michael Clarke with another opportunity to tick a few more boxes in the selector's checklist for the number 6 batting slot.
Australian physio Alex Kountouris had this to say of Watson's injury:
"His rehabilitation will continue with a view to him being available for selection for the third Test in Perth."For mine, Kountouris' statement does not seem all that promising for Watson. It wasn't an emphatic "yes, he will be fit" for the third Test, it was more of a "I'll get my Mom to pray for him and we'll see how he pulls up".
Either way, from watching Watson enjoy the company of the fair blonde maiden in the stands with him during the first Test, he may not find the extension of his injury break all that depressing.
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