Australia’s Watson must roll back the years in 3rd ODI at Canberra

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It’s a journey that Shane Watson knows only too well, the comeback trail. The burly all-rounder has been on the road to recovery so often in his career that it wouldn’t be too strange to see him wandering the streets of Queensland in his batting gear and some cotton wool just to stay healthy.

Five games into a return from his latest setback, the 33-year-old will know that a big score is of the essence when his Australian teammates take on South Africa in the third one-day international at Canberra.

Should Watson fail, having made 13 and 11 in the first two outings in this series, a spot in the upcoming Test matches against India and, more importantly, the World Cup would move further out of reach.

With runs the order of the day there is a stroke of luck for the Queenslander, as he has previous for putting a heavy knock together at this ground.

The last time Australia played 50-over cricket at the Manuka Oval, the man known as Watto struck 122 from 111 balls against the West Indies, in his first game back from a calf injury.

Trying to piece together some form after his latest calf knock, Watson is 7/4 to score at least 50 on his return to Canberra in green and gold, and 5/6 to compile an innings of over 28.5 runs.

With the series tied at one apiece, a timely knock from Watson would secure his long-term standing in the Aussie side in both forms of the game and Canberra’s batting-friendly pitch will aid his cause.

Australia are 4/5 to win the ODI, with South Africa a 1/1 chance.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.