Australia’s preparation for the Boxing Day Test began in dramatic fashion in Melbourne today as All- Rounder Shane Watson was struck in the head by a James Pattinson bouncer. Not only Watson, but also the Aussie pacer Mitchell Starc also copping a nasty blow while batting in the nets at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Watson was floored, landing on his back after a short ball from Pattinson struck the flush on the helmet during the Australia’s morning practice session,

The 33-year-old slowly removed his helmet, carefully inspected it and gingerly walked out of the nets. He then sat, head in hands and visibly distressed as Australia’s Support Team doctor Peter Brukner attended to him.

A Cricket Australia spokesperson said the dazed Watson was shaken but otherwise okay after and vice-captain Brad Haddin later confirmed his teammate had escaped unscathed.

“I had a chat to him – he’s a bit shaken, but he’s ok. He’s shaken as anyone would be. I can’t really go into any more details because there’s no more details to give.” Haddin said. 

Only 10 minutes earlier, while batting in the nets alongside Watson, Starc inside edged a delivery from a net bowler onto his knee, and yelled in pain. However, Starc is expected to be replaced for the third Test against India starting on Friday. Queensland bowler Ryan Harris likely to return from injury and will replace the New South Welshman.

Opener David Warner was a notable absentee from the nets, watching on with his injured thumb, but he is still expected to play.




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