Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 4th 2013 Contents A59
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COSTA DO SAUIPE---Fifa says it
won't switch early World Cup kickoff
times in tropical cities despite concern
by the international players' union.
Fifa President Sepp Blatter says the
match schedule will remain as it was
made in October 2011. He spoke
yesterday after a meeting of the
governing body's World Cup organising
Blatter previously suggested that 1
pm kickoff times could be re-evaluated
in north-eastern coastal cities which
experience tropical heat and humidity.
Fortaleza, Natal, Recife and Salvador
will host a total of seven matches
starting at 1 pm local time, including a
knockout game in the second round.
FIFPro, the international players'
union, had formally asked Fifa to
consider moving the matches to later
in the day.
Fifa sticks with World Cup kickoff times
Australia s No 3 batsman Shane
Watson freely admits he will need
to carry a far greater burden in
Adelaide, both as a top-order run-
maker and also a change bowler,
on what is shaping to be an exceed-
ingly dry and unhelpful surface for
the fast men.
Watson struggled to bat with his
usual presence in Brisbane, an
understandable problem for a bats-
man who had not made a first-class
appearance since the fifth Test of
the previous Ashes series in Eng-
land. But he said there was now no
excuse for him to be a peripheral
player as the hosts attempt to take
a stranglehold on the series by going
2--0 up in as many matches.
"Going into the Test match in
Brisbane, I had a week or so to be
able to build up my Test-match
batting and my mental capacity, so
that was certainly my biggest chal-
lenge," he said. "I m going to be in
a better place now. I wasn t able to
concentrate for a long enough period
of time to be able to bat what I need
to in a Test match. It was unfor-
tunate that I wasn t able to adapt
my game quick enough with not
playing any four-day cricket or
domestic cricket in the lead-up.
That s part of being in international
cricket. You have to adapt as quickly
as you can, so hopefully I can do
that in this Test match straight
The other concern for Watson in
Brisbane surrounded his recovery
from a hamstring strain that had
left his status as a bowler in doubt.
Ultimately the telling spells of
Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris and
Nathan Lyon allowed Watson the
luxury of bowling only two overs
for the match, but he agreed far
more would be expected on Ade-
laide s drop-in pitch, which the
ground staff have dried noticeably
to attempt to recreate the ground s
traditional five-day deterioration.
"It s going to be a really important
part---the amount of bowling I can
do to help out our quicks," Watson
said. "If it s what we think it s going
to be, the wicket will be flat and
the bowlers will potentially have to
bowl many more overs compared
to Brisbane to bowl the English out.
That s a really important role, espe-
cially with back-to-back Test
matches and how important it is
for our quicks to be able to get
through this Test, bowl well and
pull up well.
"We certainly know we ve got the
bowlers to be able to exploit that
Perth wicket, so I know how impor-
tant it is for me to pick up the slack.
The bowlers certainly looked after
me physically in the first Test, they
bowled beautifully well and I wasn t
really called on to bowl, but I know
hand up and bowl the overs to look
after those guys as well."
Australia find themselves in an
unfamiliar perch, leading an Ashes
series for the first time since 2006.
Add to this the fact that they have
followed each of their past two Test
match wins over England in 2009
and 2010 with immediate defeat int
he next match, and Watson
acknowledged the challenge of
keeping the team level-headed and
focused on the task at hand.
"It is a different situation to be
in, there s no doubt," Watson said.
"The last three series we ve played
in, whether it s been England hold-
ing on for a draw or winning the
first Test, certainly we come in at
a different perspective going into
the second game. But we know how
important it s going to be to start
really well and keep the momentum
going. We know how quickly it can
change and how quickly the series
can change if we don t give it every-
thing we ve got and be totally
switched on from ball one.
"It s certainly a nice position to
be in compared to the last three
series I ve been involved in but I
know how quickly it can change.
The English don t like losing, they
haven t lost very often, especially
to us, over the last three series so
they certainly will be coming togeth-
er to go whatever they can to get
back into the series."
Pivotal to Australia s pursuit of
another win will be the fitness of
Michael Clarke, and Watson said
the captain would be fine to train
on match eve after resting a rolled
ankle two days out from the Test.
"It was more precautionary today,"
he said. "Michael batted beautifully
in the first Test, so his preparation
was always going to be very good
anyway. I know the medical staff is
very confident that it was just giving
him a break today, and he ll be train-
ing flat out tomorrow ready to go
for the Test." (ESPNcricinfo)
Watson takes greater responsibility
Watson pulls to mid-on
against England on the
third of the first Test,
Brisbane, on November
23. Watson believes he is
in a better place now
than in the lead-up to
the first Test.
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