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Watson back for Australia

February 04, 2013 12:32:06 UK

A fit-again Shane Watson has been restored to the Australia team for the next two ODI clashes against West Indies.

Watson has shrugged off his long-standing injury woes, and will open the batting in the third and fourth games with the Windies. The 30-year-old replaces Usman Khawaja in the side, while Dave Warner is out for the rest of the series.

A thumb injury has been confirmed as keeping Warner on the sidelines, while selectors have called up fast bowler Ben Cutting.

Chairman of selectors John Inverarity announced the squad to tour India would head to the sub-continent in several groups, to allow them to "find the best balance".

Khawaja is part of the first group to leave, along with Jackson Bird, Ed Cowan, Moises Henriques, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle and Steve Smith.

They travel to India on February 7, giving them four days to prepare for the opening fixture of the tour in Chennai. Australia's second three-day warm-up game will start on February 16, with the First Test in Chennai to start on February 22.

Warner is part of a three-man additional party to depart on February 9 along with Glenn Maxwell and Matthew Wade, with the final six players to fly out two days later, after the end of the Commonwealth Bank series against West Indies.

Inverarity revealed 19-year-old spinner Ashton Agar would be travelling with the first group and play in the opening warm-up fixture.

The Western Australian is being handed the same chance as Mitchell Starc, whose introduction to the international squad came during the warm-ups ahead of the series against the West Indies last year.

Inverarity said: "He will provide ideal practice for the batsmen in the lead-up to that first Test in Chennai.

"Last year we took Mitchell Starc to the West Indies to further his development and this is a similar opportunity for Ashton."

Australia are 9.00 to win the Ashes series and England can be backed at 1.05. England are 1.001 to retain the Ashes.

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