Australian cricket team Physiotherapist Alex Kountouris works on all-rounder Shane Watson.

Australian cricket team Physiotherapist Alex Kountouris works on all-rounder Shane Watson. Photo: Getty Images

Australian all-rounder Shane Watson will be rested for the next three one-day matches against England with Victorian Bushrangers and Brisbane Heat all-rounder Dan Christian called in as his replacement.

The selectors believe Watson, who has appeared down on pace since straining his groin during the Boxing Day Test, needs more rest as he attempts to return to full fitness.

He had already been ruled out of the Brisbane match on Friday night and will now miss the matches in Sydney and Perth but will return for the final ODI in Adelaide on Australia Day.

"Given Shane's workload in the past 12 months we consider it would be beneficial for him to have a longer break and continue his training program at home in Sydney ahead of the final one-day match [against England] and the tour of South Africa," coach Darren Lehmann said.

Christian is no stranger to the Australian one-day team, having made 17 previous appearances, the most recent being against Pakistan in September 2012. Lehmann said Christian's call-up was a result of the excellent form he has shown during this season's Big Bash League. Christian is averaging 46.50 with two half-centuries for the Brisbane Heat, as well as picking up three wickets.