Ready to return … Shane Watson. Photo: Brendan Esposito
AUSTRALIAN vice-captain Shane Watson will return for NSW in their day-night clash with Western Australia on Wednesday at the SCG.
Watson will be looking to spend some quality time in the middle before the Australian Test squad for next month's tour of India is chosen on Thursday.
The 31-year-old has abandoned his all-rounder status for the time being and is attempting to make it to India for the four Tests as a batsman.
Watson is also keen to return to open the batting for Australia. The big right-hander returned from a calf injury in Sydney grade cricket on the weekend - making 30 for Sutherland against Campbelltown-Camden.
Watson is one of several changes for NSW from their previous one-day match against Queensland back on December 2 and will be hoping his troublesome calf once again passes the test. Watson, Josh Hazlewood, Gurinder Sandhu, David Dawson and Trent Copeland come into the side to replace Sean Abbott, Josh Lalor, the injured Moises Henriques, Nic Maddinson and Adam Zampa.
Hazlewood has recovered from a foot injury and played grade cricket last Saturday.
Copeland returned from an ankle injury in the Sheffield Shield match against Western Australia at Blacktown where Sunday's final day was abandoned due to rain, preventing NSW pushing for outright victory.
Dawson will play his first one-dayer for the Blues, having previously represented Tasmania in the 50-over form, while Sandhu will make his debut for NSW.
The 19-year-old right-arm paceman from Fairfield-Liverpool has impressed many judges with his pace and control, and represented the Sydney Thunder in three matches in the recently completed Big Bash League.
NSW and WA are second last and last on the one-day ladder.
NSW: Stephen O'Keefe (capt), Doug Bollinger, Trent Copeland, David Dawson, Brad Haddin, Josh Hazlewood, Scott Henry, Peter Nevill, Ben Rohrer, Gurinder Sandhu, Steve Smith, Shane Watson.