Watson confident he will bowl during first Ashes Test

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

“Everything’s progressing really well at the moment, but I’m not putting a huge expectation on me being able to bowl a huge amount in the first innings”

Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has announced that he is confident he will be fit enough to bowl during the first Ashes Test against arch-rivals England on November 21 in Brisbane.

Watson, who is recovering from a low-grade hamstring strain, bowled in the nets today and stated that “it was nice to be able to roll my arm over”.

“It was nice to be able to roll my arm over and see how I pull up tomorrow, which I’m sure will be okay, and just gradually building it up to see what capacity I’ll be at for the Test match,” Watson told ESPNcricinfo. “Potentially absolutely [I will bowl in the Test], the great thing is the pressure’s not on me to make sure I’m pushing to bowl on day one if we bowl.

“It will just depend on how I continue to go over the next few days and get a gauge on what capacity I’ll be able to play. Everything’s progressing really well at the moment, but I’m not putting a huge expectation on me being able to bowl a huge amount in the first innings, it is more seeing how it progresses to get the balance right between getting as close to full capacity as I can without heightening the risk of re-injury.”

Watson added that he had directed all his focus on bowling since “running between the wickets has been absolutely fine so far”.

“Doing running between the wickets has been absolutely fine so far, it’s mainly just the bowling aspect, how I initially hurt it, which is trying to get that perfect balance,” Watson said. “If I’m not feeling it batting-wise like I did during that last one-dayer then I’m certainly confident it won’t get hurt batting.”

Australia physiotherapist Alex Kountouris, who has been working closely alongside Watson over the past couple of weeks, noted that the all-rounder could become 100 per cent healthy at some point during the first Test.

“The thing is he’s only stopped bowling two weeks ago,” Kountouris said. “He could just as easily have had a rest for 10 days and then come back to bowling so we’re not too worried about building him up with workloads. He’s going well with his rehab, he’s on track to play the game obviously, he was running today, he’s been running since last week. He did a little bit of bowling today so that’s in the infancy but he’s going well at the moment.

“He’s on track to be bowling in the next week so which means he might bowl in this Test match if he keeps making good progress. He hasn’t had a long-term injury, so getting him up and going again is the most important thing and really he’s just got to get through a couple of sessions and then he can bowl some balls in the game. Probably not going to bowl 40 overs, but he can bowl some balls.”

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