Watson given green light to bowl during first Ashes Test

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“I will be able to do a good enough job”

Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has been given the green light to bowl during the first Ashes Test against arch-rivals England on November 21 in Brisbane.

Watson stated that his low-grade hamstring strain had fully recovered, but added that he will not be bowling at full pace.

“I’m confident I can provide a role,” he said. “I probably won’t be at full capacity with the ball.

“I won’t be going flat out in this Test. Like the first Test (of the last series) I had a niggle there and did a job and bowled pretty tight and gave the other bowlers a rest.

“I will be able to do a good enough job. By Adelaide I hope my body will be more hardened to go harder in the second Test.

“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.”

With Watson declaring himself fit to bowl, Australia’s pace attack will now consist of him, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris, which means that James Faulkner will probably miss out on playing in the first Test.

Watson also admitted that he had to perform better with the bat after squandering numerous encouraging starts during the last Ashes series.

“That is the way we are going to win the Ashes,” he said. “As a batting unit we are going to bat for a long period of time, especially in the first couple of Tests. We will see where they are at physically and mentally. That is one of our biggest goals.

“We have no doubt they will keep coming but at what level? We haven’t been able to challenge that level. Keep them coming back, get them fatigued and try to keep them that way as well. Don’t let them off by batting badly and getting a rest.”

Meanwhile, Australia pace bowler James Pattinson, who is still recovering from a lower back stress fracture, has revealed that he is planning to make his Test comeback during the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.

“I’ve started back bowling and I’m off about half a run-up and bowling about 70 per cent now,” Pattinson told Cricket Australia’s website. “Once I start back bowling it comes along pretty quickly and I’ll hopefully be right maybe in a month’s time.

“Obviously it was frustrating but I’m still young and hopefully I can just use this time to get bigger and stronger and make sure things like this doesn’t happen again.”

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