Watson confirms availability as a bowler

Australia

All-rounder Shane Watson is becoming increasingly confident of being able to bowl during the first Ashes Test, which will get underway in Brisbane on Thursday.

All-rounder Shane Watson is becoming increasingly confident of being able to bowl during the first Ashes Test, which will get underway in Brisbane on Thursday.

Watson sustained a hamstring injury during the seventh and final ODI against India recently, and was unlikely to avail himself as a right-arm seamer at the Gabba.

A testing rehabilitation programme alongside team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris, however, has hastened a return to adequate fitness.

"I'm quite sure I can provide a role. 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," said Watson.

"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."

Fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has reiterated the hosts' intent to target England batsman Jonathan Trott.

Johnson, earlier this month, suggested Trott and team-mate Alastair Cook – in particular – will face a barrage of short deliveries at the Gabba.

"There's a lot of talk about it, within the group and outside, so I'm definitely looking forward to it," added Johnson.

"During the ODI series in England we saw that Trott didn't like it, and during that Test series as soon as Ryan Harris got up them a bit, he didn't handle it too well.

"We all know he's been practising it. They've flown over two left-armers to bowl at him in the nets."

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