Watson might bowl at the Gabba after all

Australia

Australia physiotherapist Alex Kountouris is confident all-rounder Shane Watson will be able to bowl during the first Ashes Test, which will get underway on Thursday.

Australia physiotherapist Alex Kountouris is confident all-rounder Shane Watson will be able to bowl during the first Ashes Test, which will get underway on Thursday.

Watson hurt a hamstring during the recent ODI series against India recently, and doubted the injury would allow his right-arm seam to feature in Brisbane.

"The thing is he has only stopped bowling two weeks ago," said Kountouris. "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 rehabilitation, 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."

The presence of spin bowler Nathan Lyon in the playing XI, meanwhile, remained in the balance on Monday. Lyon sports an impressive record at the ground, having taken 11 wickets at a superb average of 24.09 in matches against New Zealand and South Africa.

A pitch primed for pace and bounce – and Watson's burgeoning role with the ball might see the hosts select an all-seam attack, though.

"That's going to have to come down to the conditions," added Lyon. "If it's turning a lot I'll be more attacking, but if it's not turning as much and if it's seaming I might be thrown the ball to do a containing and holding role so we can rotate our fast men from the other end and try to create some pressure.

"I'm happy to do whatever role it takes for Australia to win a Test match. I'm all for the team, I don't care who's taking the wickets. If Ryan Harris takes five and six wickets, I take none for the game and we win the Test match I'm over the moon."

Latest