Watson winning fitness race

Australia

Australian all-rounder Shane Watson, who is nursing a hamstring injury sustained during the recent ODI series against India, is confident of being fit for the first Ashes Test.

Australian all-rounder Shane Watson, who is nursing a hamstring injury sustained during the recent ODI series against India, is confident of being fit for the first Ashes Test.

Watson will undergo a scan on Monday, before discussing the results with Cricket Australia's medical staff to plot his participation in the opening fixture, which will get underway in Brisbane on 21 November.

"It's not too bad. I've had a few niggles like this even over the last eight or nine months, so hopefully it won't be too bad at all or put me out for too long. My body's really adjusting to bowling, it's just an unfortunate little hiccup," said Watson.

"Being here, it'll give me a week or two to be able to hopefully freshen up and be ready to go for the first Test. I'd never say 'no doubt' but I've been able to get on top of this sort of thing over the last eight or nine months with a few niggles that I had even throughout the July to August Ashes as well."

The players, who lost three-two India, have been criticised for playing a slew of limited-overs cricket in sub-continental conditions rather than first-class competition on the hard, bouncy pitches on offer in Australia.

"We certainly aren't underdone for cricket, that's for sure. For a majority of us, we've been playing for quite a while, so there should be no excuses for us being rusty at all," added Watson.

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