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Australia captain Michael Clarke is confident that Shane Watson will be able to contribute with the ball during this week’s first Ashes Test in Brisbane.
Watson picked up a hamstring injury in the Aussies’ final one-day international against India and has been working hard to try and regain fitness for the Gabba showdown.
He was passed fit to play as a batsman last week but the selectors were keen to ensure he could bowl a few overs as well to add balance to the Baggy Greens’ side.
And, after a few net sessions this week, it appears as though the Queenslander will be thrown the ball at some stage of the clash with Alastair Cook’s men, even though it might be for just a few short spells.
“I don’t think he’ll be at 100 per cent, and be able to bowl 25 overs in the first innings of a Test match,” said Clarke.
“But he has improved every single day. I’m really confident he’ll be able to bat at his best, and do a job with the ball.”
Watson has become an integral part of the Australian side with his ability to score runs quickly from any position in the batting line-up, but he has also taken important wickets at key times with his brisk medium-pace bowling.
The 32-year-old does not possess the same pace as when he first burst onto the scene after an injury-plagued career, but he has the ability to tie up an end and give his captain some control before the strike bowlers return to the attack.