Michael Clarke hopes Shane Watson will be fit to bowl in Ashes

Shane Watson will be looking to take a few wickets in the Ashes © Getty Images

Sydney: May 15, 2013

Australia captain Michael Clarke is confident all-rounder Shane Watson will be fit to become another bowling option during the upcoming Ashes in England.
 
Many Aussie bowlers like James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc and Jackson Bird are currently nursing injuries. Clarke himself has a degenerative condition in his back, but is confident he and his teammates will be ready to compete in the eagerly-awaited Test series.
 
“We’ve picked a squad assuming everybody’s going to be fully fit and we’ve got plenty of time before that first Test,” said 32-year-old Clarke to Cricket Australia website.
 
With an absorbing eight months of cricket ahead, starting with June’s ICC Champions Trophy followed by back-to-back Ashes campaigns in England and then in Australia, Clarke is delighted his former vice-captain has started bowling again.
 
“Shane Watson is one of the best all-rounders in the world, there’s no doubt about that,” said Clarke. “It’s exciting to see him back bowling in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Rajasthan Royals and hopefully he’ll be able to do that for Australia as well soon.”
 
Watson, 31, has been limited to only batting duties for Australia for the past six months as part of an injury-prevention plan so as to have him at full capacity for the upcoming Ashes series.
 
And the strategy seems to have paid off till now. “He’s been having some success in the IPL with bat and ball. He’s a big player for us and we want him fully fit with both bat and ball,” added Clarke.