Ashes 2013: Shane Watson mocks England s selection gamble

Alex Kountouris said he was quietly confident Shane Watson (above) would be ready for the first Test © Getty Images

Sydney: Nov 7, 2013

Australian batsman Shane Watson was Wednesday cleared of serious injury, with team officials confident he will be fit for the first Ashes 2013-14 Test against England.

The powerful and experienced all-rounder had scans this week on a left hamstring strain he picked up during Australia’s recent tour of India, raising concerns that he could miss the Test opener at Brisbane starting on November 21.

But team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said he was quietly confident Watson would be ready, describing the injury as “a low-grade muscle strain”.

“He will have intense treatment and rehabilitation in Sydney over the coming days and just how well he responds to this will determine how quickly he can resume full training and match preparation,” he said.

“It goes without saying that Shane and the medical team will be doing everything possible to get him fit and available for selection ahead of the first Test.

“We’ll be assessing him on a daily basis and expect to have a clearer picture of his progress later in the week.”

Hamstring injuries have been common for the former vice-captain — he missed the 2006-07 Ashes campaign with one — and there has always been a question over how to balance his workload as an all-rounder.

His absence, or inability to bowl, would increase the chances of fellow all-rounder James Faulkner winning his second Test cap.