Watson eyes Test team - as strike bowler - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Watson eyes Test team - as strike bowler

By Laine Clark 04/05/2007 04:54:09 PM Comments (0)

Allrounder Shane Watson believes a revamped training regime will end his horror injury run and establish him in the Australian Test team - as a front-line bowler.

The Queenslander has been hampered by injuries, ensuring he has played just three Tests since his 2005 debut.

Watson again went down during Australia's successful World Cup campaign, this time with a calf complaint.

But he returned triumphantly in the Super Eights stage against New Zealand - smashing an unbeaten 65 and claiming 1-20 - before chiming into Australia's third straight World Cup victory.

Watson, 25, was confident his well-documented run with injuries had finally come to an end.

"Hopefully, yeah. It's been a pretty up and down couple of years with injuries," he said in Brisbane.

"I will be sitting down over the next month or so with our (Australian) fitness trainer and also our physio to tinker a few little things at training.

"We want to do everything we can possibly do to have a good (fitness) run over the next couple of years - it would be amazing to be able to do that."

Watson's Test bowling stats of two wickets at 61.50 do not make for pretty reading.

But Watson believes the lessons learned from retiring great Glenn McGrath had helped his bowling reach another level.

So much so that Watson reckoned he could hold down a Test spot as a bowler alone.

"I know my bowling is continuing to improve. I am confident I would be able to hold a spot down as a batter and a bowler as well," he said.

He said McGrath's advice had been invaluable.

"I have been lucky enough in the last eight months to be able to get to know Glenn well and rack his brain," he said.

"I have been lucky to be associated with him and get some of the knowledge that he has got out of him before he retired - it will continue to improve my cricket.

"That's my goal, to be able to be a big part of the future of Australian cricket.

"It's extremely sad to see Glenn go but hopefully I can continue on his knowledge."

Not that Watson is neglecting his batting.

Known as a limited-overs lower-order hitter, Watson has not given up on opening the Australian one-day innings despite Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist having no immediate plans to retire.

"I love opening. I feel like I am an engine room batting in the top four - you can set up the innings," he said.

"Whereas coming in the lower order you are finishing off what the guys at the top have done.

"Hopefully there's an opportunity in the next couple of years to open again because I enjoyed it and felt I did pretty well at it as well."

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