Watson aims to bowl in Ashes
Recovering Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has marked his return to cricket by declaring his intention to be bowling again by the Ashes series in England.
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After testing his injured left calf with a 50-ball innings of 30 for grade side Sutherland against Campbelltown in the Sydney grade competition on Saturday, Watson revealed his desire to make it back to the Test side as a batsman for next month's four-Test tour of India.
He then hopes to be bowling again by the time the first Test against England starts at Trent Bridge on July 10.
"In a perfect world I do play in India as a batsman with an eye to slowly build up my bowling to hopefully bowl some overs during the Ashes," Watson said.
"That's a perfect world (scenario) and the world's not always perfect but we'll see how we go.
"I'm definitely going to bowl again - there's no doubt about that - but for the next few months I'm just going to concentrate on staying fit and get some continuity with my batting.
"In the short term I'm going to try give myself the best chance of staying as fit as I can and not bowl for a period of time."
Watson seemed rusty in his first outing since going down injured in the Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka, with Australian assistant coach Steve Rixon looking on.
Watson said: "It was disappointing I wasn't able to get some more runs but to get out there and find a few in the middle was a lot of fun.
"It certainly makes a difference coming back just playing as a batsman.
"Normally I have to speed up my recovery to get back into bowling.
"This time I'm not putting my body under as much pressure by coming out to bowl at this stage.
"It's going very well.
"My calf is really good. I'm very confident that with continual management that it should be right."
Watson's successful comeback spells danger for incumbent Australia opener Ed Cowan.
The left-hander is the one likely to make way should Watson return in his preferred position at the top of the order.
"It's what I do love, opening the batting," Watson said.
"The opportunity to take the first ball and take on the quicks with the new ball is something I absolutely love.
"There is no doubt that if I'm not bowling - and I'm certainly going to be cutting back on the amount I'm bowling - I'd love to open.
"Hopefully I can get back in the team as soon as I can."