Article

Watson eager to bowl again

28 February 2013 12:37

Shane Watson says he is itching to return to Australia's bowling line-up after putting away the ball indefinitely due to lingering injury concerns.

A left calf injury during the Test series with Sri Lanka in January was the latest setback that prompted the Australia vice-captain to declare he would give up bowling for the Test tour of India to concentrate on his batting.

But with Australia 1-0 down in the four-Test series after an eight-wicket loss in the opening Test, Watson said standing in the field for all 154.3 overs of India's first innings in Chennai left him feeling helpless.

"That was a time that reaffirmed to me that I do want to bowl," Watson said.

"That was a time where if I hadn't have made the decision not to bowl for this tour that I could have had some input on the game at a crucial time in the match.

"That to me was the first time over the last month since I came back that I missed bowling."

But after missing the whole of the previous Australian Test summer due to calf and hamstring injuries, Watson says he knows he needs to stick to the initial plan for the sake of his fitness and form.

"The decision I made is more a longer-term decision to get some running and conditioning into my legs, so when I start bowling again, my body has more chance of handling it," he said.

"I know I've needed two or three months just to be able to get some conditioning into my body, to then hopefully hold together for the next period of time once I get back bowling again.

"I do appreciate the decision but it certainly reaffirmed to me that I'm never going to give up bowling."

Watson made 28 and 17 in the opening Test as India's trio of spinners - Ravichandran Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh and Ravindra Jadeja - took all 20 wickets on a turning wicket.

And while Watson is hoping for a flatter pitch in Deccan for the second Test starting on Saturday, he is not holding his breath.

"It's a beautiful wicket (normally). There's true pace and bounce in the wicket so I'm not sure if we're going to get that exactly," he said.

"I played a one-dayer here where I think we got 350 when Sachin (Tendulkar) got a big score as well and it was a beautiful wicket.

"But that (form of Ashwin) suggests the wicket is not like the one-day and Twenty20 wickets.

"They've also got the make-up of the side (with three spinners) to be able to make the most of those conditions as well.

"It would not surprise me if the wicket is a bit more conducive to spin bowling than fast bowling."

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