Watson remains a doubt for the first Ashes Test | india | Hindustan Times
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Watson remains a doubt for the first Ashes Test

Watson faces a race against time to prove his fitness for the start of the first Test at the Gabba, Brisbane.

india Updated: Nov 20, 2006 22:52 IST

Australian all-rounder Shane Watson remains a doubt for the first Ashes Test against England after a restrained bowling workout at training in Brisbane on Monday.

Watson gave his strained right hamstring a gentle test by running laps and doing some light sprint work for 45 minutes before bowling three overs in the nets off five paces.

The 25-year-old Queenslander left training with team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris for further scans on his injury.

Watson faces a race against time to prove his fitness for the start of the first Test at the Gabba, starting in Brisbane on Thursday.

A Cricket Australia spokesman said Watson had run at about 70 percent capacity on Monday and would train with the squad on Tuesday.

Australia will reshuffle their team significantly if Watson is ruled out as a sixth batsman, and Michael Clarke will come into the side.

Watson's absence is also likely to favour New South Wales' Stuart Clark in the contest for the third paceman's role with Mitchell Johnson and Shaun Tait because of his ability to bowl long spells.

Michael Clarke said he was preparing to play regardless of Watson's progress, but admitted he did feel for his colleague.

"There were some positive signs today, he was running around and having a bowl," Clarke said.

"It's hard, it's awkward for me right now because I do wish Watto well.

"I hope he gets well, he's worked hard over the last few months and he deserves his opportunity, so I hope he does pull up okay.

"I know the selectors will give him on Thursday to see how he pulls up."