Watson fit and ready
Shane Watson says he is fully fit and raring to get involved in the Ashes scrap in the third Test at Edgbaston.
Last Updated: 22/07/09 2:39pm
Shane Watson says he is fully fit and ready to come into Australia's team as they look to hit back in the third Ashes Test against England.
Injury-prone all-rounder Watson will line up against Northants in a three-day tour match on Friday as he looks to prove his fitness ahead of the third Test at Edgbaston next week.
After falling 1-0 behind in the series with defeat at Lord's, Australia have big problems, with Mitchell Johnson's form a major concern, while Brett Lee remains out injured.
Watson could be thrust straight into the heat of the Ashes battle if he can prove his form and fitness against Northants, and he believes he is ready to go.
"Yes I'm definitely fit to play," Watson said. "I'm raring to go, I've been bowling and getting through all my stuff over the last two weeks so I'm very excited and raring to go.
Watson believes he can bat high up in the order as well as get through his bowling duties, and with Phil Hughes struggling up to now to get on top of the English bowlers, Watson believes he could step in.
"I feel the things I've been working on with my batting especially over the last couple of months has really tightened up my technique a little bit more," he added.
"But I've said all along I always believed I've got the game, and the mental game, to bat anywhere in the top order.
"I've been batting three to four for Queensland for the last three or four years and I've been opening the batting in one-day cricket so I feel I've got the game to be able to bat anywhere throughout the order."
England also have injury worries to contend with, as Kevin Pietersen's Achilles continues to cause him problems, while Andrew Flintoff's knee will be carefully monitored before Edgbaston.
Flintoff was man-of-the-match at Lord's with his hostile bowling but, if he cannot make it to the Third Test, Watson says that losing him or Pietersen will be a big blow for England.
"Those guys are very good players and have been performing consistently for quite a long while. There is no doubt when you lose a very good player, whether it is one or two, it makes it very difficult to fill that void.
"Fred's bowling spell on the last day was very impressive. He didn't give us much to hit at all and he was very hostile. It was extremely impressive to see.
"I would love to be a part of that, to be able to face him. It would be one of the biggest challenges in Test cricket, to be able to face Freddie charging in like that and bowling the way he did."