Oz pacer Watson ready to cope with sustained cricket

Oz pacer Watson ready to cope with sustained cricketAbu Dhabi (UAE), Apr. 30 : Australian all-rounder Shane Watson is confident a revamped bowling technique will allow him to cope with sustained cricket.

After stress-fractures of the back forced him out of cricket last November, the latest in a long line of injuries, Watson is making a comeback in gradual stages during Australia''s current one-day series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.

He has played purely as a batsman during the first three games of the five-match series and will do so again in the final two 50-over matches on Friday and Monday in Abu Dhabi, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

Meanwhile, he has been incrementally ramping up the pace of his bowling in the nets ahead of a return to competitive bowling in the one-off Twenty20 match against Pakistan in Dubai on May 7.

So far he has restricted himself to four-over spells in the nets to condition himself for the shortest version of the game.

"It''s the perfect lead-up to get my body back to bowling without really jumping in to a four-day game and bowling a lot of overs. It''s a good build-up. The goal for the last six weeks, or since I got the call-up to play here was to bowl in the Twenty20 game here, last game of the tour. Things have progressed really well since I started bowling, I''m up to 90 per cent off the long run, I''ve got three more sessions before that game," Watson said.

"In the time off I was able to work on a few things in my batting as well. I''ve made the most of the time I''ve had off."

But he admitted there would be some butterflies when he returns to the bowling crease in the May 7 match.

"I will be nervous, more so because it will be the first time I bowl in a game. I''m confident the body''s going to be fine, it''s just getting the cobwebs out from not bowling in match intensity. I can''t wait actually," he said. (ANI)