Allrounder desperate for World Cup spot February 7, 2007

Recalled Watson confident of fitness

Cricinfo staff



Shane Watson hopes to take part in his first World Cup © Getty Images

Shane Watson said helping Australia in their World Cup defence would make up for missing the Ashes, but he conceded he had little chance of opening the batting after Matthew Hayden's return to form in the CB Series. Watson, who was recalled to the Australia squad for the tri-series finals against England, said he was confident his hamstring problems were behind him.

"When I was ruled out of the Ashes series I knew the goal was to make sure I did everything I could to make the World Cup," Watson told AAP. "I missed out on the World Cup four years ago with my back injury, so I've been making sure everything's right for the World Cup."

Watson said he was hoping to find a place in the middle-order given Hayden's impressive form in the latter stages of the CB Series. "I loved opening [at the Champions Trophy]," Watson said. "I felt my cricket and my batting really improved especially at international level. I really did enjoy facing the best bowlers in the world with a brand new white ball.

"Hopefully I do get another opportunity. Whenever that is, I'm not exactly sure, maybe in a couple of years. I'll definitely put my hand up to do it again because I felt like it really helped my batting improve."

Watson admitted his desperation to prove his fitness for the Ashes actually lengthened his recovery time. However, he was pleased Andrew Symonds - whose own shoulder problem could now pave the way for Watson's return - grabbed the chance in Australia's Test line-up after Watson and Damien Martyn were out of the picture.

"That's the sad irony of sport at times," Watson said. "For his sake I got injured and gave him an opportunity and he did extremely well and now it might give me a little bit more opportunity. Fingers crossed his recovery will go really well and he can play a part in the latter end of the World Cup."