The former Australian vice-captain has added bowling back to his game during the 2013 IPL.
Just two days before Australia name their 16-man squad to travel to England for the Ashes, Shane Watson has been bowling again for his IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals.
Watson used to act as an all-rounder for the Australian Test side but gave up bowling ahead of the Test series with India in February – which the Aussies lost 4-0 and the 31-year-old was suspended for failing to hand in his homework.
It has been a busy few days for the Rajasthan man, after stepping down as vice-captain of the five-day side on Saturday and then bringing bowling back to his game against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings..
“I’m very excited to get back to bowling. It’s certainly something I’ve missed in the last three months,” Watson was quoted on ESPNcricinfo.
“I was half-capacity without my bowling. It feels great to be bowling once again.”
It is certainly a timely move from the all-rounder, as he also scored the first century of the 2013 IPL during the defeat to CSK and his performance is sure to have caught the Australian selectors’ eye.
If Watson continues to bowl throughout the IPL, as it looks as if he might, then he should have enough experience to be ready to take on England at Trent Bridge in the first Ashes Test on July 11.
By bowling once again it will certainly make the Rajasthan all-rounder a more attractive inclusion for the Ashes squad, although it was never believed he would have been emitted anyway, despite giving up his vice-captain role.
Australia will announce the 16-man squad for the Ashes on Wednesday, with Brad Haddin expected to be named as the new vice-captain.