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Ashes preparation starts now: Watson
Ed Jackson
19:30 AEST Fri Aug 10 2012
Australia allrounder Shane Watson.
Australia allrounder Shane Watson has called on his teammates to focus on improving for the Ashes.

Australia's cricketers must start putting their English one-day disappointment behind them and focus on what lies ahead, according to allrounder Shane Watson.

Speaking at Australia's camp in Darwin ahead of limited-overs clashes with Afghanistan and Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, Watson conceded the hurt of the 4-0 series defeat in England was still raw.

But with an eye on next year's back-to-back Ashes campaigns, Watson says the team must use their coming contests to focus on ensuring they are improved the next time they face their old rivals.

"Obviously we're very disappointed about the result in England in the one-day series," Watson told reporters.

"Now's the time to really regroup and spend the time working on the deficiencies we've got as individuals and within the team.

"It's a great time to get that coming together."

Watson said the trip to the Middle East, which features a lone ODI against Afghanistan before three ODIs and three T20s against Pakistan, was the start of a crucial period for the team.

That tour is followed by the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka, domestic tours against South Africa and Sri Lanka and then a Test series in India.

After that come the back-to-back Ashes series and Watson admitted it looms as a huge 18 months.

"It's massive. We've got so much cricket, big series coming up," he said.

"It's a perfect lead-in really to be able to get ourselves in a great position as a team.

"Hopefully everything can come together in the summer really as a great launching pad into the Ashes next year."

Watson said he was well on the road to making a full recovery from the calf injury which cut short his tour of England but he's not planning on playing in either of the two practice matches scheduled for this week's camp in Darwin.

"Over the next few days I'll be back into the full swing of things," he said.

"It's been a pretty frustrating time but I'm continuing to adapt what I'm doing and slightly change what I'm doing to stay fit for a period of time.

"By the end of the camp I should be up to full capacity."


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