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More grade cricket on Watson's agenda
Joe Barton
16:50 AEST Tue Jan 29 2013

Shane Watson will ramp up his preparations for next month's four-Test tour of India with a domestic one day clash for NSW on Wednesday, and hopes to back it up with a pair of grade games on the weekend.

Watson, who made 30 in his return from a calf injury for Sutherland on Saturday, will suit up for the Blues against Western Australia at the SCG.

But in an attempt to get as much cricket under his belt before the Australian squad leaves for the Indian tour, with the first Test starting on February 22, Watson will also put his hand up for games against Gordon on Saturday and Randwick on Sunday.

Due to his injury-plagued summer, the Test vice-captain was not considered for the opening two matches of Australia's one day series with the West Indies on Friday and Sunday at the WACA.

And NSW don't play again until their Sheffield Shield clash in Hobart starting Wednesday week, meaning there is no scheduling conflict which would deny him another Sutherland appearance.

"The plan is that he plays," Sutherland Chairman of Selectors Evan Atkins told AAP.

"We'll name him in the team and we'd like to think if he's available on both days."

Watson knows the best way to test his body, and prepare for India, is to put it through as much work as possible.

"There's grade cricket on Saturday and Sunday this weekend. There's plenty of cricket around," Watson said.

"I just want to hopefully be fit enough to play any cricket that's available.

"... I'm as confident as I possibly can be (in my body)."

During his extended time on the sidelines the 31-year-old worked hard with batting coach Mark O'Neill to iron out the kinks in his technique and ensure he's ready for the spinning Indian wickets.

"I've been developing a few different gameplans to be able to try and combat the spin," Watson said on Tuesday.

"There's no doubt that is one of the key factors to having success over there is playing well against the spin as well as the reversing ball.

"I've been working on a few technical things as I always am to continue to evolve my game.

"I certainly made the most of my time out, coming back to really try and nut a few of my technical things out as well to give me the best to be able to score consistent runs wherever I play."

Both NSW and WA, placed second last and last respectively in the one day competition, will be out to reverse their horror seasons on Wednesday.

With just one win each to date, both sides are 15 points behind competition leaders Victoria and hold the slimmest of hopes of reaching the final.


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