Watson on track after bowl in nets

SHANE Watson showed at Brisbane's Allan Border Field yesterday that he could feature as an all-rounder, and not just a batsman, when Australia's bid to regain the urn starts in the first Ashes Test at the Gabba on Thursday.

Watson, who was thought to have no chance of bowling after straining a hamstring on the recent limited overs tour of India, bowled a couple of overs at gentle pace to captain Michael Clarke in the nets.

If all goes well in the lead-up to the series opener, and Watson, 32, is deemed fit to bowl in the Test, it would almost guarantee off-spinner Nathan Lyon will play, while back-up all-rounder James Faulkner would be the 12th man.

Meanwhile, England paceman Stuart Broad has had his first run-in with an Aussie - on Twitter.

Broad, who admitted he would be a target following his refusal to walk after being caught in the first Test of the last series against Australia, came under attack from radio broadcaster and former NRL player Jimmy Smith after two people had been thrown out by security during England's final warm-up game at the SCG.

"Just heard from eyewitness that after minor heckling at SCG on Friday @StuartBroad8 asked 2 Members to be removed #longhotsummer," Smith tweeted.

Broad was quick to fire back at Smith, tweeting "I can 100% confirm that is a complete lie. If you're gonna make stuff up to get attention for yourself you may as we'll make it half decent. Pathetic."

Smith returned serve "not making it up Stuart. Heard directly from a witness. No knowledge of this then?"

Broad fired the parting shot saying "I think you can answer your last question from my previous tweets. Have a good day."