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Australia's Shane Watson said on Tuesday he was on track to bowl in this week's first Ashes Test against England while recovering from a hamstring injury.

The second leg of an Ashes double-header unique in the 131 years of such contests gets underway in Brisbane on Thursday with everything bar the eternal optimism of the Australian nation pointing to a fourth successive England triumph.

England and Australia captains Alastair Cook and Michael Clarke, respectively, posing with the Ashes urn before the first Test beginning at Trent Bridge on July

Pakistani players celebrate their win against England in Abu Dhabi Test.

Stuart Broad took five wickets to put England in charge on the first day of the first Ashes Test despite a battling Australian rearguard that kept the hosts alive at 273 for 8 at the close of play on November 21, 2013. (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Fast bowler Mitchell Johnson's 9 wickets in the first Ashes Test at Brisbane scripted Australia's big 381-run win against England with a day to spare on November 24, 2013. (Getty Images)

Australia captain Michael Clarke hit his 24th Test century on day one of the third Ashes Test on August 1, 2013. (Getty Images)