Australia's vice-captain Shane Watson is itching to resume his verbal battle with English niggler James Anderson in the upcoming one-day series.

The English swing bowler first started baiting Watson during the 2009 Ashes with their verbal sparring continuing during the last Ashes series in Australia 18 months ago.

After being in England's team that was swept aside 5-0 in the 2006-07 Ashes series, Anderson has enjoyed success over the Australians in the past two series.

A big smile swept across Watson's face when asked whether he was looking forward to locking horns with the talkative Lancastrian.

"That is always the enjoyable part of playing against England, high quality players and Jimmy especially," he said.

"He is a world-class bowler and he has got a way of getting up people's skin as well.

"That is the reason why you play cricket to play against those guys.

"We are all very excited about playing against Jimmy.

"It is a lot of fun and it really gets everything going."

The Australians opted to not to train on Wednesday on the eve of Thursday's one-day tour opener against Leicestershire at Grace Road.

Following the clash, Australia will head to Ireland for a one-day international in Belfast on Saturday.

The tourists play a final warm-up match against Essex on Tuesday before the one-day series against England starts on June 29 at Lord's.

NZ Newswire

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