Proteas in Australia

Watson named in Oz squad

2012-11-16 07:29
Shane Watson (Gallo)

Sydney - All-rounder Shane Watson was on Friday included in Australia's squad for the pivotal second Test against South Africa despite still struggling with a calf strain.

The vice-captain sat out the first drawn Gabba Test against the world number one Proteas with the injury and his inclusion for next week's Adelaide clash is the only amendment to the line-up.

Batsman Rob Quiney, who was added to the squad when Watson pulled out of Brisbane, remains with the team, meaning left-arm paceman Mitchell Johnson missed out on a recall.

National selector John Inverarity said it was not clear if Watson, who has been prolific with both bat and ball in all formats, would recover in time for the Test that starts on November 22.

Even if he does, his bowling contribution would be limited.

"Shane Watson is making steady progress from his calf injury, but it is too early to determine if he will be fit to come under consideration for selection," he said.

"We need to see that he is up to running between wickets, chasing in the field and diving in the field. It is unlikely that he will be up to a bowling workload in time for this Test.

"We'll make a decision on Tuesday, or Wednesday at the latest (on his availability)."

Quiney, who made nine runs batting three at the Gabba, is expected to be dropped if Watson plays.

The Australians came out of the first of three Tests with an edge over the South Africans in the drawn game, but they must win the series to wrest the world number one ranking from their rivals, making Adelaide pivotal.

Inverarity said he was pleased with the way Australia bounced back in the Brisbane Test after South Africa ran riot with the bat on the opening day.

Ed Cowan, Michael Clarke and Mike Hussey all made big scores in Australia's 565 for 5 declared, in response to South Africa's first innings total of 450 all out.

The Proteas reached 166 for 5 in their second innings as the match fizzled to a draw.

"The National Selection Panel was very pleased with the strong showing by Michael Clarke's team after an indifferent opening day in Brisbane," said Inverarity.

"They were put under pressure early, but showed great composure to not only regroup but then put considerable pressure on South Africa."

The Australian fightback ensured they have now not lost in their last eight Tests under Clarke, while the Proteas, under Graeme Smith, have not lost an away Test match since India at Kolkata in February, 2010.

Inverarity confirmed spinner Nathan Lyon would play in Adelaide and paceman James Pattinson is another certainty after his impressive display in Brisbane.

That means Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus and Gabba 12th man Mitchell Starc will fight it out for the remaining two bowling spots.

Australia squad:

Michael Clarke (captain), Shane Watson, David Warner, Ed Cowan, Ricky Ponting, Mike Hussey, Matthew Wade, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Ben Hilfenhaus, Rob Quiney.


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