Watson makes Adelaide party
Australia all-rounder Shane Watson will be given as long as possible to prove his fitness for the second Test with South Africa at Adelaide after being named in a 13-man squad.
Watson had to withdraw from the party for the drawn opening Test at Brisbane with a calf injury, resulting in a debut for Rob Quiney - who has been retained. Quiney failed to capitalise on his opportunity at number three, scoring nine in his sole innings.
"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 for the game beginning next Thursday," said National Selection Panel chairman John Inverarity.
It remains to be seen if Watson will be selected just as a batsmen, after mixed messages from the Australian camp.
Coach Mickey Arthur and captain Michael Clarke both said at the end of the first Test that Watson could still be picked even if he cannot bowl. But Cricket Australia high performance manager Pat Howard said yesterday that Watson would not play in Adelaide unless he could bat and bowl.
There has also been speculation that Ben Hilfenhaus' spot in the XI could be under threat from left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc, who took 4-72 for New South Wales versus Victoria in the Sheffield Shield this week. Both men are in the squad.
Australia finished the first Test in a stronger position than the Proteas, despite having a poor opening day at the Gabba, and that is largely why those involved plus Starc and Watson have been picked.
"The NSP was very pleased with the strong showing by Michael Clarke's team after an indifferent opening day of the first Vodafone Test in Brisbane," Inverarity added.
"They were put under pressure early, but showed great composure to not only regroup but then put considerable pressure on South Africa."
Australia squad: Michael Clarke (captain), Shane Watson (vice-captain), Ed Cowan, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mike Hussey, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Ricky Ponting, Rob Quiney, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.