: All-rounder Shane Watson was on Friday included in Australia’s squad for the pivotal second Test against South Africa, despite concerns about his fitness.
Vice-captain Watson sat out the first drawn Gabba Test against the World No. 1 South Africans with a calf strain and his inclusion for next week’s Adelaide clash is the only amendment to the line-up.
Rob Quiney, who was added to the squad when Watson pulled out of Brisbane, remains with the team.
National selector John Inverarity said it was not clear whether Watson, who has been prolific with both bat and ball in all formats recently, would recover in time for the Test that starts on November 22.
“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.
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 No. 1 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. “The National Selection Panel was very pleased with the strong showing by Michael Clarke’s team after an indifferent opening day in Brisbane,” he said.
“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 South Africans, under Graeme Smith, have not lost an away Test since losing to India at Kolkata in February, 2010.
Australia squad : Michael Clarke (capt.), Shane Watson, David Warner, Ed Cowan, Ricky Ponting, Mike Hussey, Matthew Wade, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Ben Hilfenhaus, Rob Quiney. — AFP