Watson included in squad for second Test

AUSTRALIAN selectors will give star all-rounder Shane Watson until Wednesday to prove his fitness for the second Test against South Africa that starts at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday.

The vice-captain was yesterday included in the 13-man squad after missing the first Test, which ended in a draw on Tuesday, with a calf injury.

While team performance manager Pat Howard said earlier this week Watson must be able to be played as an all-rounder to justify his selection in the final 11, chairman of selectors John Iverarity said "yes, he could" be played solely as a batsman.

However he added: "We are hoping he will be able to bowl ... if he is not fit to bowl he would not be fit to run between the wickets and run in the field.

"We'll just have to wait and see."

Victorian Rob Quiney has been retained in the squad after making his debut in Brisbane in place of Watson and only making nine.

Young New South Wales paceman Mitch Starc, fresh from a four-wicket haul against Victoria, is also in the squad and will look to displace Ben Hilfenhaus in the starting line-up.

While James Pattinson "bowled particularly well", Inverarity said, in claiming 3-93 against the South Africans, Hilfenhaus is under some pressure, his figures of 2-72 flattering the Tasmanian workhorse.

Inverarity said it was "very likely" tweaker Nathan Lyon would play on his spin-friendly home ground, despite producing just 2-136 at the Gabba.

Inverarity said the selectors were pleased with the Australians' performance in the first Test after at one stage struggling at 3-40 in reply to the visitors' 450.

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

Topics:  cricket, shane watson




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