Shane Watson named in squad for Second Test

Shane Watson celebrates taking Darren Bravo’s wicket earlier this year.Injured all-rounder Shane Watson has just under a week to prove he has overcame a calf injury after being provisionally named in Australia’s 2nd-Test squad.
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The vice-captain has missed Australia’s past seven home Tests due to injury. Despite his inclusion in the 13-man squad, he is far from certain to return at Adelaide Oval against South Africa because selectors have made it clear they need him to be able to bowl as well as bat.

Batsman Rob Quiney, who came into the Test team for Watson in Brisbane and even had to assume some of his bowling duties, held his place.

Chief selector John Inverarity said Watson was making good progress in his recovery but warned it was “too early to determine if he will be fit to come under consideration for selection”.

The bowler passed over for the recent Gabba Test, NSW left-armer Mitch Starc, kept his place in the squad. Starc pressed his claims for inclusion into the team with a four-wicket haul for the Blues against Victoria in the rain-affected Sheffield Shield match at the SCG.

South Africa will make at least one change for the match due to J.P. Duminy’s series-ending Achilles tendon injury. Batting all-rounder Dean Elgar has replaced Duminy in the squad but the Proteas 12th man from Brisbane, Faf du Plessis, is expected to be chosen ahead of him.

Leg-spinner Imran Tahir is also likely to earn a recall, probably for seamer Rory Kleinveldt.

Australian players are currently in their home cities but will reconvene in Adelaide on Sunday, with the match to begin on Thursday.

The three-match series is currently at 0:0 after the opening Test was drawn at the Gabba. Despite that result, Inverarity said selectors were encouraged by the performance of the team, especially due to its “indifferent opening day”.

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

Selectors have yet to decide whether tall NSW seamer Josh Hazlewood, a shadow member of the squad in Brisbane, will reprise that role in Adelaide.

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

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

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