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Watson's Test bid faces check
Steve Larkin
19:52 AEST Sun Nov 18 2012

Injury-prone vice-captain Shane Watson is about to ramp up his desperate campaign to play for Australia in the second cricket Test against South Africa.

Watson will test his strained calf at training on Monday as part of a 13-man Australian squad preparing for the Test starting on Thursday in Adelaide.

Veteran teammate Mike Hussey admitted on Sunday he had "no idea" whether Watson would win his race against time and prove his fitness but he had no doubt Australia was a better team when he played.

"I believe he has been running so that is positive," Hussey told reporters on Sunday.

"There are still three or four days before the Test match, so I am sure he will be given every opportunity, being the vice-captain of our team."

Australia have sent mixed signals about the possibility of Watson playing the second Test as a batsman only. Cricket Australia's high performance manager Pat Howard ruled him out unless he could bowl, while chairman of selectors John Inverarity left that door ajar.

Hussey said the issue was a conundrum.

"That is the thing the selectors have got to consider. I'm not sure where they're going to go with that," he said.

"It will probably be, first of all, just see how good his fitness is.

"Because as John Inverarity said in one of his press conferences, even just batting a long innings can take quite a bit out of the body.

"So he has got to make sure he can get through that first and then hopefully he can offer something with the ball as well.

"I'm hoping he's going to be available for selection ... if he is fit and playing well in our team, then we are going to be a better team, there is no question about that."


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