Shane Watson's bowling fitness key to selection for Adelaide Test: Howard
Australia's team performance boss Pat Howard has said all rounder Shane Watson's failure to bowl with full fitness would significantly reduce his chances of making into the squad for the second Test in Adelaide against South Africa.
It is the second major sting for Watson in the past eight days after Test skipper Michael Clarke last week insisted his vice-captain might not automatically regain his spot in the Test side when he recovered from a calf injury.
Howard said Watson would not be picked solely as a batsman for the South African series, even if he was considered fit for a specialist batting role.
"It will go against him significantly," News.com.au quoted Howard, as saying when asked if Watson would be picked if he could not bowl.
"They are looking for his bowling and his fitness around bowling, to see if he is capable of doing both," he added.
Asked if the declaration meant one-Test rookie Quiney was considered a better batsman than Watson, Howard said: "The value and the balance of the team is what the selection panel talk about."
"I know (chief selector) John Inverarity looks at what our ability is to bowl lots and lots of overs. We were in a unique position the other day when Rob Quiney was bowling for us (Australia) and doesn't bowl for Victoria," he said.
Watson faces a bowling fitness test in the nets tomorrow and there is a growing chance he will not be fit for the second Test starting in Adelaide next Thursday.
"He is progressing but if the Test match was tomorrow, no, he wouldn't be playing. There is a long way until the Test starts. We will see how he is going. It's a little bit early to tell," Howard said.