Watson could play as batsman

  • Last Updated: November 14 2012, 12:15 GMT

Injured all-rounder Shane Watson could be back in the Australia side as a specialist batsman for the second Test against South Africa in Adelaide, according to coach Mickey Arthur.

Shane Watson: An 'international brand'

Watson has started batting and running again but his recovery from a niggling calf complaint, which saw him ruled out of the drawn Test in Brisbane, will receive its sternest test when he bowls for the first time on Friday.

The 31-year-old originally injured himself after bowling just one over in a Sheffield Shield match for New South Wales in the lead-up the Gabba Test.

"Watto's had two net (sessions) and he's come through them very well," Arthur said.

"He did a bit of running today and he's having a bowl on Friday. We'll see later in the week and into next week exactly where Watto is."

While team manager Pat Howard said "it would go against him significantly" if Watson is unable to bowl, Arthur left the door open for him to return as a specialist batsman.

"We'll have to sit down and consider what is the best XI going into that Adelaide Test," he said.

"Shane would come in for a huge amount of consideration, definitely.

"He's a quality act and an international brand. If Shane Watson was fit we'd have to definitely consider that."

Watson's return would almost certainly see Victorian Rob Quiney dropped from the national side after his debut, in which he scored just nine runs and was surprisingly thrown the ball for a total of 11 overs.

Meanwhile, Hashim Amla has laughed off Australia's verbal tactics in the first Test.

A now-infamous dossier supposedly leaked to the media on the eve of the first Test reportedly suggested the best way to knock one of the world's best batsmen off his game was through sledging and the 29-year-old came in for some attention during his first-innings century.

But he said: "I actually found it quite humorous.

"Obviously the guys were a bit pumped up, thinking that I'd nicked the ball. I guess it is a bit funny when guys get emotional when there's no real need to.

"I found it a bit funny at the time but it's part of the game."

Amla was reluctant to say whether any of the banter crossed the line.

"It's not for me to say. The umpires are the guys who make the call," he said.

"That kind of thing, I say leave it in the umpires' hands. I just enjoyed the moment, really."


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