Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Australia all-rounder Shane Watson in action during the Twenty20 World Cup
Australia all-rounder Shane Watson in action during the Twenty20 World Cup

Australia draft in Rob Quiney after Shane Watson ruled out of first South Africa Test

Australian vice captain Shane Watson will miss out the first test after suffering a leg injury at the weekend.

Shane Watson has been ruled out of the first test against South Africa with a leg injury in a huge blow for Australia's hopes of upsetting the top-ranked visitors.

Watson, the Australian vice captain, appeared to injure his left calf playing for New South Wales against Queensland on Saturday and had been a doubt for the test which begins on Friday at the Gabba in Brisbane.

"We're ruling him out now because we think he won't be fit enough come Friday," Australia coach Mickey Arthur told reporters in Brisbane, where he confirmed Rob Quiney would make his test debut in the 31-year-old's absence.

"We wanted to make a decisive decision pretty early so we could give some real clarity to the team, so unfortunately Shane misses out and Quiney plays."

Cricket Australia had previously reported Watson's injury as calf-related but described it as a hamstring injury in a short statement on its website.

Watson's injury is certain to reignite fierce debate about the player's long-term management.

Watson has been blighted by back and leg injuries throughout his career and missed all of Australia's victorious home test series against India last year.

Some pundits and former players have called on him to shelve either his batting or his bowling, or scale down his participation in one-day and Twenty20 cricket.

Arthur poured cold water on Watson varying his playing regime.

"That hasn't been a topic of conversation at all just yet," the South African said.

"In an ideal world you want Shane Watson batting at three and bowling for you.

"The fact is we won 4-0 against India last year without Shane, so we're comfortable that we have the players, we have the cover."

Left-handed batsman Quiney would slot into the side at number three, Arthur said.

Quiney makes his debut as a 30-year-old with a batting average of 37 from 53 first-class matches, coming into the three-test series in good form after scoring 85 for Australia A against South Africa last week.

"I think he deserves his opportunity. Over the last couple of seasons he's been prolific, he's probably been the standout domestic player," Arthur said.

"I certainly think that players performing need to get picked, guys that have done the hard yards. Rob has certainly done that."

Former captain Ricky Ponting has also been under a cloud in the lead-up to the first test after he withdrew from Tasmania's Sheffield Shield match with hamstring soreness, but Arthur said he was "very confident" he would be fit to play in Brisbane.

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Glenn Maxwell's knock that followed ensured Brendon McCullum's knock went in vain after his explosive half-century took Chennai Super Kings past the 200-mark. Ravindranath K / The National

All is well with Punjab as Maxwell and Miller seal win against Chennai

The Australian missed out on a century but his 95 runs, along with Miller's unbeaten half-century, ensured Kings XI scaled a mighty peak of a target in a hot first game of Abu Dhabi's double-header.

 Sunderland manager Gus Poyet protests during the Premier League match against Crystal Palace at The Stadium of Light in Sunderland, northeast England, on March 15, 2014. Ian MacNicol / AFP

Sunderland going out of Premier League with a grumble

Northeast club have underwhelmed during seven-year stay in the top flight

 Hamburg players leave the field after the match against Borussia Moenchengladbach on March 30, 2014. AFP

Hamburg the dinosaur’s time may be up in Bundesliga

Ever-present for 51 years in the German top-flight, Hamburg face the prospect of relegation, writes Ian Hawkey.

 At 105 kg, Gabrielle Garcia has dominated the world circuit and loves many things about being in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Garcia seeks fresh challenge in MMA after her jiu-jitsu domination

Brazilian prides being a lioness in the sport but feels she can shed 25kg weight to pursue her MMA debut aspirations.

 England's Jonathan Trott hits out during the ICC Champions Trophy semi final match against South Africa at The Oval cricket ground, London June 19, 2013. REUTERS/Philip Brown

England’s Jonathan Trott sidelined with stress-related illness again

Jonathan Trott is to take a second break from professional cricket because of his stress-related illness as England and Wales Cricket Board and Warwickshire confirmed he will stop playing with immediate effect.

 Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho looks on during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium on April 13, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

‘That’s why we are a top club’ says Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech

Jose Mourinho’s men will temporarily claim the Premier League top spot if they beat Sunderland, leaving them in control of their own destiny in the title race ahead of a crucial trip to face Liverpool at Anfield on April 27.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National