Watson must be fully fit - Ponting

PA Sport
Shane Watson could not bowl if selected for the second Test

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Shane Watson could not bowl if selected for the second Test

Ricky Ponting does not think Australia vice-captain Shane Watson should play in the second Test against South Africa at the Adelaide Oval if he is not 100 per cent fit.

Watson did not feature in the first Test in Brisbane after succumbing to a calf strain he sustained while bowling for New South Wales in a Sheffield Shield match just days prior to the series opener. The 31-year-old confirmed on Monday he could not bowl if selected and would concentrate on proving his fitness as a batsman.

"No one can go into a Test match 70 per cent fit. I don't care if you're a batsman and a slip fielder. If you can't bat at 100 per cent, then you are putting pressure on other blokes as well," Ponting said.

"It doesn't matter what we think as team-mates, he will have a certain lot of criteria he will have to pass.

"There will be a certain amount of running he will have to do along with other things to prove that he's right to play a Test match.

"Someone has got to run with him between wickets and I'm sure that will be in the back of his mind - and certainly in the back of the mind of our physio and doctors - that are looking after him for the next couple of days.

"I believe he did some extra running last night and I'm not sure if he is planning to do that today but they will tick all the boxes to make sure he's right to play."

Watson trained in the nets on Tuesday before he was put through a number of fitness exercises and tests.

A decision on Watson will be made on Wednesday or the Thursday morning of the five-day clash, although Rob Quiney - who made his Test debut in Brisbane - is expected to retain his spot at number three.

Another selection dilemma Australia face is whether to drop paceman Ben Hilfenhaus for left-arm quick Mitchell Starc.

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