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Shane Watson, the Australia allrounder, has been ruled out of the second Test against England at Adelaide. Watson missed the first Test at Brisbane with a hamstring injury and, although he has undergone intensive rehabilitation, the next Test, which starts on Friday, has come too soon.
"The outcome was that his hamstring injury is still not fully recovered and it was decided that the second Test would be too early a return in the circumstance," Alex Kountouris, the Australia physiotherapist, said. "His rehabilitation will continue with a view to him being available for selection for the third Test in Perth."
It is another bitter blow for Watson, who was in terrific form for Australia in the Champions Trophy during October. His replacement at Brisbane was Michael Clarke who made a composed 56 and is now likely to retain his place.
Watson's unavailability means Australia may find it difficult to play two spinners at Adelaide if they want to field a balanced attack. There have been calls for Stuart MacGill to partner Shane Warne at the expense of a seamer but Stuart Clark, who claimed match figures of 7 for 93, has made it very hard for the selectors to leave him out. Australia will confirm their squad on Tuesday.