Melbourne, Nov 5: Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has been ruled out of the first Test against South Africa due to a calf strain. Rob Quiney has been named his replacement and will make his Test debut at the Gabba on November 9.
Watson, who was playing for New South Wales against Queensland on Saturday, injured his left calf. He won't recover in time to be fit for the Test which starts on Friday.
"We're ruling him (Shane Watson) out now because we think he won't be fit enough come Friday. 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 (Rob) Quiney plays," Australia coach Mickey Arthur told reporters on Monday.
Commenting on his call-up, Quiney said: "It's a massive opportunity to join the squad heading into such an important series. Hopefully Shane can get up and be right because he's such an important player for the team but I'll obviously be training and preparing to be ready to go if he doesn't get up."
On Sunday, the National Selection Panel (NSP) had named Quiney as the standby player for Watson.
Commenting on the selection, National Selector John Inverarity said: "The NSP has named Rob Quiney to be on standby for Shane Watson who injured his calf whilst playing for New South Wales against Queensland yesterday. Rob Quiney has impressed the NSP with his performances in all formats in recent years. He was particularly impressive in the Australia A game that concluded at the SCG today."
"His 85 from 113 balls against the strong South African attack demonstrated a good range of shots and a sound technique. He is in good shape at the moment and he is ready to grasp his opportunity should he get the nod for Friday."
"Rob is a mature player with an equable temperament who has been on the verge of higher honours for some time and I note his achievements for Victoria were recognised last year when he was named State Player of the Year at the Allan Border Medal evening," he said.