Australia allrounder Shane Watson picks up calf strain
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Clarke said it was possible Watson would play the first test at Brisbane's Gabba ground as a specialist batsman, if his injury prevented him from bowling.
"He's shown in all three forms he's a very good batter, he's a top player for us," Clarke said "Fingers crossed, I'd love to see him fully fit and batting and bowling. That would be a bonus."
Clarke added that Australia would find a way to beat South Africa, even without Watson.
"You look at our performance last summer. He didn't play one test match and we beat India 4-0," Clarke said.
"We'll find a way. We did last summer and if Watto's not available somebody will come in and grab that opportunity. I'd love him to be fit but if he's not we'll find a way."
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