Watson fails fitness test

Australia's Shane Watson has failed to prove his fitness for the second Test against South Africa and was left out of an unchanged team for the Adelaide Oval on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old all-rounder missed the drawn first Test in Brisbane with a calf injury but had hoped to play as a specialist batsman in the second, which starts on Thursday.

"Once we got here our intent was to give Watto every chance as a very important player and vice captain of the team, but unfortunately we've run out of time," Australia captain Michael Clarke told reporters at Adelaide Oval.

"At this stage we think he's a couple of days short of his best. Our job is to get him fully right and we've now got eight days until the third Test in Perth."

Watson's fitness and availability to play has been a source of heated media speculation in Australia, with team management giving mixed messages about whether he would be considered for selection only as a batsman. Watson, who averages 37.54 with the bat and has taken 59 wickets in 35 Tests, has been plagued by injuries throughout his career and missed the entire four-Test series against India last year.

Clarke, who as a selector had input into Watson's omission, brushed off media speculation of a rift between himself and his vice captain.

"We have a great relationship firstly," said Clarke. "I know there's been talk of that being a little bit different but Watto and I, our friendship and our professional relationship when it comes to captain and vice captain, is as close as I can certainly ask for."

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