Shane Watson's hopes of playing in the second Test against South Africa have nosedived after he said he would not be able to bowl in Adelaide.
"Bowling is out at this point in time," Watson said after training at the Adelaide Oval.
The all-rounder, who is recovering from a calf strain, said he remained hopeful of playing as a specialist batsman at No.3. However, captain Michael Clarke and team performance manager Pat Howard have said he needs to be bowling to be selected, and Watson said he would accept the decision if they preferred someone who could bowl on an Adelaide Oval pitch that is sure to test the endurance of the four frontline bowlers.
That role was filled by Rob Quiney in Brisbane. The Victorian batsman, who bowled 11 tight overs at the 'Gabba but was not a wicket-taking threat, will keep his place if Watson is ruled out.
"Whichever way the selectors go and Cricket Australia go with whether I play or not, for me it's certainly not the end of the world if I don't get picked. I'm just excited to be around the group and get back to batting in the nets and get back to running around, because that's what I love doing."
Watson said he had not been told he had to bowl to be selected, and claimed he was oblivious to the confusion about his value to the team.
Watson batted in the nets at training but was otherwise restricted to walking laps, jogging in straight lines and hitting catches.
"Any session I do and get through with no dramas is a big bonus because even over the last couple of weeks, to not be able to play, continues to reinforce how much love playing, and when it's taken away the hunger just continues to burn."
He said he was confident he commanded a place among the top six batsmen in the country. "In the end words don't mean anything. What matters is what you do out on the field. I'm not going to say either way because if I get the opportunity I've got to get out there and score runs because that's what is going to prove it."
The confusion deepened when selection chairman John Inverarity said he could play as a specialist batsman, but needed to show he was physically capable to playing a long innings. He is yet to prove he will be able to do that in Adelaide from Thursday.
"I need to make sure I am ready to handle a Test match. I know how important this match is to everyone involved and the viewing public as well, so I need to make sure I am as good as 100 per cent to give myself the best chance of getting through the Test without stirring it up again because that would be the worst case scenario if that happened."