Melbourne, Nov 7 (ANI): Skipper Michael Clarke has said injured vice-captain Shane Watson may not regain his place in the team if Australia beats South Africa in the first Test, beginning at the Gabba on Friday.
Clarke insisted that Watson's replacement, Rob Quiney, and struggling opener Ed Cowan could both stay in the side if they performed.
The Australian captain also pointed out that Australia beat India 4-0 last summer without an injured Watson, News.com.au reports.
"Who's to say they're not going to play the next Test together again as well," Clarke said when asked if Quiney and Cowan were playing for the same spot once Watson recovers from his minor calf strain.
"It will be interesting. It's about performance, it's about making the most of your opportunity then it's about selecting the best 11 players. As I've always said throughout my career, a winning team is hard to change.
"That's not a bad problem to have. If we perform well it's something we need to assess. We need to work out if Watto's fit what do we do."
Clarke dismissed suggestions that Watson would give up bowling in the hope of extending his career as a batsman.
"Shane sees himself as an all-rounder. I haven't heard any different at this stage. I'm pretty sure he wants to come back as an all-rounder and we've selected him as an all-rounder throughout his career," Clarke said.
In Watson's absence, Clarke may also use Quiney's occasional medium pacers in the same way he has used Mike Hussey in the past. (ANI)