Wade gets nod for SA Test
Sydney - Matthew Wade was named on Monday as Australia's wicketkeeper for the opening clash against South Africa in Brisbane next week, suggesting Brad Haddin's Test career could be at an end.
Haddin, 35, has been resurgent in recent months, leading the Sydney Sixers to the Champions League Twenty20 title on Sunday, but Australia's five-man selection panel opted for the younger Wade, 24.
Australia's 12-man squad includes an expected top-six batting line-up, with Ed Cowan to open with David Warner, followed by Shane Watson, 165-Test veteran Ricky Ponting, skipper Michael Clarke and veteran Mike Hussey.
Spinner Nathan Lyon is included along with pace bowlers Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc.
Wade made his debut in Barbados in April against the West Indies and posted a century in the third Test in Dominica after Haddin left the tour for family reasons.
Chairperson of selectors John Inverarity said both Wade and Haddin presented compelling cases for inclusion but he opted to usher in a new era by naming the Victorian.
"As is widely known Brad returned to Australia early in the tour due to family circumstances and as a consequence Matthew was our Test 'keeper for the three Test matches," he said.
"He kept and batted very well and made a match-defining brilliant century in the second innings of the third and final Test against West Indies.
"Since then he has played and gained valuable experience in England, the UAE and Sri Lanka. As a young player, getting better by the month, he is thoroughly deserving of his retention."
But Inverarity held out an olive branch to Haddin, whose last Test appearance was in Adelaide against India in January.
"While Matthew has been retained as the Test 'keeper, Brad remains a player of significant interest," he insisted.
South Africa jetted into Australia Sunday aiming to consolidate their position as the number one Test team, which they earned in August with a series triumph in England.
The three-Test series starts at The Gabba on November 9.
Michael Clarke (captain), David Warner, Ed Cowan, Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting, Mike Hussey, Matthew Wade, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Ben Hilfenhaus.