Sydney: Matthew Wade has been named Australia wicketkeeper for the first cricket Test against South Africa in a move that may mark the end of Brad Haddin's 43-Test career.
The 25-year-old Wade was named Monday in Australia's 12-man squad for the Test which starts in Brisbane on Nov. 9. Haddin, 35, made his last Test appearance for Australia against India in Sydney in January, missing their subsequent three-Test series in the West Indies when his daughter became gravely ill.
Wade played in the West Indies in Haddin's place, stamping his mark on the series with an innings of 106 in the third Test in Dominica. His was the only century of the series and was described by selection panel chairman John Inverarity as "brilliant" and "match-defining."
Wade has now supplanted Haddin as Australia's wicketkeeper in all three formats.
The squad includes four pace bowlers — Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson and Mitchel Starc — along with spinner Nathan Lyon. The decision now facing Australia is whether to take an all-pace attack into the Test at Brisbane's Gabba ground.
The batting line-up is unchanged from the one which played in the West Indies.
David Warner and Ed Cowan will again open the innings, followed by Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting, Clarke and Mike Hussey while Wade slots in at No. 7.
Inverarity said since West Indies series in April, Wade had "played and gained valuable experience in England, the United Arab Emirates and Sri Lanka.
"As a young player, getting better by the month he is thoroughly deserving of his retention," he said. "While Matthew has been retained as the test keeper, Brad remains a player of significant interest."
Australia captain Michael Clark told the Nine television network the choice between Wade and Haddin was a close one.
"Whichever way we went, the Australian team would have been happy," he said.
Haddin had to wait until he was 30 to succeed Adam Gilchrist as Australia's first-choice wicketkeeper, making the position his own for the next five years.
Australia Squad: Michael Clarke (captain), Ed Cowan, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mike Hussey, Nathan Lyon, Ricky Ponting, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Mitch Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson.