Sydney: Former NSW and Australia Test wicketkeeper Phil Emery believes Brad Haddin would the better choice for the role of wicketkeeper for next month`s opening Test against South Africa in Brisbane over incumbent first choice keeper Matthew Wade.
``If you were going to try and put both of them in the same side there`s no reason why you couldn`t pick Wade as a batsman, he scored a Test hundred, as has Haddin,`` the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Emery, who took five catches and made a stumping in his only Test against Pakistan in 1994, as saying.
According to the paper, the Australian cricket selectors are considering springing a surprise by naming Wade as the wicketkeeper for next month`s opening Test, but it won`t be at the expense of Haddin keeping wicket.
It is understood Wade, who replaced Haddin as Australia`s keeper for last April`s tour of the Caribbean when the NSW veteran of 43 Tests stood down to be by his daughter Mia`s side as she battled cancer, will possibly be named as a specialist batsman to face the Proteas, the paper said.
However, former Australian skipper Steve Waugh said he thought Haddin could retain his Test place as a batsman, based on his Sheffield Shield century against Tasmania and whirlwind efforts for the Sydney Sixers during their Champions League campaign in South Africa, adding that he thought Haddin, who has averaged 35.82 in Tests, was one of the top six batsmen in Australia.
Emery said the debate could become even tougher later in the season because Tasmania`s gloveman Tim Paine was back on the scene after recovering from an injury.