Haddin can play in Oz Test side as batsman: Waugh

Updated: Oct 18, 2012, 14:33 PM IST

Sydney: Former Australia captain Steve Waugh has said Brad Haddin could play in the Test team against South Africa as a specialist batsman if he isn’t chosen as wicketkeeper.

The selectors have acknowledged their most difficult decision for the first Test in Brisbane next month is whom to pick as the side’s wicketkeeper.

Matthew Wade was impressive in his first three Tests for Australia against the West Indies in April after replacing Haddin, who returned home to be with his ill daughter.

Wade scored 106 in the third Test in Dominica, the only hundred by an Australian for the series, and is a strong chance to retain his place over 43-Test veteran Haddin, who turns 35 next week, The AAP reports.

Waugh said Haddin could justify his place in the side even without the gloves, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

“I think Haddin deserves another crack. He’s been a great cricketer for Australia. He`s got that attitude, that fighting spirit and he`s always done the job,” he said.

“Matthew Wade came in and did an outstanding job. So if Wade`s the `keeper I don`t see why Haddin can`t play purely as a batsman. I think he`s one of the top six batsmen in Australia anyway,” he added.

The 168-Test legend, who retired in 2004, is excited by the prospect of a fiery pace showdown between the two sides, particularly on the fast and bouncy WACA pitch.

“Perth is going to be really good to watch. It`s back to the old days where there`s going to be six quick bowlers in action, balls flying around the batsmen`s head. They`re going to be playing hook shots, there`s going to be a few people getting hit. I mean, that`s what Test cricket is all about so bring it on. It`s going to be fantastic,” said Waugh.