‘Out of favour’ Haddin shock contender to replace Clarke as ‘specialist’ batsman

Sydney: Out of favour former wicketkeeper Brad Haddin is a shock contender to return to the Australia Test side as a specialist batsman if captain Michael Clarke is ruled out of the Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka because of a hamstring injury.

Shane Watson would likely be promoted to replace Clarke as the captain of the Australia team for the second Test.

There are various contenders to replace Clarke in the Test team like Alex Doolan, Rob Quiney and Usman Khwaja, but the one surprising name that has emerged is of Haddin, who hasn’t wore his baggy green since their Caribbean tour this year, News.com.au reports.

To lose Clarke for the last Test of 2012, the year in which he has averaged 106, would be a huge setback for this Australian team. Until Monday the only clarity that seemed to be in place around Haddin was that it was highly unlikely he would add to his current tally of 43 Tests.

Matthew Wade has become entrenched as Australia`s first-choice wicketkeeper since taking over in the Caribbean when Haddin was forced to return home for family reasons. While there has been talk at times from the likes of Clarke and Steve Waugh that both players could be fitted into the Australian batting line-up, it seemed a little fanciful.

However Haddin has since scored 33, 73, an unbeaten 108 in his most recent Sheffield Shield innings and a whirlwind 59 for the Sydney Sixers against the Thunder last week in the Big Bash League.

The Australia selectors would make the final call on for the Boxing Day Test match, and Haddin is certainly a name they would ponder hard upon due to his magnificent run of form in domestic cricket.