Katich to replace injured Hayden in first Test against West IndiesMay 22nd, 2008 - 1:52 pm ICT by admin
Melbourne, May 22 (ANI): Matthew Hayden has been ruled out of Thursdays match against West Indies at Sabina Park in Kingston with a heel injury. Simon Katich will return to the Test team and replace Hayden as an opener.
The 36-year-old has hardly run over the past three weeks and such was his condition that team medical staff did not even give the Queensland opener a fitness test before declaring him out of the match, Fox Sports reported.
Brad Hodge will come in and bat at No. 5 in place of Michael Clarke, the tour vice-captain, and the wicketkeeper Brad Haddin becomes the country,s 400th Test player.
Hodge, who averages 58.42, was flown in from India as a shadow player and a day before he was due to leave will appear in his sixth Test.
Australia vice-captain Michael Hussey admitted the loss of Hayden was a blow, but he was confident that Katich, who has opened for Australia in one-day matches and scored 97 at the top of the order in the weekend tour match against a Jamaica XI was up to the task.
“Losing Matty Hayden is a huge loss, obviously he leads our batting attack really and has quite a long time,” Hussey said.
Katich returns after a two-and-a half-year absence, and Hodge after more than two years out of the Test side. (ANI)
Tags: captain michael, first test, fitness test, fox sports, half year, matthew hayden, medical staff, michael clarke, michael hussey, queensland, sabina park, shadow player, simon katich, sixth test, test player, test side, test team, thursdays, vice captain, west indies