Haddin brought back as vice captain for Ashes tour

Last Updated: Wed, Apr 24, 2013 11:50 hrs

Sydney: Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin has been reinstated as Australia's vice captain as selectors look to add some experience to their side ahead of the first of back-to-back Ashes series against England.

The 35-year-old had been dumped from the test team last year, with Matthew Wade promoted in his stead, as Australia introduced younger players in a bid to regain the Ashes from Alastair Cook's side in their five-test series starting at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on July 10.

"The most impressive thing about Brad is that he ... continues to put form on the board," Australia captain Michael Clarke told a news conference in Sydney on Wednesday.

"His leadership and his experience will play a large part in this group ... the best teams in the world have a good mix of youth and experience and I think this squad of 16 has that mix.

"I'm confident that we have a good group of players that can learn from each other."

The international retirement of Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey over the Australian summer drained Clarke's team of experience, while Shane Watson's decision to stand down from the vice captaincy created a leadership vacuum.

Haddin was flown to India as an injury replacement for Wade on Australia's ill-fated tour that ended last month with a 4-0 series loss, and ended up playing in the third test in Mohali.

He even temporarily captained the side when Clarke was receiving treatment for a back injury.


Chairman of selectors John Inverarity said the decision to include both Wade and Haddin, with the latter going as the number one wicketkeeper, had firmed up "about a week ago".

"Matthew Wade remains very highly regarded by the selection panel. Brad is the man for the Ashes, but Matthew remains very highly regarded."

Former vice captain Watson, who stepped down from the position earlier this week, was included as a batting all-rounder while James Faulkner was named as the bowling all-rounder, Inverarity said.

Veteran batsmen Chris Rogers, who played his only test against India in Perth in 2008, was also recalled after strong form in domestic cricket and while playing first-class cricket in England over the last few seasons.

"We believed that Chris Rogers was very deserving of selection ... but with Michael and Ricky going there is a gap in experience and Chris fills that," Inverarity said of the 35-year-old's inclusion.

"He has scored, I think, nearly 20,000 first class runs ... and he has performed in (English) conditions.

"It has been our intention to get the strongest side for this contest and that is what has been in our upper mind in selection."

Australia squad for the five-Test series Against England in July and August: Michael Clarke (C), Brad Haddin (VC), Jackson Bird, Ed Cowan, James Faulkner, Ryan Harris, Phil Hughes, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Chris Rogers, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson.

Australia A squad to tour Britain and Ireland: Brad Haddin (C), Steve Smith (VC), Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Alex Doolan, Ryan Harris, Moises Henriques, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Nic Maddinson, James Pattinson, Chadd Sayers, Peter Siddle, Jordan Silk.

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