Hopes is the man to replace Gilchrist: Hussey

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 04, 2008 11:36 hrs

Brisbane: With opener Matthew Hayden all set to regain his position in the Australian side for the match against Sri Lanka on February 8 at SCG, the home side's fragile top order-batting is certain to get fillip.

Hayden was ruled out for the opening match against India due to a hamstring injury as a result of which Ashley Noffke and Adam Voges were drafted into the squad as back-up players.

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Middle-order batsman Michael Hussey said Hayden in all probability will play against Sri Lanka in the third ODI of the series and claimed that the opener was disappointed to sit out from the playing XI.

"I'm very confident he will be back, he's traveling with the team to Sydney," Hussey said on Monday.

However, if Hayden is unable to take field against Sri Lanka, Hussey said the Queensland opener James Hopes who was impressive in the first ODI against India and could be a good choice.

"I thought he played particularly well, he got out to a pretty good ball, he looked in good touch, he's been in good touch opening for Queensland - it's nice to know we've got guys that can play different roles," he said.

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He added that Hopes is possibly the man to replace the retiring Adam Gilchrist at the top in the one-dayers. "James is putting his hand up, he played pretty well last night in difficult conditions," he said.

Hayden's replacement Noffke will most likely sit out from rest of the series but Hussey was impressed with his bowling performance as he claimed figures of one for 46 in his ODI debut after a shaky opening spell against the Indians on Sunday.

"He showed a fair bit last night, he was a little nervous at the start but came back real well, he's definitely good enough to play at the (international) level," Hussey said.

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