Australia in India 2012-13 March 10, 2013

Ankle injury puts Wade in doubt for third Test


Australia wicketkeeper Matthew Wade is in doubt for the third Test after hurting his ankle while playing basketball in Chandigarh on Saturday. Brad Haddin has been placed on standby for Wade and is a strong chance to fly to India, pending the result of scans on Sunday morning, four days before the start of the Test.

"Matt Wade sprained his right ankle playing basketball yesterday afternoon," Australia physio Alex Kountouris said. "His ankle is subsequently swollen and painful so will have a scan this morning to help determine the extent of the injury and how we manage it. He will not take part in today's training session."

This is the second consecutive Test in which there has been doubt surrounding Wade's fitness, after he suffered a minor fracture to his cheek while facing throwdowns in the nets on the eve of the second Test in Hyderabad. Wade played that match and scored 62 in the first innings batting at No.6, which has been his position since the final Test of the home summer.

There was no backup wicketkeeper in the group in the lead-up to the second Test and Phillip Hughes, who has occasionally stood in at state and international level, was in line to take the gloves had Wade been ruled out. But the longer break ahead of the third Test means there will be plenty of time to fly Haddin to India if required.

Haddin has played four Tests in India, all during the 2008 tour, and scored 163 at an average of 27.16. However, he has been in strong Sheffield Shield form this summer and has made 468 runs at 52 including two centuries. Haddin has not played a Test since the end of the home series against India in January 2012; Wade became the preferred gloveman in all formats on the West Indies tour later that year.

Both Wade and Haddin are likely to be part of the squad for the Ashes tour but if Haddin was to play in India and succeed with the bat and gloves it could raise questions over the first-choice man for the start of the Ashes. Wade has performed well with the bat at Test level, scoring a century at No.6 in the Sydney Test against Sri Lanka, but his glovework has been shaky at times.

"I don't know the extent of the injury but with Matty I definitely think he's a chance of carrying it through if it's only something minor," the allrounder Moises Henriques said on Sunday morning. "I haven't seen him since it happened. He won't be training with us [today], but he's as tough a little character as there is, so if there's a chance of him playing he certainly will."

The Australians arrived in Chandigarh on Thursday but the players have had two days off since following their innings defeat in Hyderabad. The squad will train at the Mohali ground for the first time on Sunday.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Roo on March 11, 2013, 3:34 GMT

    Seems Wade does have a sprained ankle - as confirmed by Alex Kountouris today that: "Matt has a complex ankle injury which has been confirmed by the scans and at this stage is in doubt for the Third Test starting on Thursday"... Be surprised if he is fit by Thursday & Haddin is now on his way to India...

  • John on March 11, 2013, 3:18 GMT

    Interesting question on whether to bring in Haddin or Paine. Obviously the selectors have decided to go with Haddin and it's not really a surprise. He was rather abysmal with both bat and gloves by the time he was dropped and most fans would probably agree that he should have been gone a bit sooner. he seems to have got himself back together now, although Test cricket is always a sterner trial. I have to be honest and say that I don't know who, of Haddin and Paine, is doing better domestically right now but, with the batting in disarray, I'm quite sure that the Australian selectors would look well on Haddin's experience, particularly in India. Any steadying hand at all right now has got to be a good thing. Haddin may not be Mike Hussey but he's not going to panic either. Whether not panicking is enough to aid the team is another matter but he would most likely do a better job behind the stumps than Wade's disappointing effort so far.

  • John on March 11, 2013, 1:36 GMT

    I think that people complaining about Wade getting hurt playing basketball need to wake up. Players can't be wrapped in cotton wool, they need to exercise and they need to have a bit of fun as well. What's next, the players can't travel to the venues in cars in case there's an accident on the way?

  • Andrew on March 11, 2013, 1:24 GMT

    @Thefakebook on (March 10, 2013, 14:56 GMT) - sorry, as I read the comments from first to last, I didn't see that you actually clarified that batting was weighted in your rankings. In taht case I would definately have Wade in the top 3 though!

  • chris on March 11, 2013, 0:45 GMT

    Ozziespirit you are obviously a resident of NSW. Seriously how can you say Haddin is a better bat?. Wade has a better average to date , and I believe it will only move further away from Haddin's 35.82. Secondly Haddin in his whole career has only 3 centuries. Wade has 2 in eleven tests. In Haddin's career he has played in 4 series, against sub continent teams. India in India 2008 /2009 average 27.16 , Pakistan at home , average 14.00. In Sri Lanka 2011, average 18.00 and India at home 2011/2012, average 28.66. He certainly has lit up the batting averages againnst spinners hasn't he ? As for his glovework , Marsh got the nickname iron gloves, because of his early career and many misses. But don't blame his glovework in India where even Dhoni had a hell of a time reading spin and bounce on those nasty wickets. Seantells, Wade has only played 11 tests , 5 out of country, 40 average in the West Indies series and only the 2 tests in India averaging 23.00. Still better than Haddin !

  • Basil on March 10, 2013, 23:55 GMT

    I'm still struggling to get my head around this. So, they pick a 17 man squad, absent of a second keeper. Instead they choose 2 pretend all-rounders, leave there best performed domestic spinner home in favour for a one-day specialist, and choose not to cover for the loss of Hussey, by not choosing a senior bat with experience. The result.....2-0 down. Surprised? No. Disappointed? Yes. Pick our best team. Pick Boof as coach. If we still get belted, at least we can say we did everything we could. None of what's happening over in India at the moment smacks of any logic. It's almost as those in power are doing everything possible to lose.

  • Dummy4 on March 10, 2013, 23:37 GMT

    @Gautam, I'm with you. The love for Haddin here is quite baffling. Hopefully if he gets a test everyone will be cured of their oddly selective amnesia.

  • Dummy4 on March 10, 2013, 23:26 GMT

    Replace Wade with Haddin? This push has been on since Wade came in to the team and offended all the NSW cricket team boosters! Haddin has not proven he can play in India(see his last time there!) and prone to do crazy things like charging the bowler(see South Africa test series) when under pressure. if you were going to replace Wade then Tim Paine is the next choice because he is a better batsman than Haddin and a least as good a wicket keeper and a better bet for the future!

  • Mashuq on March 10, 2013, 22:02 GMT

    @Jose Puliampatta on (March 10, 2013, 15:47 GMT) Paine has not a great season with the bat, nothing comparable to Haddin. He's getting the odd decent score. For me that's enough and he should tour England, but it is more likely he'll go there with the Oz A team. This obsession with having a batting keeper is plain wrong, especially when players like Paine and Hartley are both more than decent batsmen and the best keepers. But the obsession with finding 'multi-skilled' players ahead of the best in their speciality is ruinous.

  • Dummy4 on March 10, 2013, 21:42 GMT

    Blessing in disguise - Haddin comes in, Bolsters the middle order with consistent scores between 50 and 150, takes a few blinders. Bye bye Matty Wade