Clarke backs Haddin to return

by Setanta Staff , 23 April 2012

Australia captain Michael Clarke insists Brad Haddin is still his number one wicket-keeper and expects him to return to the side.

Haddin was due to don the gloves for the trip to the Caribbean but returned home last month for family reasons without playing in any of the internationals against West Indies, with Matthew Wade filling in behind the stumps.

Wade made his debut in the first Test victory at Bridgetown, scoring 28 and 18, before going on to record scores of 11 and 31 not out in Trinidad.

His glove-work has been sound but 88 runs in four innings is not the volume expected of an Aussie keeper and it appears he is just keeping the gloves warm before Haddin returns.

Haddin has played 43 Tests to date, scoring 2,257 runs at a healthy average of 35.82 and is widely regarded as one of the best all-round keepers in world cricket.

Clarke has made it clear that the New South Wales star will be welcomed back into the fold when he makes himself available for selection once again.

"In my opinion Brad will come back into the Test when fully fit and available," he told reporters ahead of the start of the third Test on Monday.

"That's certainly nothing against Wadey. He learned a lot during the one-day series through facing spin in completely different conditions to what he was used to back in Australia."

And the captain believes Wade will have benefited a great deal from his experience in the Caribbean with a few legends of the game to learn from.

"He will continue to get better - that's for sure," he added.

"Having the likes of Steve Rixon, Rod Marsh and also Brad Haddin around, when we can, will certainly help him."

Australia lead by one Test to nil and it will be down to Darren Sammy's men to take the initiative in the final match in just the second five-day contest played in Roseau.

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