Hayden out of Perth Test

Australia and India set for changes at the top of the order

Last updated: 16th January 2008   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Hayden out of Perth Test

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Australia will bid for a record 17th straight Test win without Matthew Hayden at the WACA after the opener was ruled out through injury.

The 36-year-old has lost his battle to overcome a hamstring injury in time to play in the third Test of the series, which is live on Sky Sports.

His absence means Chris Rogers will come in at the top of the order to make his Test debut on his home ground in Perth.

The hosts have also announced that they will play four fast bowlers to make the most of a bouncy track, meaning for the first time in 16 years they will be without a frontline spinner in their attack.

Hayden did not bat at practice on Tuesday and confirmed to his skipper, Ricky Ponting, that he was unable to guarantee his fitness for the full five days.

As well as missing out on the chance to help Australia continue their winning streak, the injury means the left-hander will miss a Test for the first time since the tour of New Zealand in 2000, a run of 86 matches.

Disappointed

"I am really disappointed about missing the Test match which is going to be a really special one," he said.

"I couldn't look the skipper in the eye and say that I was going to be fully fit."

While Ponting was disappointed to lose Hayden he was far more upbeat about the prospect having four pacemen to call upon.

The move means Shaun Tait will come into the side, adding even more speed to attack that already includes Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson, as well as the reliable Stuart Clark.

Spinner Brad Hogg - whose abusive language charge from the Sydney Test was dropped by India on Monday - is dropped to allow Tait to come in.

"Taity will be used in short spells to really unsettle the batsmen," Ponting said.

"As we have seen through his career, he is a wicket-taking machine. It's very rare that he goes a game or an innings without taking two or three wickets."

Sehwag returns

India, like their opponents, are also likely to have a new-look opening partnership as they look to stay alive in the series.

A whirlwind century in the recent tour match in Canberra looks to have been enough to convince the selectors to recall Virender Sehwag after a 12-month absence from the Test team.

The inclusion of the 29-year-old would mean a change in the batting order with Rahul Dravid likely to drop down to number three.

"We still have to have a final look at the pitch but in all probability Sehwag will come in," India skipper Anil Kumble admitted.

"I think we'll stick to the regular batting order that we've had and have the quality of Dravid at three.

"It's not a question of finalising the batting order, it's just a matter of going out there and getting the runs, that's something we need to do. The quality is there."

Yuvraj Singh, who has struggled for runs Down Under, looks likely to be axed, while India could also opt to pick an extra seamer.

Such a move could mean Harbhajan Singh, who was at the centre of the controversy during the second Test in Sydney, could be left out.

The spinner was banned for three matches for racially abusing Australia all-rounder Andrew Symonds, something he denies.

An appeal will be heard in Adelaide on January 29 and 30, meaning Harbhajan is cleared to play in the rest of the Test series.

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