Hayden in the balance
The chances of Matthew Hayden playing in next week's third Test against India will be determined over the next two days.
Last Updated: 12/01/08 1:02pm
The chances of Matthew Hayden playing in next week's third Test against India in Perth will be determined over the next two days, according to Australia coach Tim Nielsen.
Hayden pulled a hamstring during the controversial second Test in Sydney and remains confident he will recover in time to take the field at the WACA.
Nevertheless, Nielsen said that the participation of Hayden, who has not missed a Test in eight years, will depend on how the injury reacts over the next 48 hours.
"Speaking to him this morning he was probably feeling like he was just ahead of 50/50," Nielsen said on Saturday.
"Until he runs around and plays some cricket for us in training it is hard to make a decision.
"Over the next 24 to 48 hours he will have the chance to have a training run and see how he pulls up."
If Hayden proves unable to make Wednesday's opening day then uncapped Western Australia opener Chris Rogers and Simon Katich were the most likely replacements.
"They are both in great form," Nielsen continued. "Chris had a tremendous year last year, and Katto is having a fantastic year this year - it will get down again to the balance the selectors want."
Nielsen also said that, with the WACA pitch likely to offer extra bounce, paceman Shaun Tait is vying with spinner Brad Hogg - who played in the first two Tests - for a spot in the starting line-up.
"It is pretty 50/50 - it really depends on the conditions," he said. "If we turn up and it is green and fast and bouncy then Taity will have his nose in front."
Hogg date set
Meanwhile, the International Cricket Council (ICC) have confirmed that Hogg will face a hearing in Perth on Monday to answer a charge of using offensive language during the second Test.
Hogg is accused of making remarks to both India captain Anil Kumble and vice-captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni during the Test in Sydney.
The left-arm spinner faces a ban of between two and four Test matches after being charged with the level three offence under the ICC's code of conduct - which refers to abuse on the basis of a player's "race, religion, gender, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin".