Calcutta: Australia wicketkeeper Matthew Wade is in doubt for the third Test after hurting his ankle while playing basketball in Mohali on Saturday. Brad Haddin has been placed on standby, four days before the start of the third Test.
“Matt Wade sprained his right ankle playing basketball yesterday (Saturday) afternoon,” Australia physio Alex Kountouris said in Mohali. “His ankle is subsequently swollen and painful so will have a scanů to help determine the extent of the injury and how we manage it.”
Australia media manager Matt Cenin said on Sunday evening that the scan report was being examined by a specialist back in Australia.
“Matt has an ankle injury and had scans today. Those reports are being reviewed by a specialist back in Australia and we should know more tomorrow (Monday),” said Cenin.
This is the second consecutive Test in which there has been doubt surrounding Wade’s fitness, after he suffered a minor fracture on his cheek bone on the eve of the second Test in Hyderabad. Wade played that match and scored 62 in the first innings batting at No.6.
There was no back-up 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 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 after Wade became the preferred wicketkeeper in all formats on the West Indies tour later that year.
“I don’t know the extent of the injury but with Matty I definitely think he’s got a chance of carrying it through if it’s only something minor,” all-rounder Moises Henriques said on Sunday. “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.”
Meanwhile, the Australian cricketers had an extended four-hour practice session on Sunday. Trailing 0-2 after big defeats in Chennai and Hyderabad, the Aussies arrived in Mohali last Thursday, to get acclimatised to the conditions. The players went through the paces under the watchful eyes of coach Mickey Arthur.