Australia name Matthew Wade for Gabba test
Cricket Australia have ushered in a new era by naming Victorian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade rather than 35-year-old Brad Haddin for the first Test against South Africa starting in Brisbane on November 9.
Australia's 12-man squad includes a top-six batting lineup as expected, with the modestly-performed Ed Cowan to open with David Warner, Shane Watson at No.3, the 165-Test veteran Ricky Ponting at No.4 followed by skipper Michael Clarke and Ponting's fellow 37-year-old Mike Hussey.
The 43-Test veteran Haddin's last appearance in the baggy green was in Adelaide against India in January 2012 before missing the West Indies tour in April for family reasons.
Wade, 24, made his debut in Barbados on April 7 and posted a century in the third Test in Dominica. The Hobart-born Wade's 106 was the only century by an Australia player in the series.
While Australia desperately need their tail to wag led by Wade at No.7, they will have gained some confidence about Ponting's ability to perform against the Proteas following his stunning form with Tasmania at Sheffield Shield level.
Ponting has scored 350 runs at an average of 125.00 in three matches and has hit 162 not out, 60 not out and 85 not out in his last three hits at first-class level.
South Africa's pace attack spearheaded by Dale Steyn toyed with Ponting in November 2011 as Test cricket's second-leading runscorer scored just 70 runs at 17.50 in the two-Test series.
However the ex-skipper says he's confident he's worked through the technical glitch in his game that made him prone to lbw dismissals.
John Inverarity's panel of five selectors, which includes skipper Clarke and coach Mickey Arthur, are believed to be considering an all-pace attack if the Gabba shows signs of being a green-top pitch.
Spinner Nathan Lyon has been included in the squad with pace bowlers Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc.
Starc was named overnight as man of the series after helping the Haddin-led Sydney Sixers win the final of the Champions League Twenty20 against South Africa's Highveld Lions in Johannesburg.
Pattinson secured his place in the Test squad after taking 2-29 and 6-32 in Victoria's 10-wicket win over Queensland at the Gabba earlier this month.
Australian squad: Michael Clarke (capt), David Warner, Ed Cowan, Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting, Mike Hussey, Matthew Wade, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Ben Hilfenhaus (12th man to be named).