Hayden's inclusion in playing XI still in doubt

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Melbourne, Jan 11 (UNI) Australia retained it's squad for the third Test against India but opener Matthew Hayden's injury problem is far from over and his absence might hurt the team.

Hayden who has not missed a Test since Australia's 2000 tour of New Zealand and has played 86 matches in succession, the seventh-longest streak in history, suffered a hamstring tendon strain during the second Test at Sydney.

Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said the Queenslander's fitness would be monitored from the weekend.

Earlier, Australia's team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris had said ''It could take one week to heal, it could take five weeks. We are waiting to see how it looks in a few days.'' ''The thing with tendons is sometimes they don't heal too well because the blood supply around them isn't too good,'' the physio added.

If Hayden is ruled out, West Australian left-hander Chris Rogers who was a contender to take Justin Langer's opening position until a bout of appendicitis paved the way for Phil Jaques, could make his Test debut on his home ground.

Rogers is currently playing a three-day match against the Indians in a warm up match at Canberra and scored a gritty 98 in ACT XI's first innings.

Left-arm chinaman bowler Brad Hogg, has been cleared from a possible fracture to his right hand. But the spinner might not be able to reatin his place in the playing XI as the prospect of a fast, bouncy pitch at the WACA Ground will boost the chances of Shaun Tait playing on Wednesday.


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