Katich to replace injured Hayden in first Test against West Indies

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Melbourne, May 22 : Matthew Hayden has been ruled out of Thursday's match against West Indies at Sabina Park in Kingston with a heel injury. Simon Katich will return to the Test team and replace Hayden as an opener.

The 36-year-old has hardly run over the past three weeks and such was his condition that team medical staff did not even give the Queensland opener a fitness test before declaring him out of the match, Fox Sports reported.

Brad Hodge will come in and bat at No. 5 in place of Michael Clarke, the tour vice-captain, and the wicketkeeper Brad Haddin becomes the country,s 400th Test player.

Hodge, who averages 58.42, was flown in from India as a shadow player and a day before he was due to leave will appear in his sixth Test.

Australia vice-captain Michael Hussey admitted the loss of Hayden was a blow, but he was confident that Katich, who has opened for Australia in one-day matches and scored 97 at the top of the order in the weekend tour match against a Jamaica XI was up to the task.

"Losing Matty Hayden is a huge loss, obviously he leads our batting attack really and has quite a long time," Hussey said.

Katich returns after a two-and-a half-year absence, and Hodge after more than two years out of the Test side.

ANI

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