Haydos may avoid Bangladesh series in race for fitness

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Melbourne, Aug.16 : Australian opener Matthew Hayden may skip the one-day series against Bangladesh and spend time regaining full fitness for the long summer ahead.

Though he has been named in a 14-man squad for the three-match tournament to be played in Darwin, Fox Sports reports that he is still recovering from an achilles tendon strain which forced him home from the West Indies in May.

"I'm feeling pretty good but if you'd asked me this time last week I would have said I was no chance. I saw my local physio this morning and he said it was a completely different tendon to the one he treated last week. He was really worried. It's a race against the clock. Given its rapid improvement from last week I'm certainly a chance but I can't give a definite answer whether I'm in or out," Hayden said.

"I've got to be careful I don't take any risks over the next month or so given what we have ahead of us. I'll certainly be conservative with it," he added.

The team is already without Ricky Ponting who is recovering from wrist surgery.

Vice-captain Michael Clarke will lead the side with Mike Hussey as his deputy.

The selectors have named an almost identical squad to the one that pulled off a five-nil clean sweep against the West Indies last month.

For Australia, the one-day series against Bangladesh will be followed up by the Champions Trophy in Pakistan, a four-Test tour of India in October and early November, a Test and one-day series at home against New Zealand and South Africa before a tour of South Africa next February and March.

The World Twenty20 and a full Ashes tour begin in England from June next year.

If Hayden does not play it will give Shaun Marsh the chance to continue his rapid rise as an opening partner to all-rounder Shane Watson, who appears the ready-made replacement for the retired Adam Gilchrist at the top of the order.

Coach Tim Nielsen said the value of the matches against Bangladesh should not be under-estimated.

ANI

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