Wade gets the nod
Matthew Wade has been preferred to Brad Haddin as Australia wicketkeeper for the first Test of three with South Africa.
The choice between Wade and Haddin was the major decision for John Inverarity's national selection panel, with the top six all but decided since Australia's last Test six months ago.
Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson, Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle make up the pace attack with a decision on whether spinner Nathan Lyon plays in the first Test to depend on conditions at the Gabba in Brisbane.
Pattinson and Siddle's inclusions, at the expense of the injured Ryan Harris and youngster Pat Cummins, were the only changes from the squad that toured the West Indies in April.
The rubber-stamping of Wade, 24, whose three Tests came in the Windies series when he was Australia's only centurion, is not necessarily the end of Haddin's 43-Test career. The 35-year-old “remains a player of significant interest” according to Inverarity.
"Matthew and Brad both went to the West Indies, Matthew as our preferred ODI and T20 player and Brad as our incumbent and preferred Test match keeper," Inverarity said.
"As is widely known, Brad returned to Australia early in the tour due to family circumstances and as a consequence Matthew was our Test keeper for the three Test matches.
"He kept and batted very well and made a match-defining brilliant century in the second innings of the third and final Test against West Indies. Since then he has played and gained valuable experience in England, the United Arab Emirates and Sri Lanka.
“As a young player, getting better by the month, he is thoroughly deserving of his retention. While Matthew has been retained as the Test keeper, Brad remains a player of significant interest."
The 12-man squad was named today in Sydney for the rubber that will see the third-ranked hosts take on the world’s number one Test team.
Australia squad: Michael Clarke (captain), Shane Watson (vice-captain), Ed Cowan, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mike Hussey, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Ricky Ponting, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade (wicketkeeper), David Warner.