Haddin, Lyon return for third Test; Smith makes surprise entry

Melbourne, Mar 14 (ANI): Australian cricketer Brad Haddin has officially reclaimed the wicketkeeper post replacing Matthew Wade in the rain-delayed third Test in Mohali.

Spinner Nathan Lyon has also been recalled to the squad at the expense of all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, who has been relegated to 12th man duties despite taking four wickets in the second Test in Hyderabad, the Herald Sun reports.

Paceman Mitchell Starc returns to the side, while NSW all-rounder Steve Smith has been pitchforked in a surprising move into the lineup at No.5, the report added.

The veteran Haddin, who will bat at No.6, will be making a comeback to the game after almost a year when he left the squad to be by the side of his sick young daughter, said that he was excited to be a part of the Test squad.

Haddin further said that the beauty of Test cricket is that it helps test the performance of a player, while playing in foreign conditions, and in the middle on challenging wickets.

Captain Michael Clarke has defended the selection of Smith, who will play his sixth Test, and first since January 2011, for the Test squad and said that the player deserved his opportunity as he is a good athlete, gives options and is specially trained to play in all the formats of the game.

Meanwhile, Maxwell is reportedly disappointed by his demotion even inspite of his outperforming frontline spinner Xavier Doherty with his bowling and claiming 4-127 including top-order wickets like Murali Vijay, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli.

However, the selectors are concerned at Maxwell leaking 4.88 runs an over in Hyderabad for which he was demoted in favour of Lyon.

The Australian starting XI team includes David Warner, Ed Cowan, Clarke (c), Phillip Hughes, Smith, Haddin (wk), Moises Henriques, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Doherty, Lyon with Maxwell as 12th man, the report added. (ANI)