MARWAN Naamaniaap

Haddin set to return from shoulder injury

CRICKET: Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin will captain New South Wales in its Sheffield Shield game against South Australia starting today as a dress rehearsal in case national team captain Michael Clarke is ruled out of next week's first Test against India.

Haddin, who has overcome a shoulder injury he picked up playing in the second Test against Pakistan in the UAE, said he was confident he would be able to lead the Australian team if Clarke failed to overcome his hamstring complaint.

"The captaincy is not something I've thought about, until I get the call that Michael can't play," the 37-year-old (pictured) said.

"I'm a real good vice-captain. I don't know about captain. "(But) if the time comes and that's the decision they decide to go with, I'm comfortable ... I can lead a cricket team."

The Blues have recalled Test trio David Warner, Shane Watson and Mitchell Starc for the match, although fast bowler Josh Hazlewood has been rested after being included in the squad for the first Test.

Queensland fast bowler Ryan Harris will play for the Bulls in the match against Tasmania at the Gabba to improve his match fitness.

Tigers batsman Alex Doolan will be keen for a big score to push his claims for a recall to the Australian side if Clarke fails to come up.

Western Australia has continued its rapid improvement under coach Justin Langer and will be keen to extend its lead at the top of the table in its match against second-placed Victoria at the MCG.