Brad Haddin backs Xavier to be spin savior

AUSTRALIAN wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin says he believes Xavier Doherty is the country's best one-day spin bowler, despite a push to have Test tweaker Nathan Lyon in the team.

Doherty will relish playing in front of his home Tasmanian fans at Blundstone Arena against England tomorrow night.

The sole specialist spinner in the squad, Doherty played in Australia's opening tri-series match against England at the SCG, but missed the match against India at the MCG.

All-rounder Glenn Maxwell was the spinning option in that fixture.

The surge of fan support for Lyon came after he took 24 wickets against the Indians in the Border-Gavaskar Test series.

But Haddin, who kept to Lyon in that series, said he thought Doherty was the best 50-over spinning option.

"He knows the wicket as well as anyone and he will help the overs along as well," Haddin said.

Steve Smith will make his debut as ODI skipper for suspended captain George Bailey while Michael Clarke continues to recover from a hamstring injury.

Haddin also threw his support behind Smith, after assisting him as vice-captain in three Tests against India, while Clarke was sidelined.

The keeper also said he was happy to open in place of injured David Warner (hamstring).

But Cameron White and Shaun Marsh - the two batsmen called into the squad for Warner and Bailey - as well as regular No.3 Shane Watson, could also be considered for that role.

- APN SPORTS BUREAU


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