Australia opening batsman Matthew Hayden's woeful form with the willow notwithstanding, the embattled opener is unlikely to get the boot or retire after Australia's humiliating defeat against South Africa, says chief selector Andrew Hilditch.
Hayden is under pressure for his place atop the batting order, having scored just 313 runs at 22.35 in his past eight Tests but chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch denies the third Test against South Africa in Sydney from Saturday will be a "testimonial game" for the Queenslander.
"I don't like testimonial Tests for anybody. He is in the side because he is in our best Australian side. He deserves the opportunities he has been given. He is having a rough trot but very keen to score runs in Sydney. He is as disappointed as anybody that he hasn't had an impact on the series against South Africa," Hilditch said.
"We will sit down at the end of the series and analyse how the team has gone. And in about four weeks, we will sit down and pick the side for the South African tour which is very important for us. Matthew will be in no different spot to anybody else at that time."
Asked if Hayden would retire after Sydney, Hilditch said, "I very much doubt it. It's not the way he is practising, it's not the way he's training, and it's not the type of person he is."
Ponting also doubted the Sydney Test could be Hayden's last Test. "The point about Matthew Hayden's game being a testimonial game, well that's only if he wants it to be. If he goes out there and makes a hundred or a big score in that game, well it certainly won't be (a testimonial). As we all hope anyway," he was quoted as saying by Australian Associated Press.