ADAM Gilchrist will miss the first three weeks of Australia's Cricket World Cup campaign to be at the birth of his third child, opening the door for Brad Haddin. In a major shock, Haddin will be announced as Australia's wicketkeeper for the early World Cup matches when the 15-man squad is officially released this afternoon. Gilchrist's wife, Mel, is due to give birth just days before the squad flies from Sydney on February 28 for the two-month tournament. In an unprecedented move, Gilchrist has been given compassionate leave and will join the touring party a fortnight after it arrives in the Caribbean. Injured all rounder Andrew Symonds will also be selected in the hope his ruptured biceps heals in time for him to play a meaningful role in the second half of the event. And Shaun Tait is understood to have the inside running on Stuart Clark for the fifth and last fast-bowling place, despite Clark's exceptional form during the just-completed Pura Cup match in Perth. Not only will Haddin keep in the early matches in Gilchrist's absence, the New South Wales stumper will also remain with the squad as an extra batsman given his outstanding form for the Blues, pushing Victoria leg spinner Cameron White out of the touring party. Although Australia coach John Buchanan is not a selector, he was lobbying hard yesterday for the inclusion of a second wicketkeeper with all Haddin's qualities. "My leaning is to take a specialist second keeper, but he has to be a player who offers us more than just wicketkeeping," Buchanan said yesterday. "He has to be able to offer us batting potential as well as a top seven-type technique." Buchanan confirmed that Michael Hussey would deputise in the unlikely event Australia needed the services of an "emergency" wicketkeeper at any stage. Haddin has already impressed the selectors at international level this season, as one of Australia's dominant players during the triangular tournament with India and West Indies in Malaysia last September. With Gilchrist resting, Haddin was the leading Australia runs scorer with 174 at an average of 43.5 in five matches. He is the leading runs scorer in domestic limited-overs cricket this seasonm with 406 at 67.67, at a strike-rate better than a run a ball. Haddin is also the fourth-most prolific batsman in the Pura Cup after scores of 57 and 70 in Perth during the past few days took his total to 669 at 55.75. Gilchrist and captain Ricky Ponting have been rested from the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy in New Zealand over the next week, but White and another outsider in contention for Australia's last Cricket World Cup batting place, Adam Voges, have been included. White is likely to be placed on standby for Symonds should he need to be replaced because a full recovery is taking longer than expected. However, the initial signs are good for Symonds. It is hoped he will be practising in a month and be available for the first match of the second round, likely to be against West Indies on March 27. Certainly, Buchanan wants Symonds on board given his explosive all-round ability. The Queenslander was desperately missed during Australia's disastrous tri-series finals campaign on Friday and Sunday, when the world champion lost twice to England. Clark enjoyed an exceptional Pura Cup match against Western Australia in Perth, claiming 8-58 in the first innings, including a hat-trick, as NSW charged to victory. However this fine performance alone is unlikely to unduly influence the selectors about his limited-overs form. He was clearly the bowler of the Ashes series with 26 wickets at an average of 17, but that domination has not transferred into the limited-overs area this summer. Batsmen have been prepared to hit him off his length. Clark was one of the leading wicket-takers with 10 wickets from six matches in the tri-series but he was also one of the most expensive, with an economy rate of almost 5.5. Of the 12 bowlers used by Australia in the series, only all rounders White and Shane Watson were more profligate. Tait's extra pace, fine domestic limited-overs record and ability to swing both the new and old ball appear to weigh in his favour despite his inconsistency and lack of experience.