India in Australia 2011-12 January 19, 2012

Haddin 'drained' by Indian summer


Australia's wicketkeeper Brad Haddin has admitted he is feeling drained by a summer in which his name has seldom been far away from debate over the composition of the national team.

Haddin has endured a personally horrid series against India, struggling for runs while also missing chances, and his summer lurched into tragicomic territory on Wednesday with a second-ball duck and a dropped catch for the Sydney Sixers in the Twenty20 Big Bash League. It followed another zero with the bat in the third Test in Perth.

He said he had felt down on his usual energy and pep when preparing to captain the Sixers, an indication of the effort expended over the Test summer with one match still remaining against India, at the Adelaide Oval from Tuesday.

"I felt mentally and physically drained," Haddin told Sky Sports Radio. "It didn't feel right during the warm-up. How I felt, I just thought, 'Oh no, this doesn't look good'. I thought in Perth things were going well. I spent a lot of time catching leading into Perth, probably hit too many balls. You've just got to find that right balance."

Despite considerable public and media pressure on Haddin, he has retained the faith of the national selectors, who have not only kept him in the team but named him vice-captain to Michael Clarke in place of the injured Shane Watson, and also chosen him to captain the Prime Minister's XI against the Sri Lankan tourists on February 3. As a gutsy, aggressive former captain of New South Wales, Haddin's contribution to the dressing room is considered significant.

Another significant factor in Haddin's selection across the summer is the serious finger trouble afflicting his heir apparent Tim Paine, who played four Test matches in 2010 when the senior man was injured. Paine is recovering after another round of surgery on a badly fractured index finger, and his return to the game remains clouded.

Matthew Wade, the Victorian gloveman, has performed strongly this summer and has won a place as Australia's Twenty20 keeper, but it appears the injured Paine is still the preferred candidate to replace Haddin at Test level. Haddin has brushed off the effect of speculation about his place, saying he always felt he was in a fight for his spot irrespective of how he was performing.

"What people underestimate is the pressures you're under whether you're doing well or not," he said. "It's a big effort to get yourself up for a four-Test series and I think [evidence of the drain of that effort] was the case last night."

The fast bowler Peter Siddle is an Australia team-mate of Haddin and a Victorian compatriot of Wade, and said he was still very much behind the Test incumbent.

"I've played all my Test cricket with Brad and he's been amazing contributor," Siddle said. "He's had some tough times at the moment but he's a great player. He's obviously got a good first-class record which shows he can perform at the big times.

"I'm definitely backing him ... I think Adelaide will be a good wicket for him to bat on and hopefully we can get a few more nicks through to him to give him some support."

As for Wade, Siddle described the 24-year-old as a most impressive character and cricketer.

"Being a Victorian he's kept behind the stumps a lot of times for me. He's a great player and he's shown in the last couple of years how much he's matured," Siddle said. "He's a great leader for the team and his performances with the bat and the gloves have been outstanding.

"When Brad's time is up, whether that's in a couple of weeks or hopefully I'll get to play a few more years with him, Matthew is definitely a talented player."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Philip on January 21, 2012, 21:50 GMT

    There was an interesting tale of two Melb. keepers in the BBL. One, the Stars' Wade, kept to Shane Warne. Now, many say Wade should replace Haddin in the tests. Last night in the semi-final, Wade missed a stumping. From what I can see his technique to right-handers facing Warne seemed to involve moving his right foot further to the right just after release of the ball. I watched it on slow-mo replay. The only reason I can see for this is to help provide drive back to the stumps. I believe that this is an extension of the drive used to initiate a dive when keeping back. However, if one watched Manou for the Renegades one would have seen drive derived from the hips and balance far more like Healy showed. I believe that comes from learning a stumping technique at a very early age. I believe that those who learn to keep to spin early (rather than adding it later) do not dive as much when back and are more balanced as a result. That is why Manou was so good. His footwork was his trademark.

  • Marty on January 21, 2012, 21:48 GMT

    Tom Triffit should be th eonly keeper considered to replace Haddin. He is young and won't get drained and he is simply the BEST keeper as far as technique is concerned in the country. Matt Wade is not. Simple. Tim Paine should come back at 5 or 6 when RT and Mr Cricket call it a day. Warner, Cowan, Marsh, Clarke, Paine, Watson, Triffitt, Pattinson, Cummins, Lyon, Coulter-Nile. The Ashes winning team in 2013.

  • Tom on January 21, 2012, 17:16 GMT

    Surely if he was "Mentally and physically drained" he shouldn't have played in the Big Bash fixture that followed?

  • Damian on January 21, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    Drained! Well as Ian Chappell would say "If u dont feel like doing it, retire!" But Australia has got many options for keepers. Only 6. Were England have 18! Now that is one thing the County System has on Shield Cricket! I thought Chris Hartley was the next best thing! Oh well.

  • Dummy4 on January 21, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    Bring on Matty Wade, we need more Victorians in the line up!

  • Dummy4 on January 21, 2012, 10:12 GMT

    Reading between the lines, it seems pretty obvious that Haddin's continued retention in the Aussie team at the expense of Wade is for one reason only: namely, that Paine's been earmarked as not just Haddin's successor but also - two or three years down the line - as Clarke's. If Wade were to come in at Adelaide - or in the West Indies - & do well, how could a place be legitimately found for Paine? Incidentally, it's a strategy I favour (as a neutral), as Paine, apart from being obvious captaincy material, knocks both of them into the proverbial cocked hat with both his keeping & his batting. Let's just hope he recovers before one of Haddin's self-homing Exocets hits Australia amidships.

  • Ed on January 21, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    Haddin has dropped more sitters than I can ever remember any AUS keeper, if his batting was firing, then maybe keep him on, Best Keeper in the world at the moment is Matt Prior, great hands, great attacking batsman. Not the most naturally giften behind the stumps, but super reliable and a genuine all rounder - watch and learn Brad.

  • Hector on January 21, 2012, 2:06 GMT

    @Abhishek Gupta ......Simple answer....On those grubby dirt not a proper wicket...remember the term 'TURF WICKET'..not definition...the umpiring has been corrupted over the years. Yes...worse in the 80's & 90's...How many times has Tendulker for example been given out LBW in India? Same applies in Pakistan. On the other hand, if an Englishman or Aussie gets hit on the bad...even if 2 feet wide of leg stump...up goes that finger! Look at past replays. Indian pitches are not up to standard .......and the ICC should step in and do something about it...but they are gutless. At the end of the day..Indians suffer from this stupid administrator decision when they go over seas to play other nations. The proof is here: England can win in Australia.....Australia can win in England. Same applies in South Africa and the West Indies. So India...GET YOUR PITCHES RIGHT! And your players will be able to bat overseas and you will see better matches at home!!!!

  • Andrew on January 21, 2012, 0:25 GMT

    Haddin has the perfect opportunity to end his test career in Adelaide on a high note.

    If he doesn't opt for the honourable exit then I am sure the selectors will give him the shove as soon as Paine is available.

  • Dummy4 on January 21, 2012, 0:01 GMT

    Not bad some of you. Sure Wade is going ok but how many of you have really seen him keep? A lot of crap being spun around the fact he is making a few runs. Go to a Shield match, or watch a Ryobi Cup on FOX SPORTS and check him and some these other guys out first hand before just bagging Haddin and wanting him to get the axe. If Tim Paine was fit maybe, but obviously the selectors are happy with Hads and don't believe the others are ready. Tom Triffitt from Tassie is one to watch as well, excellent with the glove and can bat. But folks, at least give Haddin a bit of credit for playing for the Sixers the other night when he could have made a lame old excuse not to play.........

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