Australia news

Haddin urges new direction

Daniel Brettig

July 21, 2011

Comments: 25 | Text size: A | A

Ricky Ponting and Brad Haddin look on with frustration, Australia v England, 1st Test, Brisbane, 4th day, November 28, 2010
"We've got to make sure we're not doing the same things we've been doing over the last 12 months because we're not getting the results we wanted" © Getty Images
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Australia's cricketers and coaches cannot be allowed to persist with the same methods that took them through a disastrous past 12 months, according to the wicketkeeper Brad Haddin. Last summer's loss of series to India and England, plus a failed World Cup defence, has left 33-year-old Haddin and his team-mates straining to atone for those defeats.

Crucial to this, said Haddin, was ensuring Australia and their support staff did not employ the same methods shown to be manifestly inadequate during the Ashes. The addition of Steve Rixon and Craig McDermott to the coaching staff has hastened a lift in the team's intensity at training during their recent training camps in Brisbane, while Haddin said the players were compelled by poor results to be open to new ideas.

The Sri Lanka tour, Michael Clarke's first as Test captain, will be played out as a panel of former Test captains, chaired by Don Argus, concludes its review into the performance of the Australian team, with recommendations expected to be finalised and released at the end of the series.

"What I enjoyed most was the intensity we were at," Haddin said of the camps. "We've got a couple of new staff in Craig McDermott and Steve Rixon so there are a few different voices around the place, which was good.

"We've got to make sure we're not doing the same things we've been doing over the last 12 months because we're not getting the results we wanted. So we want to make sure we up the intensity of what we're doing and make sure our attention to detail is spot on so we can get the results we want on the cricket ground.

"Playing Test cricket you can never be relaxed in your position, and I don't think it puts any added pressure on any of us. It is a big arena, a big stage and we've all got to go out there and perform. That's the bottom line in Test cricket, we've got to make sure we're presenting ourselves and winning cricket games."

Haddin reckoned Australia's forthcoming tour of Sri Lanka would be a critical juncture for a team under the new captaincy of Clarke, as the squad tries to forge its own identity. A handful of senior players have also been made keenly aware of their mortality by the removal of the opener Simon Katich from the list of Cricket Australia contracts.

While Katich's exit ushers further opportunity for the likes of Phil Hughes, Usman Khawaja and Steve Smith, Haddin said the series would be as important for the older heads in the team as it would be for those still making their way.

"I don't think it is so much an important tour for individuals, I think it is an important tour for our whole group," Haddin said at the SCG. "We've had a long break now from Test cricket and everyone's champing at the bit to get back involved.

"So it is important we get over there and present ourselves over there in the right way and make sure by the time that first Test comes that we're ready to play Test cricket. We're uncomfortable with the position we're at in the rankings and we've obviously got to play some better cricket to start getting the results we think we deserve."

As for the questions to be posed by Sri Lankan cricketers and conditions, Haddin argued the Australians would be decently equipped given a raft of subcontinental tours over the past few summers. Last season the spring tour of India was augmented by the trip to India and Sri Lanka for the World Cup, then followed by a brief visit to Bangladesh.

"I think what's changed a bit with the landscape of cricket over the last few years because you play so much cricket in the subcontinent," Haddin said. "So its not as much of a shock now with the wickets and the facilities you get over there. If you look back at our last six months we've basically just been playing on the subcontinent anyway, so from that point of view it holds no fears for us and its going to be an exciting tour.

"We've had a good couple of weeks up at the camps where the intensity of training was where we needed to be to prepare for a pretty hectic next couple of months. It is also going to be a pretty exciting time too with a new captain and the position we are in as players trying to get our Test ranking back up to where we want it to be."

Haddin, meanwhile, said there was never any question about which domestic Twenty20 team he would sign with, given a natural affinity for the SCG. He went so far as to say he disliked playing at the Sydney Olympic Stadium in Homebush, and saw that as a prime reason for basing himself with the Sixers in between Test series.

"The thing I'm most looking forward to is getting back to the SCG and playing T20 here," Haddin said. "I didn't enjoy that much playing out at ANZ Stadium, this is the Sydney Cricket Ground for a reason, so I think from that point of view the guys who are at the Sixers are very lucky and privileged to get T20 back here and play some cricket."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by jehad on (July 24, 2011, 4:16 GMT)

common aussies........world cricket want ur dominance...we want you to number one again.....show the world aussies rule...................

Posted by   on (July 21, 2011, 23:51 GMT)

I agree that Paine is the future but Haddin I think was our second highest run scorer in the Ashes, so why bag him out! He's got the captaincy experience to guide Clarke and Watson too. Personally, I want Steve Smith to be as far away from the national team as possible. He's an ordinary player at the moment, and while he may turn into a good player he needs the time to get consistent results in state cricket first. O'Keefe will offer so much more as a spinner and a lower order batsman at the moment.

Posted by hyclass on (July 21, 2011, 23:46 GMT)

I dont think any test cricketer intentionally operates below his best or necessarily needs to be taught intensity.Great captains and coaches,such as Ian Chappell and Buchanan are able to understand and maximise the use of their resources.There has been a desperate lack of direction at all levels in australian cricket,over the last 4 years and a poisonous level of theorising,such as youth obsessing and tinkering with a formerly successful system.When form becomes irrelevent to selection,then the natural historical progression is blocked.The greatest impediment to progress has been the failure of anyone in seniority in CA or the team,to be held accountable for their actions or results.What other measure can there be of progress,or otherwise,if not results?Many possibly great players have had their careers blocked or curtailed without due cause.Its this welling sense of injustice and inertia that has seen tests players such as Haddin and many others,risk their test futures to speak out.

Posted by   on (July 21, 2011, 23:38 GMT)

its easiest to see the bad someone does than to see the good..smh

Posted by hyclass on (July 21, 2011, 23:32 GMT)

I strongly disagree with Haddins,'Last 12 months'statement.Australias fall from grace encompasses the entire tenure of this administration-almost 4 years-and that is the period that should be under scrutiny.The last 12 months have only offered up the coup de grace of an inexplicable episode in australian cricket history in which at no time,have selection,coaching appointments,administrative decision making or results been associated with decision making.Any team in any sport in the world that makes a direct policy of ignoring form and results,will fail.I would like to offer a caveat on behalf of Buchanan-that he is the finest coach in a fully supportive professional system.He is the proof that the system in which he,along with Hohns as head selector,devised australias new peaks,is fully successful and that only its current management is to be called fully into question.Khawajas 1st class average has fallen from 53 to 46 and Smiths from 56 to 42 since first selected.Both are flawed.

Posted by Number_5 on (July 21, 2011, 23:15 GMT)

crikey Hads you are saying what the majority of Australian cricket fans have been thinking for the last 18 MONTHS. Only after we get completely embarrassed this summer will the penny finally drop major change is required. In the Buchanan era we were proactive, now we are reactive...and how much does it show...the next 9 months of cricket for aussie fans is gonna hurt, but like the 80s we will be reborn we just have to enjoy the bumpy ride that is to come.

Posted by Number_5 on (July 21, 2011, 23:15 GMT)

crikey Hads you are saying what the majority of Australian cricket fans have been thinking for the last 18 MONTHS. Only after we get completely embarrassed this summer will the penny finally drop major change is required. In the Buchanan era we were proactive, now we are reactive...and how much does it show...the next 9 months of cricket for aussie fans is gonna hurt, but like the 80s we will be reborn we just have to enjoy the bumpy ride that is to come.

Posted by muski on (July 21, 2011, 13:34 GMT)

@popcorn- A coach is only as good as his team.If Buchanan was so good at coaching, ask him to Coach Bangladesh and make them win test matches. Any bloke coaching that super Aussie team of the last decade would seem as an awesome coach. How come this mental thing of Buchanan could not work for KKR.?

Posted by Mr.CHAMP on (July 21, 2011, 13:29 GMT)

@stormy16..PONTING IS THE ONLY PLAYER IN OZ SQUAD WHO HAVE PLAYED TEST IN SRI LANKA BEFORE AND THE REST IS GOING TO PLAY FOR THE FIRST TIME THERE.

I THINK IOZZIES ARE NOT GETTING SUFFICIENT REST/GAP BETWEEN THE SERIES WHICH RESULTS IN THEIR POOR FORM BUT THEY HAVENT PLAYED ANY INTERNATIONAL GAME SINCE LAST 3 MONTH WHICH HAS PROVIDED ENOUGHT REST TO THEM.ALSO,SRI LANKA'S NEW CAPTAIN DILSHAN IS VERY WEAK CAPTAIN COMPARED TO CLARKE.THE WAY SRI LANKA HAS PERFORMED AGAINST ENGLAND IN BOTH ODI AND TEST ,IT INDICATES A GOOD SINGNAL FOR AUSSIES.APART FROM THAT RICKY PONTING IS NO MORE AUSTRALIAN CAPTAIN WHICH REMOVES PRESSURE FROM HIM AND I THINK HE WILL SOON REGAIN HIS OLD FORM.SO THERE IS MORE CHANCE FOR AUSTRALIANS TO WIN BOTH THE SERIES.

Posted by dsig3 on (July 21, 2011, 12:31 GMT)

He has basically just called out Nielsen. While I dont like our players to speak out something has to be done about Nielsen. We dont have a great team but Nielsen is making a bad situation worse at every turn.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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