Australia news August 2, 2012

Haddin back in training after tough few months

22

Brad Haddin is back in pre-season training with New South Wales and is available for national selection during the home summer, starting with the first Test against South Africa at the Gabba in November.

Following a difficult off-season in which Haddin flew home abruptly from the West Indies in order to be with his seriously ill daughter, Mia, the wicketkeeper and sometime Australian Test vice-captain has turned his attention back to cricket and been a welcome addition to the Blues' preparations for the new season following their own summer of discontent in 2011-12.

While the Victorian gloveman Matthew Wade acquitted himself ably in the Caribbean Tests that Haddin was absent from, he struggled in the subsequent ODI series against England in the UK, having difficulty with the ball moving after it passed the bat and also battling to cope with the high standard of the home bowling attack.

These reverses have added weight to Haddin's case for inclusion in the Test side at the start of the home summer, provided he can prove his readiness with a string of good performances for New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield fixtures that will serve as a precursor to the South Africa Tests.

It was also felt that Australia missed Haddin's presence in the dressing room, as a doughty campaigner and leader with a strong record of individual success against England over the past two Ashes series, even if the team stumbled to defeats in each case. Michael Clarke, the Test captain, remains a vocal supporter of Haddin, and even suggested in the West Indies that Wade may be considered as a specialist batsman to accommodate the senior man's return.

Haddin retained his Cricket Australia contract when the slimmed-down list was released in June, and in July it was announced that he had re-signed with the Sydney Sixers in the BBL. His presence around the Blues squad is another reminder that he is on the way back, with an eye on lining up at the Gabba.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • MattyP1979 on August 5, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    It seems from an outsider's POV CA don't really know who is their best WK is. I for one think Haddin is probably the best I have seen of the crop, and brings an old head to the table. Wade might be the way forward though. Wk is always an extremly difficult pos to fill so good luck to them.

  • RednWhiteArmy on August 5, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    Lucky he plays for australia cos he certainly isnt good enough for test cricket in any other country....I know theres a serious lack of talent in australia so he might have a chance

  • on August 5, 2012, 4:40 GMT

    at least get some games under your belt. haddin is a good cricketer, adds a little fire in the aussie belly.

  • Beertjie on August 2, 2012, 22:19 GMT

    Wholeheartedly endorse your comments @ManlyHorse. Paine had been touted as captaincy material some years back, so there's no reason at all for preferring Haddin to him. Let's hope sentiment can be cast aside this summer or the Ashes will remain where they are.

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on August 2, 2012, 20:18 GMT

    Wade or Paine are the Test options as keeper for mine. Haddin should be told that if he plays for his state as a batsman and makes heaps of runs .... he is in the mix for the middle order. Unlikely at his age but Australia's top 6 is in such a state of flux several places are up for grabs.

  • on August 2, 2012, 14:22 GMT

    Why would we put Haddin back into the test team! His time is over, Wade is much younger, had way more potential and is already performing better!

  • Okakaboka on August 2, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    What a ridiculous article... Suggesting Haddin return to the national Team. Hey, Nevill is a better keeper AND Batsman so by right, he shouldn't even make the NSW team. Even the selectors at their grade cricket team knows this. Wade was on his first tour of England ...and yes, he struggled. But he struggled at the start of the West Indies tour then improved. The statistic that in the end 'nails' the argument is the bye count. Wade has murdered Haddin and Paine in this regard. At the end of the day, we have 3 good keepers (Wade, Paine,Nevill). I would suggest Wade is the one that has the potential to be...um...not great...but very very good. Um, this is better than being a butterfingered bye letter go who needs a long stop!

  • Dashgar on August 2, 2012, 12:55 GMT

    I think it's gonna be tough for Haddin to get back into team. Pete Neville had a great year last year. Of course that's just to get back into the NSW team, as for the Australia team he's at best 4th in line now after Wade, Paine and Neville.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on August 2, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    as greg chappell , proven performers deserve one chance too many rather than one chance too less. Wade might be good, but i think he is a bit unpolished for tests and haddin who was anyways going to play tests in wi deserves to be lined up for the entire summer at least and a few matches in india next year unless he fails terribly. He is an asset at 7 and his keeping was steady during the indian test series so please dont burden this gritty man

  • ozziefan08 on August 2, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    Seriously? How can Haddin even be considered? His home summer was worse than poor and warranted getting dropped the whole way through the India series. He will be 35 by the time the first test at the Gabba is played. The NSP need to stick with Wade, give him valuable experience against the best side in the world. If Haddin does get a recall then I wont be following this summer.

  • MattyP1979 on August 5, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    It seems from an outsider's POV CA don't really know who is their best WK is. I for one think Haddin is probably the best I have seen of the crop, and brings an old head to the table. Wade might be the way forward though. Wk is always an extremly difficult pos to fill so good luck to them.

  • RednWhiteArmy on August 5, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    Lucky he plays for australia cos he certainly isnt good enough for test cricket in any other country....I know theres a serious lack of talent in australia so he might have a chance

  • on August 5, 2012, 4:40 GMT

    at least get some games under your belt. haddin is a good cricketer, adds a little fire in the aussie belly.

  • Beertjie on August 2, 2012, 22:19 GMT

    Wholeheartedly endorse your comments @ManlyHorse. Paine had been touted as captaincy material some years back, so there's no reason at all for preferring Haddin to him. Let's hope sentiment can be cast aside this summer or the Ashes will remain where they are.

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on August 2, 2012, 20:18 GMT

    Wade or Paine are the Test options as keeper for mine. Haddin should be told that if he plays for his state as a batsman and makes heaps of runs .... he is in the mix for the middle order. Unlikely at his age but Australia's top 6 is in such a state of flux several places are up for grabs.

  • on August 2, 2012, 14:22 GMT

    Why would we put Haddin back into the test team! His time is over, Wade is much younger, had way more potential and is already performing better!

  • Okakaboka on August 2, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    What a ridiculous article... Suggesting Haddin return to the national Team. Hey, Nevill is a better keeper AND Batsman so by right, he shouldn't even make the NSW team. Even the selectors at their grade cricket team knows this. Wade was on his first tour of England ...and yes, he struggled. But he struggled at the start of the West Indies tour then improved. The statistic that in the end 'nails' the argument is the bye count. Wade has murdered Haddin and Paine in this regard. At the end of the day, we have 3 good keepers (Wade, Paine,Nevill). I would suggest Wade is the one that has the potential to be...um...not great...but very very good. Um, this is better than being a butterfingered bye letter go who needs a long stop!

  • Dashgar on August 2, 2012, 12:55 GMT

    I think it's gonna be tough for Haddin to get back into team. Pete Neville had a great year last year. Of course that's just to get back into the NSW team, as for the Australia team he's at best 4th in line now after Wade, Paine and Neville.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on August 2, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    as greg chappell , proven performers deserve one chance too many rather than one chance too less. Wade might be good, but i think he is a bit unpolished for tests and haddin who was anyways going to play tests in wi deserves to be lined up for the entire summer at least and a few matches in india next year unless he fails terribly. He is an asset at 7 and his keeping was steady during the indian test series so please dont burden this gritty man

  • ozziefan08 on August 2, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    Seriously? How can Haddin even be considered? His home summer was worse than poor and warranted getting dropped the whole way through the India series. He will be 35 by the time the first test at the Gabba is played. The NSP need to stick with Wade, give him valuable experience against the best side in the world. If Haddin does get a recall then I wont be following this summer.

  • Gordo85 on August 2, 2012, 9:12 GMT

    It is good to hear things have gotten better for him and his family. I really don't think he will ever get another chance to be honest and that is due to the fact last time he was playing for Australia in Tests he kept on playing really lame and poor shots and would often go out due to poor batting. Also don't forget about his Keeping it was pretty poor last time lets be honest. If the selectors want to take a step backwards then pick him but let me tell you if you do pick him there will be lots of people in Australia who may give up following the Australian Test team due to the fact he is from NSW and wouldn't deserve his spot over others. I hope I am wrong but in the past players have gotten selected in a squad even when they haven't been playing very well (Which is very stupid it shows you that certain players stay and won't for any reason be dropped) Move forward Cricket Australia and look the the future three Wade,Paine and Hartley.

  • shinewindies on August 2, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    I dont know why any one is not talking about Callum Fergusan, what little i have seen of him it shows he is a cracking player, thats why he has an incredible one day record, i think he has been plagued by injuries which have kept him out of the game for a while but he absolutely fine now and should be given a run in tests as well, i dont know why i feel he could be the next Damien Martyn if the selectors show faith in him.

  • on August 2, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    They can't be serious about keeping him in the side. Sigh, but I've been saying that for a while. He shouldn't have got selected in the first place as they claimed the priority was to get the country's best keeper, and Brad clearly never held that position. His keeping has just gotten even worse (somehow) and his batting has fallen away pathetically. Even if he comes back 'stronger'... he's 34. We can wring two years out of him tops, assuming he actually manages to stay fit. I'd honestly rather Tim Paine gets rushed into the side than Haddin make another highly lackluster return.

  • scottyg on August 2, 2012, 7:27 GMT

    I can't see Haddin getting anywhere near the test side this summer- Wade and Paine are better overall players- this is presuming Ian Healy doesn't get a job on the selectors panel.

  • bobagorof on August 2, 2012, 7:13 GMT

    I'll be interested to see if his form has returned following a pretty disappointing time with the bat last summer. I don't think there's much chance of his keeping having improved, though - I think we've already seen the best that it's ever going to get. I do hope that the selectors consider form when picking the side, though, as they now have 3 options with international experience to choose from.

  • satish619chandar on August 2, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    Glad his personal problems are over.. But i wouldn't like to see him in Australian colors again.. Wade inspite of the managements very bad handling has done a very much decent job and deserves his spot.. Even if Wade is felt as not complete, the comeback kid Paine deserves the slot more than "I will hit over anytime and get out" Haddin.. The shots he played against SA should never be forgotten..

  • Meety on August 2, 2012, 6:50 GMT

    @Mark Le Bherz - You're right but I think whilst Punter & Huss + the captain Pup & v/c Watto are around - Haddin's leadership is not as crucial. @RandyOZ - then I'll have to call you Randy(Hammond)Oz then!!!!! @jonesy2 - ditto. == == == Interesting concept about the Wade for a specialist batting position, although not new, (same talk with Paine previously), I wonder what that does for all the other batsmen that are jostling for a chance to be the next in line. The fact is, whilst we don't have overflowing young batting resources knocking the door down for Test selection, we do have plenty of short term options (Rogers & DHussey) (for you Hyclass), a few mid term prospects like Voges & Cosgrove, as well as batsmen with plenty of potential who should at some stage get another crack in Khawaja & Hughes, & of the young & untried variety, Burns & Neville. Excluding Neville, I'd go with any of the other 7 before I'd make Wade a specialist batsmen. How serious is the NSP with Haddin?

  • ManlyHorse on August 2, 2012, 6:49 GMT

    DB wrote, "It was also felt that Australia missed Haddin's presence in the dressing room..."

    Felt by whom? The 'senior pro' argument has been used extensively to defend the retention of Ponting and Hussey in recent times. If Haddin returns, our top 7 for the 1st test will feature two 37 year-olds, one 35 year-old and two 31 year-olds (assuming that Watto and Clarke play). That's a pretty old batting line-up, a year out from the start of back-to-back Ashes series.

  • straight_drive4 on August 2, 2012, 6:49 GMT

    nobody wishes ill health on anyone, but the positive side of this is that this break may have refreshed haddin and given him a second wind. his recent performances have not justified him being in the team and had he kept on playing through the west indies he would have probably failed again and everyone would be calling for him being sack (and rightly so) - but now that he has had this break, who knows. like i said - could be a new lease on life... i know wade is a much better prospect for the future, but imagine if haddin can get back to his best form for the ashes? its probably not gonna happen but if he starts putting good performances together for NSW then who knows? haddin in good form (thin kback to when gilly just retired) is a HUGE advantage for australia.

  • on August 2, 2012, 6:07 GMT

    Good to see getting back into it and all the best for him and his daughter while I have always been more of a chris Hartly fan due to his superior keeping ability and his determination with the bat. Myself id still take him over wade or pain because of his leadership abilitys.

  • jonesy2 on August 2, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    i hope all is well with hadds and his family.

  • RandyOZ on August 2, 2012, 5:37 GMT

    If he gets anywhere near the test side I will not be following the Aussies this summer.

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  • RandyOZ on August 2, 2012, 5:37 GMT

    If he gets anywhere near the test side I will not be following the Aussies this summer.

  • jonesy2 on August 2, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    i hope all is well with hadds and his family.

  • on August 2, 2012, 6:07 GMT

    Good to see getting back into it and all the best for him and his daughter while I have always been more of a chris Hartly fan due to his superior keeping ability and his determination with the bat. Myself id still take him over wade or pain because of his leadership abilitys.

  • straight_drive4 on August 2, 2012, 6:49 GMT

    nobody wishes ill health on anyone, but the positive side of this is that this break may have refreshed haddin and given him a second wind. his recent performances have not justified him being in the team and had he kept on playing through the west indies he would have probably failed again and everyone would be calling for him being sack (and rightly so) - but now that he has had this break, who knows. like i said - could be a new lease on life... i know wade is a much better prospect for the future, but imagine if haddin can get back to his best form for the ashes? its probably not gonna happen but if he starts putting good performances together for NSW then who knows? haddin in good form (thin kback to when gilly just retired) is a HUGE advantage for australia.

  • ManlyHorse on August 2, 2012, 6:49 GMT

    DB wrote, "It was also felt that Australia missed Haddin's presence in the dressing room..."

    Felt by whom? The 'senior pro' argument has been used extensively to defend the retention of Ponting and Hussey in recent times. If Haddin returns, our top 7 for the 1st test will feature two 37 year-olds, one 35 year-old and two 31 year-olds (assuming that Watto and Clarke play). That's a pretty old batting line-up, a year out from the start of back-to-back Ashes series.

  • Meety on August 2, 2012, 6:50 GMT

    @Mark Le Bherz - You're right but I think whilst Punter & Huss + the captain Pup & v/c Watto are around - Haddin's leadership is not as crucial. @RandyOZ - then I'll have to call you Randy(Hammond)Oz then!!!!! @jonesy2 - ditto. == == == Interesting concept about the Wade for a specialist batting position, although not new, (same talk with Paine previously), I wonder what that does for all the other batsmen that are jostling for a chance to be the next in line. The fact is, whilst we don't have overflowing young batting resources knocking the door down for Test selection, we do have plenty of short term options (Rogers & DHussey) (for you Hyclass), a few mid term prospects like Voges & Cosgrove, as well as batsmen with plenty of potential who should at some stage get another crack in Khawaja & Hughes, & of the young & untried variety, Burns & Neville. Excluding Neville, I'd go with any of the other 7 before I'd make Wade a specialist batsmen. How serious is the NSP with Haddin?

  • satish619chandar on August 2, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    Glad his personal problems are over.. But i wouldn't like to see him in Australian colors again.. Wade inspite of the managements very bad handling has done a very much decent job and deserves his spot.. Even if Wade is felt as not complete, the comeback kid Paine deserves the slot more than "I will hit over anytime and get out" Haddin.. The shots he played against SA should never be forgotten..

  • bobagorof on August 2, 2012, 7:13 GMT

    I'll be interested to see if his form has returned following a pretty disappointing time with the bat last summer. I don't think there's much chance of his keeping having improved, though - I think we've already seen the best that it's ever going to get. I do hope that the selectors consider form when picking the side, though, as they now have 3 options with international experience to choose from.

  • scottyg on August 2, 2012, 7:27 GMT

    I can't see Haddin getting anywhere near the test side this summer- Wade and Paine are better overall players- this is presuming Ian Healy doesn't get a job on the selectors panel.

  • on August 2, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    They can't be serious about keeping him in the side. Sigh, but I've been saying that for a while. He shouldn't have got selected in the first place as they claimed the priority was to get the country's best keeper, and Brad clearly never held that position. His keeping has just gotten even worse (somehow) and his batting has fallen away pathetically. Even if he comes back 'stronger'... he's 34. We can wring two years out of him tops, assuming he actually manages to stay fit. I'd honestly rather Tim Paine gets rushed into the side than Haddin make another highly lackluster return.