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Haddin satisfied he's done all he can

Daniel Brettig

October 3, 2012

Comments: 36 | Text size: A | A

Brad Haddin celebrates his century, NSW v Tasmania, Sheffield Shield, Bankstown Oval, day one, September 26, 2012
"I'm happy with where my game's at batting, keeping and just enjoying being back playing cricket" © Getty Images
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Brad Haddin speaks with the assured air of a man who knows he has done all he can to regain his Test place for Australia when the team is named for the first Test against South Africa in Brisbane next month.

Following a winter of personal trauma, in which his daughter Mia was diagnosed with cancer, Haddin has benefited from a strong pre-season with New South Wales, and showed he was in good fettle with bat and gloves during two Sheffield Shield matches in September.

Pleased with how he kept wicket against Western Australia in Perth, Haddin followed up with a first innings century against Tasmania at Bankstown Oval, and effected a snappy legside stumping off the bowling of Trent Copeland in the second innings to underline his sharpness.

Now helming the Sydney Sixers' preparations for a tilt at the Twenty20 Champions League in South Africa, Haddin said selection for the Brisbane Test - ahead of Matthew Wade who deputised ably for Haddin in the Caribbean earlier this year - would follow naturally provided he kept himself in decent touch with the gloves and the bat.

"Selection is the easy part, if you're performing well there's no topic of conversation about it, and if you're not performing the way you should then it's open for debate," Haddin said.

"From that point of view my mindset is the same as when I started playing, I've just got to make sure I'm in the best possible space I can be as a cricketer, and everything else takes care of itself.

"There's enough to worry about as a team without worrying about selection. If you're playing well as a team and winning games, more guys get pushed on to higher honours. I'm happy with where my game's at batting, keeping and just enjoying being back playing cricket."

Haddin's desire to be with his family at a time of adversity meant he departed suddenly from the West Indies tour in March, and since then the matter of his international availability has been an open question. He remained in touch with Australia's coach Mickey Arthur, captain Michael Clarke and the national selector John Inverarity, and took his place as a contracted player when the slimmed-down list was announced in June.

While Wade retained the limited overs gloves he had taken from Haddin on merit last summer, there remains the strong sense that Haddin, having shown his readiness for NSW, will retake the Test gloves in November.

"The pre-season has been good. With the way international cricket is shaped these days you don't often get a long pre-season, so it was good to get a pre-season under my belt and get my body where I needed it to," Haddin said. "But the bottom line is cricket's about performance and that's what you've got to do, you've got to make sure you do your pre-season, the reason you do it is to get out on the pitch and perform."

The Sixers' qualification for the Champions League, thanks to their victory in the inaugural BBL last summer, means a choppy preparation for several members of Australia's likely Test squad, including Haddin, Shane Watson and Pat Cummins. Haddin said the players would deal with it as best they can, and felt happy he at least had been able to play a pair of Shield games before departing for the event.

"That's international cricket these days, you chop and change formats and that's been happening for a long time now, so from that point of view it's not that big a change," Haddin said. "What's good about it actually is getting the volume from a cricket point of view, the Shield has given us a chance to get some cricket and some miles in our legs.

"I find preparing for tournaments like a T20 event, there's no better way to do it than actually get some longer form cricket, so your body gets used to playing cricket again. You can go through all your processes, get all your shapes right, without having to rush into the T20 format. Now it's just a bit of maintenance and making sure we get the squad together and everyone knows what we need to do once we get to South Africa, because with these tournaments it is very important to start well."

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

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Posted by bumsonseats on (October 6, 2012, 11:42 GMT)

the aussies just seem to want to hold on to the few stars left from their better sides of the past. it does not work you have to move on. their die hard supporters on here have to understand that. ponting has lost 3 ashes series and it will be a reminder to him for years, his name will always be remembered for that not that he was the 2nd greatest aussie batter of all time, thats just the way it is. under normal circumstances it would have been lost one and your out. due to the dearth of batting talent they dread doing it. whats going wrong with the process of batting talent coming through, a decade ago there was good batters scoring tons of runs in state cricket who could not get a sniff at a place. now guys like hughes are given chance after chance and after an average county season no doubt some guy will be shouting his swift return. what next dan christian selected now that will be a killer blow.

Posted by ygkd on (October 6, 2012, 3:37 GMT)

I'm a Victorian and I'll spruik Hartley. Anyone see the T20 WC semi-final and hear Ian Bishop say Badree was being relieved of the ball for Narine? Two balls later and Wade's gone. Narine never played in that test series (he had no WI central contract) and went to Kolkata in the IPL where he was Player of the Tournament.

Posted by one-on-the-arm on (October 4, 2012, 13:16 GMT)

Just about everything wrong with Australian cricket summed up neatly in one article. Pre-season is about self-promotion it seems and the NSW publicity machine is without peer in this regard. 'Selection is the easy part, if you're performing well...' Tell that to the countless cricketers who 'perform well' throughout their entire Shield Careers but have the misfortune of not playing for the Blues, let alone have the ear of the Captain, the Selectors and no doubt some well sourced journalists too. Haddin has to get back in line - Wade's series-winning ton against the WI on a slow, low wicket was one for the ages. If memory serves me correctly, he was the ONLY Australian bat to hit a ton in that series, and he did it when it counted most. He got his shot (albeit in tragic circumstances) and took it. That's sport - that's life and no amount of self-promoting puff pieces will change that. A bit of humility please. Wade to play the First test.

Posted by Simoc on (October 4, 2012, 11:45 GMT)

The point missed in comments is that Haddin is the incumbent keeper, out of the test team through unfortunate circumstances, not through being dropped. He may be dropped now but probably not given his form. Wicket keepers tend to improve dramatically at international level, through necessity. A bad wicket keeper drops catches and messes up runouts, something Haddin was doing early on against India. Then he got better. Queenslanders spruik Hartley but no-one else is interested.

Posted by zenboomerang on (October 4, 2012, 10:44 GMT)

Seeing that Clarke has already said that Haddin will be welcomed back into the Test squad there sadly will be no room for Wade, even though Wade managed a match winning 100 & was the MoM in the decisive 3rd Test in the WI's... Seeing that Haddin will be turning 35 in a few days, surely Clarke has to look for the future - but CA in their mystical wisdom renewed Haddins central contract after a year in which both his keeping & batting deteriated... If he was a bowler he'd be in the dressing room with Dougy...

Posted by ygkd on (October 4, 2012, 8:42 GMT)

Haddin lasted about three years with a test average over 39.6 (and made 3 test tons in that time) - Wade has played only 3 matches and averages 39.6 with one ton. I've been as critical of Haddin as the next but we should get the facts right about his batting record.

Posted by Chris_P on (October 4, 2012, 5:15 GMT)

@__PK. I would suggest, the last time Australia ever picked the best gloveman available would have been Brian Taber in the late 60's. There were better glovemen than Marsh, Healy & Giilchrist when they were first selected, so don't go holding your breath for any retro policies.

Posted by Chris_P on (October 4, 2012, 5:09 GMT)

@HawK89 I am all for honest opinions & even subtle sledges, but you say Wade "can't stay in with the bat.". His last test he scored 106 runs! That sort of places your credibility with whatever else you offer under a lot of pressure does it not?..LOL.....

Posted by   on (October 4, 2012, 2:17 GMT)

I hate to say this, but I think Haddin's time has passed. Wade and Payne should be the focus of the selectors.

Posted by GMFoley on (October 4, 2012, 1:09 GMT)

Haddin will be picked for the South Africa series- they need as many experienced players as possible. The side will then undergo a regeneration for the two Ashes series' next year, probably Ponting and Haddin retiring at the end of the SA series, Wade and Hughes to come back, Watson to drop into number 5. Rest of the batting to work around that.

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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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