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Not picked between Haddin and Wade yet, insists Clarke

Daniel Brettig

October 15, 2012

Comments: 46 | Text size: A | A

Brad Haddin celebrates his century, NSW v Tasmania, Sheffield Shield, Bankstown Oval, day one, September 26, 2012
Brad Haddin already has a century to his name in the 2012-13 first-class season © Getty Images
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Australia's captain and selector Michael Clarke has flatly denied reports that Brad Haddin's Test career has been terminated, opening the way for his younger rival Matthew Wade to take the gloves for the first Test of the summer against South Africa in Brisbane.

Clarke and the rest of the selection panel, comprising the national selector John Inverarity, the coach Mickey Arthur, Rod Marsh and Andy Bichel, met in Sydney on Monday afternoon following Cricket Australia's season launch for a planning meeting. However Clarke was adamant that no decision had been made on whether Haddin would reclaim the Test place he gave up for personal reasons in the West Indies earlier this year.

"I'm one of five selectors and if you're asking me as a selector that's completely false, it hasn't been discussed," Clarke said. "It obviously is a topic for discussion and will be spoken about over the next couple of weeks that's for sure. It's probably one of the most important decisions that needs to be made leading up to the first Test match, and whoever gets left out it is going to be tough on them.

"Not only have they both performed at the highest level, Hadds has a lot of experience and has been successful over a long period of time, Wadey's done every single thing in his power to make the most of his opportunity - he got a hundred in his last Test match. So it's going to be a tough decision. I know the selectors and I will be discussing that over the next couple of weeks.

"We need to talk about it, the selection panel need to talk about it. We need to see both sides, and we'll pick the best XI for that game, that opposition, those conditions. That's the only way you can do it. It's not personal, it's about what we think is the best team for that first Test.

"It has been a tough time for Hadds - any single one of us would've made the exact same decision that Brad did in regards to going home and making sure he was there to support his family. He certainly knows how I feel about that and I have openly supported him on that.

"The other side is Matthew Wade cannot do anything more to be selected for that first Test. He has performed as well as any player, he has made the most of his opportunities, he's an amazing talent, and he's going to be a big player for Australian cricket over a long period of time."

Since his early exit from the Caribbean, Haddin has undergone a full pre-season with New South Wales and made a century for the Blues in their Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania at Bankstown Oval before flying to South Africa to lead the Sydney Sixers in the Twenty20 Champions League. Wade, meanwhile, had his struggles on the ODI tour of England and had limited batting opportunities in the UAE and Sri Lanka, though he kept soundly throughout.

However a match-turning innings of 89 for Victoria against Queensland on a lively Gabba pitch last week may prove pivotal in the duel for the keeping spot, as Wade demonstrated his capacity for making runs in the sort of pace-friendly environment likely to be relished by South Africa's vaunted trio of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander next month.

Ricky Ponting, having watched Haddin's entire Test career from up close, said the 35-year-old still had plenty to offer, but acknowledged the difficulty of the decision. "There are arguments for both at the moment, Hadds is a great mate of mine and we've got lots of off-field memories," Ponting said. "I saw him up close and personal a couple of weeks ago in the Shield game in Bankstown and he played beautifully, hit the ball really well and kept very, very well.

"So I know his game's in really good shape. Then you look at Matty Wade, he has really grabbed his opportunity, made a brilliant hundred in the Caribbean, he has had a great game up in Brisbane last week, so there are two great arguments to be put there as far as selection is concerned. Every Australian side that's picked, there are always a few guys who think they're unlucky or hard done by, and one of those two guys is going to miss selection for Brisbane.

"I've got no doubt in my mind that Hadds has a lot to offer, and I saw it up close in that Shield game. I don't think anyone will be writing Brad off, he's a great character to have around the team, and he's an unbelievable talent with bat and gloves."

The most influential voice at the selection table may well be that of Marsh, the former gloveman who has worked extensively with Haddin in the past. More recently Marsh was a tour mentor for Wade, spending plenty of time with the younger man on the West Indies tour as he fought an ultimately successful battle to adapt to extremely unfamiliar and challenging conditions for both wicketkeeping and batting.

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

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Posted by Meety on (October 18, 2012, 0:21 GMT)

@ygkd on (October 17 2012, 08:16 AM GMT) - from what I've seen of Rahim - you're a 100% correct. He is a neat little keeper, who I think SHOULD improve as a batsmen, as it must be hard forever coming in at 5/70 or so. His batting has improved a fair bit over the last couple of years although I think his keeping has tapered off a bit!

Posted by MenFromMarts on (October 17, 2012, 20:30 GMT)

@Hammond I like your team. Back to Haddin and Wade in same team. This is a little out there but now that WK's are better with the bat what a bout a rotations system WITHIN a Test Match. i.e Wade keeps for the quicks with the new ball as he is more athletic. As the ball gets older and the spinners come in to play Haddin takes the gloves and uses his sledging techniques to gnaw at the batsmen. Everyone says it is the most gruelling position in test cricket so why not have two of them. If we always do what we we've always done we only ever get what we always have.

Posted by HUJ_MA on (October 17, 2012, 10:05 GMT)

Wade is young talented and also skillful but Haddin is far more better than him in every field he is not as much steady as haddin is.especially in test matches.when the importance of steadiness is more value able so Haddin is a perfect choice

Posted by ygkd on (October 17, 2012, 8:16 GMT)

Mushfiqur Rahim, like pretty much all the Bangladeshi national keepers, is a quality gloveman to spin. It's common sense really - without their spinners Bangladesh's bowling would be of a much lower standard (Sri Lanka have Prassana for a similar reason - they need him to be a wicket-taker first and foremost). Rahim's also been national captain for over a year. He's also only recently turned 24. That's right. Just 24. Rubbish him if you will but don't expect anyone who truly values a stumping technique to agree.

Posted by Hammond on (October 17, 2012, 1:38 GMT)

@Okakaboka- okey you called me on it. Firstly I follow England so would have a vested interest in seeing the weakest possible side going to the UK next June. But saying that, here is my best current (if fit) Aussie test team, I care little for the other forms. Liam Davis, Ed Cowan, MC (capt), Rob Quiney, MHussey, Watson, P Nevill, R Harris, Jackson Bird, Cummins, Lyon. 3 straight pace bowlers and an all rounder, MC & Lyon as the spin option, and decent technique in both the openers and the wicketkeeper. And Ponting sacked ;)

Posted by Okakaboka on (October 16, 2012, 11:47 GMT)

@Hammond.. Having read your bloggs for a while now...there is no doubt you are trying to get into the heads of selectors if they ever read these bloggs. You wouldn't pick Siddle? Good one. What about Pattinson? Would you really select old fumble fingers, the worst of all State keepers in the Aussie team??? How about putting up YOUR best Aussie team. Then we will know whether it is about selecting a team that England can actually beat. Haddin ahead of Wade.....Really!!! I'd have Hartley, Paine, Nevill, Triffit, Carters, Handscomb, and even Uncle Ted ahead of Haddin!

Posted by hmmmmm... on (October 16, 2012, 11:06 GMT)

Mark Le bherz - wade plays for Victoria!

Posted by   on (October 16, 2012, 9:38 GMT)

Bring back Rod Marsh if you have to go for oldies

Posted by scottyg on (October 16, 2012, 8:37 GMT)

@Hammond- surely Wade would get a go in most test sides at the moment, with the possible exceptions of India and England. Sides like WI (Randim), NZ (Van Wyk) and SA (AB). As for the bangladeshi keeper- mushfiqur rahim averages 29 with the bat in FC cricket, while wade averages 40, and his glovework is improving. He would be one of the first choices in a bangladeshi side.

Posted by scottyg on (October 16, 2012, 8:32 GMT)

why would you bother bringing haddin back- they should be looking to get rid of the older players, and unlike ponting and hussey, there is an alternative to haddin that is a lot better than him. Wade has shown he can play on any type of wicket, so he should be given the first opportunity. haddin has been on his way down since that charging cut shot to a length ball in the 47 debacle.

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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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