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Steve Waugh questions handling of Warner, Haddin

Daniel Brettig

February 14, 2012

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Steve Waugh speaks at the MCC World Cricket Committee meeting, London, July 14, 2009
Steve Waugh was part of the Argus review panel but is unsure of the national selectors' intentions © Associated Press
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Steve Waugh, the former Australia captain and a member of the Argus review panel, has questioned the selection circumstances around Ricky Ponting's appointment as stand-in for Michael Clarke in Friday's triangular series ODI at the SCG.

Pointing to David Warner's place as the ODI vice-captain, Waugh wondered why the opening batsman had not been elevated to the captaincy for the one match, while Clarke recovers from a hamstring strain.

"Ricky will do it blindfolded, but the future is probably Dave Warner so I'm surprised they didn't go to Warner and go to the future," Waugh said in Sydney on Tuesday. "It's only a temporary thing, you put Dave Warner in there as vice-captain … I assume they think he is leadership material. If he's vice-captain why can't he captain the side as well? Maybe they think Dave's not quite ready but why is he vice-captain? It doesn't make sense to me."

Waugh also queried the status of Brad Haddin, who was ostensibly rested for the start of the series but remains out of the side while Matthew Wade gets comfortable as the team's limited overs gloveman. Part of the Argus review's directives were to enhance communication and clarity between the selectors and the players, and Waugh appeared doubtful if that could currently be the case.

"I was surprised when they said [Haddin] was rested. He basically said he was dropped," Waugh said. "There's mixed messages there. If he's rested, why doesn't he come back in and be the captain? He's the vice-captain of the Test side, so there was the opportunity for maybe Brad to captain the one-day team. But obviously, he's having an enforced rest. I'm not sure what it is but it's a bit confusing and it would be good for someone to clear it up."

For his part, Haddin seems resigned to the fact that he is now the first-choice wicketkeeper for Test matches only, and has geared his training patterns to playing out the Sheffield Shield season for New South Wales before heading to the Caribbean as the gloveman for three Tests.

"I'm still out of the one day team and I can see no reason for that to change," Haddin told Sky Sports Radio. "I'm pretty comfortable where it's at, all my training over the last week or so has been to make sure I'm ready for the four-day cricket and the Test matches in the West Indies. I can't be sitting around waiting for my phone to ring to play one day cricket again, my job now is to make sure I'm up and running and where I need to be for the Test series."

Haddin was also supportive of Wade's continued retention as the ODI 'keeper, a position the Victorian has filled with some aplomb, particularly with his punchy batting at the top of the order.

"The bits I've seen he's made a pretty good transition into the one-day team, he's playing with a bit of energy and from what I've seen, I see no reason why you should move him," Haddin said, before reiterating his confidence that he remained the Test wicketkeeper of choice. "I can see no reason why that [staying Test 'keeper] should change. We had a successful Test summer, apart from our little hiccup against New Zealand in Hobart, so I can see no reason why that should change."

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

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Posted by NaniIndCri on (February 16, 2012, 16:22 GMT)

Excellent point from Waugh, if Warner is not given captaincy in absence of full-time captain, what is the point of giving vice-captaincy to him?

Posted by   on (February 16, 2012, 14:56 GMT)

@bobagorof clearly the point waugh is making is tell haddin he is dropped or play him. I dont think he cares which but just do it. The other is why make warner vice captain if he isn't ready to captain. Both perfectly justified points! selectors still not doing their job and explaining their actions to anyone. IMHO haddin should be dropped and warner shouldn't be vice captain...yet!

Posted by   on (February 16, 2012, 7:34 GMT)

I thought Warner was the obvious choice to captain the T20 team as he place in the T20 team looks secure for the rest of his career. The point i think Steve Waugh is trying to make is that there seems to be a policy by the selectors not to promote to a captancy postion anyone who could be in seasons ahead be considered for the full time position of capatain. Perhaps one of the selectors has some conflict of interest regards this issue.

Posted by Wasim_Wasamadroota on (February 16, 2012, 4:24 GMT)

Agree with Waugh 100% re vice captain, disagree 100% with Waugh re Haddin, any fool can see that the selectors were just sugar coating Haddin's exclusion. He had a shocking summer although he wasn't the only culprit with the bat, a few exceptional performances masks Australias batting problems. Unless Warner said he wasn't quite ready for it, this decision is silly for a meaningless ODI.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2012, 2:59 GMT)

It's a reflection of the importance they are placing on the next ODI now that they have performed under par so far. No way they want to lose this one because the other two sides are playing unexpectedly great cricket.

Posted by DesiOye on (February 16, 2012, 2:52 GMT)

Haddin has had it. He has been week in the tests and not really worthy of a wicket keeper of a team wanting to be no. 1 soon.

Posted by DesiOye on (February 16, 2012, 2:50 GMT)

Get over Warner guys. The fact of the matter is that his performance so far in the Indian summer has been nothing to speak off except that one century he pulled off at Perth. So putting it up at the level of Sehwag who no doubt is having a bad run but has been more than exceptional consistently and has consistently rattled the opposition bowling attacks, is a bit over the top.

I don't think in the current team there is a better captaincy option than Ponting himself. That said, it is no doubt embarrassing for the forward looking Cricket board to show no confidence in the young guns. I don't blame them for not having confidence in Warner though. They need to look elsewhere.

Posted by srivatsan on (February 16, 2012, 0:32 GMT)

Haddin has been the most useless wicket keeper Australia has produced for a while now. Let alone comparing him with Gilchrist, he does not stand to be compared even to Paine and Wade, there is nothing wrong in resting him. Wonder how they still play him in test matches.

Posted by bobagorof on (February 16, 2012, 0:21 GMT)

So what does Waugh suggest happens to Wade if Haddin was brought back for one match? Wade, in great form with the gloves and the bat, to be dropped for Haddin, who was used as a batsman only in his last match (in grade cricket) and who didn't get a score? Or play them both and keep another form batsmen out of the side? The fact is that Haddin's form doesn't warrant selection yet. There is another option already in the squad (Ponting), and the current 'keeper is going great guns. It's unfortunate for Haddin's career, but it's the old adage again - don't give the other guy a chance to take your spot.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2012, 23:23 GMT)

The way it should be planned is Captain falls - Vice captain steps up. It's echelon management OR an admittance that the selectors got it wrong and the status given to Warner was a sop. For me? Let him have it because he wants 'The baggie green' wherever he can get it. He;ll be up and down but can play - and some!

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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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