Paine doesn't keep Haddin up at night
The wicketkeeper Brad Haddin is not worried about his international place despite the impressive claims made by Tim Paine during the incumbent's absence. Haddin has returned to state action following a long-standing elbow problem that forced him to miss the Test series against Pakistan and India.
The time out gave Paine four games in the baggy green and he excelled with his glovework and batting, including registering two composed half-centuries. However, Haddin remains the selectors' first choice for the Ashes and he said he hadn't been thinking about his rival.
"All I've worried about is I'm available to play," he told AAP. "I've spent that long out of the game, no one has really crossed my thought process, it's just been about making sure I can get back and play cricket. Everyone has an opinion and that's never going to change and I'm not worried about anything else."
Rod Marsh, the former world record-holding gloveman, felt Paine had moved ahead of Haddin, but it would be a shock if Andrew Hilditch's panel went for the younger man against England. "I'm not one of those people who sit awake at night hoping someone nicks it or doesn't get runs," Haddin said. "I spent all my career behind [Adam Gilchrist] so those sorts of things haven't crossed my thoughts. I'm not worried about who's going well or who's not."
Haddin's comments came as Greg Chappell, Australia's newest selector, said it would soon be time to look to the future. "It is no secret that we have an ageing batting order and that is something we need to address," Chappell said. "And if you look at the batting, that's an area we have fallen down a couple of times over the last few years.
"Teams have always needed balance, genuine pace bowling works well in any era, aggressive spin bowling and aggressive batting also, but you've still got the need for the workmanlike players to hold things together, so it's getting that right balance. I think we've got enough flair players in the batting, Ricky Ponting scores his runs quickly, Michael Clarke makes his runs at a good pace when he's going, so we need to get the balance and the combinations right."