Australia v England, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 2nd day December 4, 2010

'We're not at our perky best' - Haddin


If you say something often enough you start to believe it. At least that's what Australia's resident hypnotist Brad Haddin is hoping. "This game does turn," he said repeatedly after England had taken a 72-run lead by finishing the second day at 2 for 317.

The series is only seven days old but Australia have been swamped by England over the past four. They own a willing attack but it hasn't found an answer to the prolific Alastair Cook, who is 136 not out, and it will also have to contend with Kevin Pietersen starting the third day 15 from a century.

It wasn't so long ago that Australia could make things happen, but this version of the side has to wait and wait and wait. In 1989 David Gower sipped champagne during a break to celebrate an England wicket and it wouldn't have been a surprise today to have seen Ricky Ponting head straight for the marquees for a cup of VB at tea. Ryan Harris removed Jonathan Trott for 78 in the middle session, the first time in 502 runs that the Trott-Cook partnership had been broken.

The mood in the dressing room was definitely not bubbly. "We're not at our perky best, but life goes on," Haddin said. Adelaide's new ground has been full and loud, but the local spectators are in various states of shock.

For the Australians, there is a party everywhere outside their dressing room. The music from England's area is louder than the roars of the Barmy Army whenever their batsmen find the boundary.

Haddin knows the local players have their "backs to the wall" and wants them to "stay tough" over the rest of the game. "Everything seems to be going England's way," he said a couple of times. "The game does turn."

On the first day Haddin was involved in an argument with James Anderson that eventually led to Ricky Ponting having a long exchange with Andrew Strauss about the behaviour of the touring side. Haddin is chirpy from behind the stumps and when he's holding a bat, but he wouldn't give any details of the discussions.

However, he couldn't hold a straight face after being asked about Anderson getting under Australian skins. "Nope," he replied, before breaking into a huge smile.

When the lips say one thing, look to the eyes. Australia's have lost their sparkle, even if this game does turn.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 5, 2010, 1:02 GMT

    David Gower having a champagne in 1989 at the fall of an English wicket. Shd hv read "Aussie wicket i guess. Australians are simply outplayed and wont be surprising if England win 3-0 or 4-0.... At the current form, cant see clarke replacing ponting Will Katich be the next captain....

  • Deepak on December 4, 2010, 23:44 GMT

    Ponting will be under huge pressure. Once gavaskar said there is always big pressure when u got duck in previous inning as no one wants to get pair & with the lead eng is going to have ponting can scrumble.

  • Anthony on December 4, 2010, 21:55 GMT

    Haddin is a plonker, his sledging is awful..considering he dropped a sitter of a catch and at a crucial stage, he should concentrate on improving as a keeper, lets hope he has that in him, if he doesn't then time to move over to someone else, at the moment he is well below par, a case of making your own luck I think. Yet another pathetic ambassador for his country ad the game, following in the footsteps of Wee Wicky, Watson, Doug the Rug, etc

  • Samuel on December 4, 2010, 21:25 GMT

    Gilly4eva - you only have to look at the England v Australia A game to realise that your second string isn't world beating either. And that was with England's second string bowlers, themselves not exactly a world class bunch.

  • Dummy4 on December 4, 2010, 20:53 GMT

    I think this is the last Test series for Ponting and so time to introduce Ph. Jeques, CL White and Adam Voges in next Tests. There is no wicket taking bowler in bowling lineup, i wonder where St. Clark and Nannes are gone. Promoting Hussy into #3 can be a good idea in 2nd inning otherwise this looks to me an inning defeat to aussies !!!

  • Phil on December 4, 2010, 19:07 GMT

    To Okakaboka That is what I was saying I must admit I haven't seen a lot of Wade without pay TV and I missed the last 3 Vic games in WA so maybe Wade is the best but Australia need to pick the Gloveman I have been impressed with Hartley but Wade may be it. Haddin is probably the best batter of the WK's but at best is a 4 out of 10 keeper. 3 ??? drops this series already. As a Pommie fan I know this to well Jack Russell dropped for Alec Stewart (great batter poor WK) and Chris Read and Matt Prior left out for Geraint Jones. England changed there policy, NZ has McCullum now a batter and Hopkins WK. SL also Sangakkara batter and Jayawardene WK and they are all better for it. Australia has to, whether it be Wade, Hartley or Paine. The best Gloveman must play even if they bat 11. Bowlers should be the same.

  • Anupam on December 4, 2010, 18:29 GMT

    yes aussie strikes anytime they never give up till the match is finally over. m.north plz anyone tell me why he is in team? adam voges is the best option at no.6. but really cook is the real surprise package for aussies even for english supporters. no one expect such a wonderful batting by cook. for the third test aussie has to take some strong decision to their selection dont change aussie bowler change batsman. s.watson r.ponting m.clarke m.hussey a.voges b.haddin j.kreja m.johnson r.harris s.clark

  • John on December 4, 2010, 18:12 GMT

    Well Haddin's statement is probably the biggest understatement of the century, it's still perfectly true though. England hold a huge mental edge at the moment, mainly caused by the scattergun selections/non-selections of Australian players over the past few weeks, I can't see us reclaiming the Ashes or even winning a match this series right now. The confidence of our boys is totally shot and they will really need something phenomenal to turn this around. Well played England, capitalising on the good form of their batsmen and the poor form of ours.

  • Adam on December 4, 2010, 18:04 GMT

    Ponting was having another whinge at the umpires at the end. Can you imagine what England would be called if strauss was doing the same.

    The fact that Aussies think watson is decent says all you need to know about the current state of their side.

  • Ryan on December 4, 2010, 17:17 GMT

    you'd be a fool to gamble on "the game does turn" even though it does and that's why we love it, but can we really see australia bowling england out on this pitch...we'll have to bat for 2 days to save this test... the series is actually panning out as boring boring boring like the adelaide crowd were chanting this arvo...hope they curator at the waca spices up the series....i'd rather watch 3 and a half days of action (even if australia lose) than watch teams batting for 2 days, especially cook...he's not exactly a crowd pleaser!!!

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