The Ashes 2013 May 14, 2013

Age no barrier for recalled Haddin

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Brad Haddin may be comfortably the oldest wicketkeeper currently involved in Test cricket, but he believes his age and experience could be to his advantage on the upcoming Ashes tour. Recalled to the Test squad as vice-captain to Michael Clarke for the Ashes, Haddin is set to breathe new life into his international career at 35, an age when Australian gloveman have typically been winding down towards retirement: Ian Healy played his last Test at 35 and Adam Gilchrist and Rod Marsh both retired at 36.

Of the wicketkeepers currently considered the incumbents in Test sides around the world, the only men aged over 30 are England's Matt Prior and India's MS Dhoni, who are both 31. Sri Lanka's Prasanna Jayawardene, 33, played the Tests in Australia five months ago but was overlooked for their recent series against Bangladesh. But glovework doesn't have to be a young man's game: the most recent 40-year-old to play Test cricket was a wicketkeeper, England's Alec Stewart.

"The older you get, you understand more about your game," Haddin told reporters at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane on Monday. "If you talk to guys like Rod Marsh, your technique and the rhythm of the keeper you are comes later in your career. I'm in as good a shape as anyone here. To me it's all about challenging yourself to be better. The day I don't want to challenge myself any more then I'll walk away."

Haddin will be Australia's first-choice wicketkeeper for the opening Ashes Test at Trent Bridge in July, ending for now the year-long hold that 25-year-old Matthew Wade has had on the position. But Wade will be part of the squad as the backup gloveman and Haddin said he did not expect his place to be a formality throughout the series if he was not performing.

"No one's guaranteed to be in every Test," he said. "You've got to perform. This is the Australian cricket team. It's not the under-15Bs down the road."

On Haddin's side is his solid record against England. During the 2009 series in England he was one of Australia's better performers and scored 278 runs at 46.33 including one century, and at home in 2010-11 he was third on Australia's run tally behind Michael Hussey and Shane Watson, with 360 runs at 45.00. However, he has not played in a winning Ashes campaign, which is a record he is keen to rectify.

"This is the most exciting thing for an Australian cricketer. There's no better theatre or stage than an Ashes campaign," he said. "You want to challenge yourself against the best. And if you are successful as a group in this, it is something you remember forever."

Haddin and the rest of the squad members who are not at the IPL have been training at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane before their departure for England, where the Champions Trophy campaign precedes the Ashes warm-up games. They have been working with Dukes balls and have also been using the ProBatter system, which attempts to simulate the experience of facing specific bowlers

"I've had a pretty good hit on [ProBatter] in the last couple of weeks, it took a bit to get used to," Haddin said. "It's not as realistic as facing somebody, but it's something a bit different and if it helps you a little bit, well it's all worthwhile. It's all about trying different things and challenging yourself to be a better cricketer, and if that works for some guys, well that's great, if they want to spend more time in the nets to hone their skills, that's well and good too. It's just about having all these things available to challenge yourself to be better."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Gordo85 on May 15, 2013, 14:06 GMT

    Well this isn't good news for Chris Hartley the poor fellow. Poor Wade also. Often what tends to happen for some strange reason or another players tend to hang in for too long at least Gilchrist knew when it was time for him to call it a day. For some reason as well most of them tend to be from NSW who for some reason don't want to stand down even if they are getting too old so in the mean time the block the youth coming through.

  • on May 15, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    he is the best choice...wade cant make the it..haddin knows about english conditions...we all saw what wade did in england last year

  • ygkd on May 15, 2013, 1:33 GMT

    Age is not Haddin's barrier. Age, in the context of the current team, is a positive. Hence, Haddin gets a gig as VC. The big question is whether or not hard decisions will be made after Haddin's return cameo. There are three outsiders to choose from, Paine, Ludeman and Hartley. Any of the three would be a very, very good choice; Paine for leadership, Ludeman for glovework and Hartley for experience.

  • AKS286 on May 14, 2013, 16:38 GMT

    Age no Barrier- Really !! these type of motivational words is for Haddin, Marsh, Hodge, Rogers, Voges, Klinger, MJ, Hilfy. And also the above WK are mentioned like Prior plays under Cook, Dhoni is a great person and self captain, Prassana is dropped by SLC, Stewart is also under Atherton but the problem is with Haddin is that he plays under Clarke's captaincy and he is a senior So due to respect, non-favorite & ego he has to suffer by current Oz captain. and sure this Ashes will be the last test for Haddin's career.

  • Beertjie on May 14, 2013, 11:55 GMT

    Spot on @reddawn1975 on (May 14, 2013, 9:36 GMT) - Paine is the man to replace Haddin. Better spinners than Lyon are going to play soon and you wouldn't want their chances ruined by an inept keeper like Wade. He's OK for the shorter forms but keep him away from tests unless he improves significantly keeping to the spinners. I agree he's a gritty fighting bat but that's not the main reason for him playing. And given the inexperience of the squad, Haddin simply had to be picked now. But I wouldn't have any compunction in replacing him with Paine for Ashes II provided someone can be identified to stand in for Clarke.

  • ScottStevo on May 14, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    @Ozcricketwriter, You must be kidding, Wade is an awful keeper and has proved so at test level, especially keeping to Lyon. To make matters worse there are some who actually think the bloke has any worth as a batsman - which again, he's proved he hasn't....I'd take Haddin and Paine long before even looking at Wade in the side. The bloke is a liability. Possibly a decent shout in limited overs stuff, not test matches. He bats with a distinct immaturity and throws his wicket away all too often... If Oz are looking for some experienced players, then haddin is a decent selection, much more so than Rogers. One of these guys actually has test experience, the other has played once...

  • Teachers on May 14, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    Lliam Flynn seems to be on the money. It does not matter who else is currently better than Haddin or Wade. Haddin is in the team for his experience, which includes vice captaincy should Clarke's dodgy back find us without a captain. He is also on the tour because of recent domestic and past Ashes performances. If he does well on this tour, he deserves to be no 1 keeper for the next 5 home tests. After that he will probably give the game away or will be challenged by the next best keeper at the time, be it Wade or anyone else, and this is when the emphasis on youth will come into play. Haddin is in the right place at the right time, he has been chosen to serve the needs of the moment.

  • Ms.Cricket on May 14, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    Of course Haddin would say what he has said. Australia would have been better served to give the younger Hartley and Paine a chance. Michael Clarke is a brilliant batsman but as a selector and captain he struggles massively.

  • VillageBlacksmith on May 14, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    ''Brad Haddin has been one of Australia's most solid performers in the past two Ashes series but he is yet to play in a winning campaign''.... Nice to have him back...

  • Jaffa79 on May 14, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    I am sad that Wade won't have the gloves on. As an England fan I would have enjoyed the entertainment; keeping in England can be tricky and Wade is truly awful. One of the very worst I have ever seen and definitely the worst Aussie.

  • Gordo85 on May 15, 2013, 14:06 GMT

    Well this isn't good news for Chris Hartley the poor fellow. Poor Wade also. Often what tends to happen for some strange reason or another players tend to hang in for too long at least Gilchrist knew when it was time for him to call it a day. For some reason as well most of them tend to be from NSW who for some reason don't want to stand down even if they are getting too old so in the mean time the block the youth coming through.

  • on May 15, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    he is the best choice...wade cant make the it..haddin knows about english conditions...we all saw what wade did in england last year

  • ygkd on May 15, 2013, 1:33 GMT

    Age is not Haddin's barrier. Age, in the context of the current team, is a positive. Hence, Haddin gets a gig as VC. The big question is whether or not hard decisions will be made after Haddin's return cameo. There are three outsiders to choose from, Paine, Ludeman and Hartley. Any of the three would be a very, very good choice; Paine for leadership, Ludeman for glovework and Hartley for experience.

  • AKS286 on May 14, 2013, 16:38 GMT

    Age no Barrier- Really !! these type of motivational words is for Haddin, Marsh, Hodge, Rogers, Voges, Klinger, MJ, Hilfy. And also the above WK are mentioned like Prior plays under Cook, Dhoni is a great person and self captain, Prassana is dropped by SLC, Stewart is also under Atherton but the problem is with Haddin is that he plays under Clarke's captaincy and he is a senior So due to respect, non-favorite & ego he has to suffer by current Oz captain. and sure this Ashes will be the last test for Haddin's career.

  • Beertjie on May 14, 2013, 11:55 GMT

    Spot on @reddawn1975 on (May 14, 2013, 9:36 GMT) - Paine is the man to replace Haddin. Better spinners than Lyon are going to play soon and you wouldn't want their chances ruined by an inept keeper like Wade. He's OK for the shorter forms but keep him away from tests unless he improves significantly keeping to the spinners. I agree he's a gritty fighting bat but that's not the main reason for him playing. And given the inexperience of the squad, Haddin simply had to be picked now. But I wouldn't have any compunction in replacing him with Paine for Ashes II provided someone can be identified to stand in for Clarke.

  • ScottStevo on May 14, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    @Ozcricketwriter, You must be kidding, Wade is an awful keeper and has proved so at test level, especially keeping to Lyon. To make matters worse there are some who actually think the bloke has any worth as a batsman - which again, he's proved he hasn't....I'd take Haddin and Paine long before even looking at Wade in the side. The bloke is a liability. Possibly a decent shout in limited overs stuff, not test matches. He bats with a distinct immaturity and throws his wicket away all too often... If Oz are looking for some experienced players, then haddin is a decent selection, much more so than Rogers. One of these guys actually has test experience, the other has played once...

  • Teachers on May 14, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    Lliam Flynn seems to be on the money. It does not matter who else is currently better than Haddin or Wade. Haddin is in the team for his experience, which includes vice captaincy should Clarke's dodgy back find us without a captain. He is also on the tour because of recent domestic and past Ashes performances. If he does well on this tour, he deserves to be no 1 keeper for the next 5 home tests. After that he will probably give the game away or will be challenged by the next best keeper at the time, be it Wade or anyone else, and this is when the emphasis on youth will come into play. Haddin is in the right place at the right time, he has been chosen to serve the needs of the moment.

  • Ms.Cricket on May 14, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    Of course Haddin would say what he has said. Australia would have been better served to give the younger Hartley and Paine a chance. Michael Clarke is a brilliant batsman but as a selector and captain he struggles massively.

  • VillageBlacksmith on May 14, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    ''Brad Haddin has been one of Australia's most solid performers in the past two Ashes series but he is yet to play in a winning campaign''.... Nice to have him back...

  • Jaffa79 on May 14, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    I am sad that Wade won't have the gloves on. As an England fan I would have enjoyed the entertainment; keeping in England can be tricky and Wade is truly awful. One of the very worst I have ever seen and definitely the worst Aussie.

  • reddawn1975 on May 14, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    I respect Haddin but Australian cricket is meant to be looking at its future now Wade clearly cant keep but there's is a guy in Tasmania Tim Paine who played very very well for his country before he injured his finger um maybe they should have picked him he a class player that is only going to get better C'mon cricket Australia get your act together and pick the right squads

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on May 14, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    Well skill, ability to keep, and batting were no barriers to stop Wade getting into the teams, so why not Brad!

  • on May 14, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    Haddin isn't a smart cricketer that the selectors have been pumping him up to be. His shot selection is awful that shows a combination of his lack concentration and poor character. His wicket keeping isn't sharp enough and isn't up to scratch. Wade and Paine should be the 2 keepers touring.

  • Slobberdog on May 14, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    @bobagorof: Yes, IIRC Haddin missed as many chances as he took on that 2010-11 tour. When you factor that in, that average of 45 doesn't look quite so flash.

  • disco_bob on May 14, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    It may be a bit sad for Aus cricket that we need Haddin, but need him we undoubtedly do and that is not his fault. Wade has had the kind of run that others were not given so he cannot complain. There have been some adequate performances and some embarrassing ones too, and certainly nothing to quicken the heart.

  • on May 14, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    To be honest I don't really care who plays, so long as they perform! Haddin is not the worst pick. Wade really needs to work on his keeping up to the stumps. He's not too bad at all standing back, if he can take his chances standing up to the stumps then he will become a terrific all round cricketer, his batting suits the no.7 role perfectly and he done very well there, in my opinion, for a young bloke in his first year of test cricket. I hope he'll be back in 12-18 months as an improved allround cricketer.

  • on May 14, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    Haddin needs to be in the side right now for three reasons. The first is his Shield form which gives him a spot in the side as a batsman alone. The second is because Wade was unacceptably poor in India. The third is that Watson has retired from leadership and other captaincy stocks are virtually non-existent. He is the right man for the right time. Other keepers unfortunately do not get a look in. Paine was chronically injured at the time the gloves changed hands from Haddin to Wade, so to speak. Hartley is a better keeper but is 31 with an FC average of 31 and given both the current youth policy and emphasis on the batting prowess of keepers he will not get a look in.

  • Chris_P on May 14, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    @Ozcricketwriter. Behind Matthew Wade? Did you even watch the Sri Lankan, South African or Indian series? Wade was abysmal.

  • spot_on on May 14, 2013, 5:16 GMT

    Better guy than Wade, any day !!!! But without Watto.. OZ, you're wasps without stings !!!! I rest my case !!!!

  • Vasi-Koosi on May 14, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    Anything can be said after the selection of a person. When you pick a young rookie - We are looking to blood youngsters When you pick a old warhorse - we are looking for experience. The fact is that there is a leadership crisis and Haddin has to thank Watson for his place. If Watson had not rebelled, there was no chance on earth Haddin will be on the flight to England. Aussies are missing a trick or two for the Ashes; I am expecting 2-1 or 2-0 in favor of the British.

  • Ozcricketwriter on May 14, 2013, 5:05 GMT

    Amazing to think that people who have actually seen Haddin keep claim that he is better than Wade. Don't listen to what his buddy Ian Healy says, actually look at it. Haddin is a long, long, long way behind. Hartley is still the best keeper in the country but Wade isn't far behind and while the selectors refuse to look at the best keeper because his batting isn't as good, we have to look at the 2nd best in Wade, whose batting is on par with Haddin and Paine, but his keeping is a long, long, way ahead.

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on May 14, 2013, 4:32 GMT

    Haddin showed in India that shield form does not carry over to tests. And as usual Brad threw away his wicket when the team needed him to hunker down for a long innings

  • bobagorof on May 14, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    "On Haddin's side is his solid record against England. During the 2009 series in England he [...] scored 278 runs at 46.33 including one century, and at home in 2010-11 he [scored] 360 runs at 45.00.."

    Can we PLEASE stop trying to justify the wicketkeeper selection by the number of runs they score? If you're going by number of runs scored, pick him as batsman. Haddin may well have a decent batting average but that should only come in to play if his rival is equally good BEHIND the stumps.

  • bigopinions3000listentome on May 14, 2013, 4:18 GMT

    Ozcricketwriter, have you been watching Matthew Wade at all? His keeping has been atrocious. I have to admit, I was among those calling for Haddin to lose his place (due to poor form of bat and keeping) and am a big fan of Matty Wade. But as poor as Haddin's keeping was at times, Matthew has taken it to a new low. How you can claim 'he is still a long, long way behind Matthew Wade' is beyond me. I do desperately hope Wade improves though, he's a real gritty character and talented batsmen.

  • on May 14, 2013, 4:11 GMT

    The problem with Haddin is he tends to bat more with his ego than with his brain. I hope that this time he has learnt from his previous axing and is able to be the responsible lower order batsmen Australia so desperately needs in the absence of Hussey. Australia have a feisty tail in Pattinson, Siddle and Lyon but need a recognized lower order batsmen to help guide them to decent totals in the case of batting collapses. An upside to Haddin is that he will make less costly errors with the gloves than Wade. As a side note; Pattinson looks to have the potential to develop into a genuine allrounder and will only improve his average of 29 with more consistent gametime IMO. For Australia's main strike bowler to build his batting average to 35+ would be a huge step forward in the flexibility and runscoring potential of this team. Once Starc merits selection as a test bowler (if ever) then he also has similar potential but needs a lengthy spell in the shield to prove himself as a bowler.

  • chicko1983 on May 14, 2013, 4:00 GMT

    Doesnt matter who bats or keeps for Australia, we will bowl the Poms out for less

  • Ozcricketwriter on May 14, 2013, 3:12 GMT

    Brad Haddin's batting form in the Ashes, and also in last year's Shield puts him in the top 3 or 4 best batsmen in the country. Sadly, his keeping form does not, and he is still a long, long way behind Matthew Wade. The last time that a weak keeper was in a side, keeping out a strong one was when England's 40 year old Alec Stewart kept out the brilliant Jack Russell. These are sad days indeed, especially given that we know how good Wade is.

  • Meety on May 14, 2013, 1:46 GMT

    If Haddin can replicate his Shield form with the bat, & maintain his best keeping standards, he will be a big asset for Oz. In cricket age is not really an issue, take Mike Hussey, he could easily have been the type of player that plays successfully into his 40s at International level. Tendulkar isn't as physically fit/agile (as say Ponting/Hussey/Haddin), - but has competed well Internationally @ 40.

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on May 14, 2013, 1:42 GMT

    Thanks for the comedy Cricket Australia!! Keep it coming, with two Ashes losses coming up, thanks to you, we need all the laughs we can get. But we shouldn't encourage Brad.

  • on May 14, 2013, 1:06 GMT

    I agree with the selection of Brad Haddin. After Ponting and Hussey retired we needed some experienced players. He is a good choice as vice captain too, and I would be comfortable if touch wood Michael Clarke got injured. With Rogers and Haddin in the side, we will have the experience we need.

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  • on May 14, 2013, 1:06 GMT

    I agree with the selection of Brad Haddin. After Ponting and Hussey retired we needed some experienced players. He is a good choice as vice captain too, and I would be comfortable if touch wood Michael Clarke got injured. With Rogers and Haddin in the side, we will have the experience we need.

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on May 14, 2013, 1:42 GMT

    Thanks for the comedy Cricket Australia!! Keep it coming, with two Ashes losses coming up, thanks to you, we need all the laughs we can get. But we shouldn't encourage Brad.

  • Meety on May 14, 2013, 1:46 GMT

    If Haddin can replicate his Shield form with the bat, & maintain his best keeping standards, he will be a big asset for Oz. In cricket age is not really an issue, take Mike Hussey, he could easily have been the type of player that plays successfully into his 40s at International level. Tendulkar isn't as physically fit/agile (as say Ponting/Hussey/Haddin), - but has competed well Internationally @ 40.

  • Ozcricketwriter on May 14, 2013, 3:12 GMT

    Brad Haddin's batting form in the Ashes, and also in last year's Shield puts him in the top 3 or 4 best batsmen in the country. Sadly, his keeping form does not, and he is still a long, long way behind Matthew Wade. The last time that a weak keeper was in a side, keeping out a strong one was when England's 40 year old Alec Stewart kept out the brilliant Jack Russell. These are sad days indeed, especially given that we know how good Wade is.

  • chicko1983 on May 14, 2013, 4:00 GMT

    Doesnt matter who bats or keeps for Australia, we will bowl the Poms out for less

  • on May 14, 2013, 4:11 GMT

    The problem with Haddin is he tends to bat more with his ego than with his brain. I hope that this time he has learnt from his previous axing and is able to be the responsible lower order batsmen Australia so desperately needs in the absence of Hussey. Australia have a feisty tail in Pattinson, Siddle and Lyon but need a recognized lower order batsmen to help guide them to decent totals in the case of batting collapses. An upside to Haddin is that he will make less costly errors with the gloves than Wade. As a side note; Pattinson looks to have the potential to develop into a genuine allrounder and will only improve his average of 29 with more consistent gametime IMO. For Australia's main strike bowler to build his batting average to 35+ would be a huge step forward in the flexibility and runscoring potential of this team. Once Starc merits selection as a test bowler (if ever) then he also has similar potential but needs a lengthy spell in the shield to prove himself as a bowler.

  • bigopinions3000listentome on May 14, 2013, 4:18 GMT

    Ozcricketwriter, have you been watching Matthew Wade at all? His keeping has been atrocious. I have to admit, I was among those calling for Haddin to lose his place (due to poor form of bat and keeping) and am a big fan of Matty Wade. But as poor as Haddin's keeping was at times, Matthew has taken it to a new low. How you can claim 'he is still a long, long way behind Matthew Wade' is beyond me. I do desperately hope Wade improves though, he's a real gritty character and talented batsmen.

  • bobagorof on May 14, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    "On Haddin's side is his solid record against England. During the 2009 series in England he [...] scored 278 runs at 46.33 including one century, and at home in 2010-11 he [scored] 360 runs at 45.00.."

    Can we PLEASE stop trying to justify the wicketkeeper selection by the number of runs they score? If you're going by number of runs scored, pick him as batsman. Haddin may well have a decent batting average but that should only come in to play if his rival is equally good BEHIND the stumps.

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on May 14, 2013, 4:32 GMT

    Haddin showed in India that shield form does not carry over to tests. And as usual Brad threw away his wicket when the team needed him to hunker down for a long innings

  • Ozcricketwriter on May 14, 2013, 5:05 GMT

    Amazing to think that people who have actually seen Haddin keep claim that he is better than Wade. Don't listen to what his buddy Ian Healy says, actually look at it. Haddin is a long, long, long way behind. Hartley is still the best keeper in the country but Wade isn't far behind and while the selectors refuse to look at the best keeper because his batting isn't as good, we have to look at the 2nd best in Wade, whose batting is on par with Haddin and Paine, but his keeping is a long, long, way ahead.