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August 19, 2013
Brad Haddin has his sights set on playing until the 2015 World Cup in Australia, despite not being Australia's regular gloveman in the 50-over format.
Haddin has taken back the Test wicketkeeping role from Matthew Wade on this tour and enters The Oval Test on the verge of breaking the all-time record for most dismissals in a Test series. He hopes he can also feature not only in Australia's upcoming Ashes series at home but the World Cup that follows in 2015.
If he gets his wish - he will be 37 by the World Cup - it would be a remarkable comeback from Haddin, who six months ago had been usurped by Wade as Australia's first-choice gloveman in all formats. He was brought back into the Test side for this Ashes trip to provide some valuable experience and to serve as Michael Clarke's vice-captain, and Haddin believes he has plenty to offer beyond the immediate future and in one-day cricket, despite having played only three ODIs in 18 months.
"I think I've still got a lot of cricket left in me now and to the 2015 World Cup. So I'm keen to play there," Haddin said. "The vice-captaincy, it was an honour to do that on this tour but it doesn't change the role or how you look at things. You've still got to perform. You still have to be challenging yourself to get better."
Haddin is such a team man that when he was asked about an approaching record that might be broken at The Oval, his initial response was: "For losing?" In fact, the record that is under threat is a personal one, and one that Haddin alone will rewrite if he collects at least four dismissals during the Test. That would take him past Rod Marsh's all-time world record of 28 wicketkeeping dismissals in a series, set in in the 1982-83 Ashes series in Australia.
Australia won that series 2-1, yet in England this year they are at risk of suffering a 4-0 thrashing despite the opportunities created by the bowlers and accepted by Haddin behind the stumps. That says plenty about Australia's batting on this tour and Haddin said record or no record, chances or no chances, Australia had to find a way of adding some runs to the mix.
"I was not aware of the record at all," Haddin said. "I'd take that back for a win. You don't go into games looking for personal achievement; you go in looking to win. If you tick those milestones off on the way, it's flattering but also pretty hollow if you don't win any cricket games. I'd love to win this one moving forward to Australia.
"We've got a pretty good stock of fast bowlers there; especially with Ryan Harris being able to play the couple of back-to-back Tests that he hasn't done previously. I think I've got a few off Nathan Lyon in the last few Tests, so it was good to have him back in the game. Our bowling group has been very consistent for a long time. We've just got to find some runs."
Haddin included himself in that remark, well aware that his 13 in the second innings in Chester-le-Street was inadequate given Australia needed a steadying presence in the middle order after losing quick wickets. With the bat, Haddin has scored two half-centuries and six low scores during this series, but he is happy with the way he is working behind the stumps.
"I feel comfortable with where my keeping is at," he said. "It's felt especially good the last couple of games. It wasn't where I wanted it to be after Lord's but it's back to the rhythm that I've been keeping for the last couple of years."
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Brydon Coverdale
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