Australia in West Indies 2012 February 29, 2012

Wade's Test destiny in his own hands


Brad Haddin could be squeezed out of Australia's Test side if Matthew Wade has an outstanding limited-overs campaign in the West Indies next month, according to the national selector John Inverarity. However, Inverarity said for the time being Haddin remained Australia's first-choice Test wicketkeeper after an encouraging finish to the recent series against India.

Wade and Haddin have both been named in the squad for Australia's five ODIs in the Caribbean and they will both be part of the group that stays on for the three Tests that follow, although that squad is yet to be confirmed. Wade has overtaken Haddin as Australia's preferred one-day gloveman thanks to his impressive form in the tri-series and he is also the incumbent in T20s.

That gives Wade seven matches in the West Indies, where Haddin will be the backup one-day wicketkeeper, before the longer version begins. Australia's first Test begins in Barbados on April 7 and Inverarity did not rule out the possibility that Wade could have jumped ahead of Haddin in all forms of the game by then.

"There's the possibility there," Inverarity said. "At the moment Brad Haddin played in the last Test and we beat India 4-0. Brad had slight fluctuations of form but finished on a high note. At this moment Brad is our Test wicketkeeper. If Matthew does extraordinarily well, of course he comes in to contention there. There's rivalry in any touring party … there's nothing new there."

Inverarity said he had been pleased with Haddin's glovework during his recent Sheffield Shield appearance for New South Wales against Western Australia in Perth, although he made a pair with the bat. And although Wade has become the No.1 in the 50-over format, Inverarity said Haddin was clearly second in line and was needed in the one-day squad in the Caribbean due to the difficulty of sending a replacement from Australia if Wade was injured.

"If Matthew Wade had broken a finger, say in ODI four [in the Commonwealth Bank Series], Brad Haddin would have come back into the side," Inverarity said. "I think they're both looking forward to and we're looking forward to it. In competitive sport friendly rivalry pushes each other to greater heights. I think they'll do that in the West Indies and I think they're both looking forward to working together."

Wade, 24, said he was looking forward to using the tour to learn from Haddin, who made his international debut 11 years ago. He said there was no reason for either man to feel uncomfortable at the prospect of competing for a spot, and he had enjoyed the opportunities he had already had to ask Haddin about keeping at international level.

"I think we can definitely work well together," Wade said. "I know Brad reasonably well. I spoke to him at the AB Medal at length and he gave me a call when I got picked for the one-dayers. He's been really giving. Hopefully we can both work well together. I can't see there being any problem. I'm just starting international cricket and he's been playing a long time. I'm just going to be looking to learn off him. I'd be stupid not to.

"At the moment I'm keeping in the one-dayers and the Twenty20s so most of my attention is going towards that. I haven't really even thought that far down the track [the West Indies Test series]. I'm involved in a pretty big series here at the moment so I haven't thought too far down the track. Every time I go out on the cricket pitch I'm looking to play my best."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Matt on March 2, 2012, 11:12 GMT

    @zenboomerang My point is that Haddin is a proven performer at the international level. Wade is not yet. Don't think I can make it any simpler for you. I hope Wade improves and becomes a succesful international player. @Dashgar Haddin's average of 31 at a strike rate of almost 82 is 2nd best for a Aussie wicketkeeper ever and 28th for any Aussie batsmen in history of ODIs (higher than others like Border, Hodge, Law, O'Donnell etc). He also was the highest scorer for Australia in last year's World Cup (332 runs avg 55). He also is 18th in world for all time ODI dismissals. So yes he is a proven champion by any cricket afficionado's standards. Some people need to get over expecting every Aussie wicket-keeper batsman to be as good as Gilly.

  • Craig on March 2, 2012, 10:49 GMT

    The way hadds is playing he shouldn't be anywhere near the Australian team! Hadds has done a decent job for Australian over the past 5 years but his time is up, it's as simple as that! If there no place for sentiment with regards to ponting, a absolute champion cricketer world wide then hadds should have already been giving his marching orders in all forms of the game!

  • Roo on March 1, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    @Seers... "The current selections are clearly based on very current performance rather than career averages"... Read the Argus report... Ohhh & in Wades 50 FC games (over 5 summers) he has a higher FC batting average than Haddin - Your point?.... Haddins 1st 7 ODI's he averaged @13.7 (3 against Zimbabwe in Oz) while Wades 1st 7 ODI's has an average of @29.2 - again your point?...

  • Greg on March 1, 2012, 4:35 GMT

    Bit had for Wade to get consistent in batting when they are shuffling all around the top 7...

  • Tim on March 1, 2012, 2:08 GMT

    The problem is Haddin will not get an ODI game now because the selectors will always choose Wade over Hadds, so even if he does come back into form, he will never get an opportunity to prove his worth. I'm afraid it's curtains for Brad Haddin in ODIs and probably Tests as well, unless Wade injures himself...

  • Tim on March 1, 2012, 1:57 GMT

    @Seers, 2 centuries, average of 31 in 87 innings. Proven champion? Hardly. He's been a 'decent player' at best for Australia. Wade has settled in the team, provided some quality knocks and if his FC and List A careers are anything to go by we'll be seeing centuries from him in no time and probably an average closer to 40 than 30, if not above 40. Haddin's test career really isn't any better, 3 centuries and an average of 35 and only 2 50s in his last 12 games. In a career of only 43 matches thats over a quarter of his career he's gone now with nothing to show for it but failures and dropped catches. Haddin doesn't really deserve to be on this tour except as a mentor to Wade, hopefully Wade keeps up his good performances and makes that the case.

  • amitkumar on March 1, 2012, 0:17 GMT

    GO WADE!!! Wade has proven himself worthy of the spot in keeping. Haddin is good, but not as good as Wade

  • Nicholas on February 29, 2012, 23:38 GMT

    In response to "Seers"--Wade is a much better gloveman than Haddin. His footwork is dramatically better than Haddin's which means he has no problem adapting to a higher standard of cricket, and his excellent keeping during the current ODI series proves this. His first-class average is above 40 whereas Haddin's is below. Also, Haddin has passed 50 only 13 times from 71 test innings, which is nothing to write home about. It's time that the selectors dropped Haddin from the Test team too.

  • Dummy4 on February 29, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    This is common.If you waited a long time for your turn and tagged as "waiting in wings" then its bound to happen.The case of Haddin is not something new.

  • Matt on February 29, 2012, 10:17 GMT

    I would put Wade and Haddin on a par in terms of wicket-keeping although I do think Wade has done better than I thought he might at international keeping (....although I think he makes some things look harder than they should be with dramatic dives). However, batting wise Hadin is a proven champion at ODIs and test level (centuries and average). So far Wade has proven little with the bat. The current selections are clearly based on very current performance rather than career averages. This is a very dangerous policy for cricketers, especially batsmen.

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