Australia in West Indies, 2012

Haddin shades Wade for Test gloves

Daniel Brettig

March 14, 2012

Comments: 27 | Text size: A | A

Brad Haddin has a bat in the nets, Adelaide, January 23, 2012
Brad Haddin will have to perform promptly in the West Indies © Getty Images

Brad Haddin has the endorsement of the national selectors to keep wicket for Australia in the first Test against the West Indies in Barbados - but will have to perform immediately to stay there.

On the day the Test match touring party for the Caribbean was named, the selector and former wicketkeeper Rod Marsh said Haddin remained ahead of Matthew Wade in the order of preference for the Test side, though the younger man had claimed ownership of the ODI gloves.

However Marsh made it plain that Haddin would need to show himself immediately worthy of a spot in the side as a 'keeper batsman, otherwise Wade would be more than capable of stepping into the team. Haddin endured an indifferent home summer, though his glovework improved towards the latter part of the 4-0 series win over India. He is also valued as a leader within the team.

"At this point of time, obviously the first Test team will be selected after the one-dayers, a lot will depend on what happens in the one-dayers, no doubt," Marsh said in Adelaide. "But if I wanted to place a punt on it, I would have Haddin will play in the first Test match, as he should, and we'll wait and see what happens after that."

Assessing Haddin's summer, Marsh was not overly critical, and could empathise with an older wicketkeeper scoring fewer runs than he would have liked - Marsh's own batting returns dropped away drastically in the latter part of his career, a syndrome that also befell Ian Healy and Adam Gilchrist.

"I didn't think he performed badly at all," Marsh said. "He didn't make as many runs as he would have liked and probably as we would have liked. I can recall him dropping one or two catches, which over a summer of six Test matches, that happens.

"He's probably not been at the peak of his form but he's a hell of a good cricketer. I have known Brad for a long, long time and he's just been a good cricketer and he's got very a good record for Australia. I just hope he performs really well in the West Indies because if he performs well, we're going to be a better side, that is the thing."

As for the emphasis on wicketkeepers scoring runs, Marsh said it was an undeniable fact that lower order runs, from bowlers as well as glovemen, were a marker for successful teams.

"It's a fact of life. Whether I'm happy with it or not doesn't matter. The fact is, you expect your keeper to make runs, in fact you expect everyone now to make runs I think," he said. "We made some handy runs in the back half [in] our summer and that is very important, it gives people confidence, it gives the team confidence when you see your bowlers making runs, when you see your wicketkeeper making runs."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by zenboomerang on (March 17, 2012, 5:55 GMT)

@royramesh :- "20 HOURS MAX"... Depends where you live... lol... Give me your flight schedule from northern central WA thanks mate - took me 12 hours to get to Sydney... With delays waiting for each connecting flight it took 44 hours all up but managed it shorter the 2nd time but never anywhere near 20 hours... PS: not everyone in Oz lives in Sydney & I spent a lot of mine in the bush & the outback... lol...

Posted by jgoogly on (March 15, 2012, 22:03 GMT)

It was always hard to drop a wicket keeper in Australia. Healey should have been dropped long time back but he clung on to his position although Gilchrist was performing and the same with Gily who prolonged his career standing on the way of Haddin and now Haddin is blocking Wade.

Posted by royramesh on (March 15, 2012, 16:26 GMT)


Posted by OzzyBlue on (March 15, 2012, 11:09 GMT)

My feeling is that Rodney Marsh knows a lot more about the issue and has a bloody good record at developing players and teams, in comparison to many other people here (or journo's) who are 110% adamant that they know better in relation to Haddin's contribution as a wicketkeeper, as a batsmen, and equally as important - as a leader in the dressing room. Brad Haddin is aged 34 and Matthew Wade is 24. Wade's time will come. There is certainly no need to panic at the moment on this issue.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2012, 9:05 GMT)

I cannot fathom saying he "didn't perform badly at all". The amount of runs and wickets he cost us in the India matches was astonishing and he didn't fire with the bat at all. Haddin has gone on to fail in his first class matches, and then fail in his grade matches where he doesn't even get picked ahead of Nevill to keep. He only did juuuust enough to claim the test spot in the first place and the way the selectors have protected him as some kind of 'star' player is maddening!

Posted by zenboomerang on (March 15, 2012, 7:20 GMT)

@Busie1979... Re: flight to WI's... If you are lucky 34-36 hrs... My experience was 44 hrs without a stop over some yrs ago... With the large time lag (& jet lag) you would be lucky to get a guy on the field within 3 days & no time to climatize...

Posted by zenboomerang on (March 15, 2012, 7:19 GMT)

@Something_Witty... Agree - Haddin should be picked on his past performances, which at best have been at best just average in the last 12 mths... Still making him VC sends a message that his job is secure for this tour at least... Watson must be shaking his head - dropped as VC in Tests after just 2 short series... Haven't got my head around that one yet... lol... Any thoughts?...

Posted by gpm86 on (March 15, 2012, 4:46 GMT)

@ Meety - 100% right. two keepers due to ridiculous flight schedule. Not as easy as one flight from Melb/syd to johannesburg/cape town, or to london, or sub continent for respective series with those teams.

@RandyOZ- your dillusional mate, Arthur has done a pretty good job since taking over at the start of summer - we havent lost a series since the WOrld cup in Tests or ODIs and i think him, the new selectors and clarke are doing an excellent job.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2012, 2:34 GMT)

Awesome. Haddin goes to the West Indies, scores a couple of soft hundreds, and retains his place for the next summer. What a waste of time.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2012, 1:48 GMT)

The real question is whether Haddin is in our plans for the Ashes. If he is not, then its time for Wade to debut. If he plays well in the ODI series, then he should get a go in the tests. Wade will need some time to develop in the test arena before the ashes, and there are no more tests until the home summer. If Wade doesn't succeed, then there is still time to bring in someone else, hopefully Paine has recovered by the summer and can come into contention as well. Pain at least has some experience at test level and has played a bit in England too. More than likely Haddin will get a shot in the first test and if its a failure, he'll be out, but if he does succeed, its going to be on a game by game basis from now on.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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