Australia v West Indies, World T20, Group 2, Mirpur March 27, 2014

'No second chance for us' - Haddin


Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin has admitted Australia are unlikely to get a second chance to stay in contention for the semi-finals if they lose to West Indies on Friday. Australia lost their opening game to Pakistan, and their opponents on Friday have one win and a defeat. Australia will require an overall improvement in their game to rise above their current fourth spot in Group 2.

"Sometimes that can relieve the pressure because you know where you stand now," Haddin said. "There is no second chance for us. We have got to make sure that we bring our A game and deliver under pressure. We have done that well over the last four months and I see no reason why we can't continue with that."

West Indies, according to Haddin, are one of the leading T20 teams in the world and pose a major threat. Both teams have five wins each from ten T20 games so far and are also locked at two wins each against one another in World T20s, although West Indies have won their last two encounters against Australia.

"West Indies have embraced T20 cricket as well as anyone else in the world," Haddin said. "They have got their own competition now in the Caribbean and they were the winners of this tournament the last time.

"From that point of view they have got a pretty good understanding of how to play this format. I think these wickets are very similar to what they have at home. They have got a pretty good idea of the way they want to play."

One of Australia's chief concerns is Chris Gayle, who is West Indies' highest T20 run-scorer against Australia with 246 runs at a strike rate of 161.84 with three fifties. Australia are unlikely to forget the mauling they received at Gayle's hands in 2009 and 2012. In 2009, he slammed a 50-ball 88 to help West Indies chase down 170 with seven wickets and more than four overs to spare. In the semi-final in 2012, his unbeaten 75 off 41 balls helped West Indies score an imposing 205, after which they dismissed Australia for 131.

Gayle has had a quiet tournament so far, scoring 82 runs at a strike rate of 101.23 against India and Bangladesh but Haddin said Australia would breathe easy if they could get the left-handed batsman out early.

"I think we have seen over T20 cricket for a long time that Chris Gayle is one of the most destructive batsmen along with Shane Watson in this form of the game," he said. The earlier you get guys like that, the longer you go in terms of winning the game. It's important that we get him early and it's no different with any stroke-maker with that sort of power in the batting line-up."

Haddin, however, could not state whether Australia would field Brad Hogg or the 20-year-old legspinner James Muirhead against West Indies. With Gayle the only left-hander in West Indies' top-order, Australia may be be tempted to give the rookie a go. So far, Amit Mishra, Samuel Badree and Imran Tahir have shown how effective legspin can be in differing conditions in Dhaka and Chittagong.

"That could be a good debate for the selectors to have. Probably Hoggy too [has a chance to play] as he can bowl a good wrong-one and he has been lethal for a long time against the right-handers," Haddin said. "That is something the selectors will have to work out. Young Muirhead has got a very big leggie and he does enjoy bowling to right-handers. It will be interesting to see what they come up with because anyone can play.

"I think wrist spinners are dangerous in any format. Conditions have ensured that the real wrist spinners have been very effective in this tournament. They are an asset to have in your team especially in T20 cricket when they turn the ball big and the batsmen are going hard."

The final piece of good news for Australia is that James Faulkner is likely to play which, given the allrounder's recent form, is a big boost. Haddin feels that Faulkner's return will give George Bailey a few more options in crucial situations.

"James can bat from No 6 down and he can cover all bases as he is pretty reasonable with the bat in this format," he said. "He is a big asset to us with his bowling with the way he can jam in the yorker and close out the back end of a T20 game. He's a guy who likes winning and is a huge competitor and the sort of guy you would like in your team."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Adrian on March 28, 2014, 7:53 GMT

    Actually, this is already their second chance. Their first chance was their horrid loss to Pakistan, which we can put down to Hogg more than anyone else.

  • Leon on March 28, 2014, 7:11 GMT

    on these surfaces I wouldn't mind 4 specialist bowlers Starc, Coulter-Nile, muirhead, and Hoggy with Faulkner, Watson and Maxwell as allrounders, but I like the idea of Hodge being a finisher with all his experience, although it would come to a toss up between Hodge and Faulkner at 6 being asked to do the last couple of over hitting...

  • Android on March 28, 2014, 6:55 GMT

    Haddin is useless in keeping. Not great in batting. Australia should change the wicket keeper for T20.

    However Australia would win today easily.

  • Richard on March 28, 2014, 4:47 GMT

    zeus_kris - Don't worry mate, you are an astute judge. It was difficult to watch the magnitude of Haddin's fall from grace against Pak the other night. Your side is fine but I would pick Hodge as keeper (arm). It's difficult to see it happening though, as there are 5 Victorians in that side and we all know that figure is far too high for anyone from Sydney or Queensland to mentally cope with. Personally, I couldn't care less what state they were born in, as long as it was in Australia.

    Would like to see some slight adjustments to yours: Finch, Warner, White, Hodge(wk), Bailey, Maxwell, Watson, Faulkner, Coulter-Nile, Bollinger/Starc, Muirhead.

    Bollinger was the best bowler vs Pak and has a good record against Gayle. If there was ever a match for Muirhead to get his chance, this is it. White has been opening the T20 batting of late and doing surprisingly well.

  • james on March 28, 2014, 3:36 GMT

    Everyone seems to be forgetting haddin led nsw to win the champions league in t 20 did he not ?

  • zeus on March 28, 2014, 2:55 GMT

    @Tim Martin and @DauD_

    I cannot understand Australia's fascination with Haddin. Sure he was instrumental in winning the Ashes. But that was Test cricket. Here in T20s and 1-dayers he is a total liability. He has done absolutely nothing of note in limited overs format. If anything, Australia should have picked Tim Paine for the T20 world cup.

    As they don't have Tim Paine in the current squad, they should make either Warner or Hodge keep and play White in Haddin's place.

  • ESPN on March 27, 2014, 16:33 GMT

    Australia Playing XI for the game against WI should be like this D warner, A finch, Haddin, Watson, Bailey, Hodge, Maxwell, white, Counter Nile, Jhonson, Bollinger

  • Android on March 27, 2014, 16:19 GMT

    hodge out Faulkner in bcoz he z an old rounder who could come in handy at the death overs.

  • Daud on March 27, 2014, 15:11 GMT

    @zeus_kris, then who's going to keep? Ben Dunk should've been picked over Haddin.

  • ESPN on March 27, 2014, 13:58 GMT

    @Zeus_Kris R u INSANE!! Why would u want to drop Haddin? He has been in excellent form as keeper in all formats for Australia the last 4-5 months. Not to mention his batting too. U have to have a specialist keeper in the team in every T20 u play. Don't want to miss out on the half chances. Pending Injuries. The only change I think Australia might make for their next match is: Faulkner in. Coulter-Nile out. Maybe White In Hodge Out.

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