Brad Haddin

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108,86,365,205,320.

100,257,143,112,97.

These are the first innings scores in England and Australia that Haddin came to the crease at. For the last two Ashes in England, the talk has centred around the fact that Australia generally failed to grab the big moments. The scores in the return series in Australia are much worse than what they were in England (in terms of Haddin coming to the crease).

Every time that Haddin came to the crease with his side in crisis in first innings, he bailed the side out with at least a half century. He did the same on Day 1 in the fifth Test at Sydney too. Every Australian player who came to the crease played like they were chasing that huge score in the Bangalore ODI. While each one of them was positive with their stroke play, what was lacking was the judgement in playing them. So, it turned out that the first mistake that the batsmen made was their last mistake too.

Enter Haddin at 97/5. People all over were predicting that Haddin was due a failure. He set it upon himself to bail his side out of trouble. Though he struggled to find runs at a clip that he wants initially, he exploded after the 39th over. At that stage both Smith and Haddin were on 21 off 41 balls. After that Haddin proceeded to score 54 runs off 49 balls with the aid of 10 boundaries. He played every shot in the book; none better than those front foot pulls of the pace bowlers.

Chappelli has been saying that the experience of bailing out his state team New South Wales time and again has served Haddin well. That probably reflects in his batting. When he was beaten all ends up by a short ball, he looked at the Smith and smiled. Not too long ago, Haddin was a batsman who was frustrating to watch, not because of dour batting, but because of his propensity to go for shots when he had the bowling at his mercy. A casual glimpse at his dismissals suggests that a huge chunk of them came when he was trying to the clear the infield.

In this series, it was to his advantage that Cook quivered at the prospect of setting fields for him from Brisbane onwards. He utilised the advantage well and stands out as an equal to Johnson in grabbing the big moments for Australia

The biggest compliment today for him came from his captain. Clarke denied that Haddin might retire at the end of the test and shook his head forward to indicate that he will make the trip to South Africa

Image courtesy: Cricket Australia Facebook pageĀ 

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