The Australian camp was shocked by the news that veteran wicketkeeper Brad Haddin had withdrawn from the second Ashes Test at Lords due to personal issues. While it is a huge shame for Haddin to miss such a big occasion, it also presents an opportunity for 29-year-old wicketkeeper Peter Nevill to become Australia’s 443rd Test player.
But just who is Peter Nevill, and where did he come from to fend off other strong contenders to become Haddin’s successor? A somewhat mysterious man in the Australian squad with little press coverage previously, the spotlight is now firmly on Nevill as he readies himself to perform on the biggest stage in world cricket. Running with that, here are 6 interesting facts that will get you up to date with the story of Australia’s new gloveman in time for the Second Test!
1. Born in Victoria in 1985, Nevill jumped ship to New South Wales in 2008 where he still proudly plays at domestic level, and has long since been regarded as a classy gloveman and a gritty batsman. Nevill ended up making his First Class debut in 2009 against the very state he left, where he made an uninspring 18 & 0 with the blade, batting all the way down at number 9.
2. Nevill is renowned for his cool head on the field, and can always be relied upon to tend to his keeping duties with high class and minimal fuss. His batting is much the same, sturdily compiling his runs with a pure technique made for the long form of the game. His First Class batting stats make for impressive reading – 6 tons and 16 fifties at an average of 44.29, while his keeping CV isn’t too shabby either, clocking up 175 dismissals from his 55 matches.
3. His nearest brush to Test cricket prior to this series came on the 2012 tour of the West Indies where he played understudy to Matthew Wade, with Haddin back in Australia due to family reasons. After Haddin reclaimed his mantle of Australia’s numero uno wicketkeeper following that series, Nevill returned to state cricket with the Blues and hasn’t stopped piling on the runs and collecting dismissals ever since, culminating in his finest Sheffield season yet in 2014/15, where he scored a mammoth 764 runs including a stoic double-ton – just the second New South Wales wicketkeeper to do so.
4. In the shorter forms of the game, he is a key member of NSW’s One Day side – reaching the final of the Ryobi Cup in 2013 (now known as the Matador Cup). He also plays for the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League T20 Competition, albeit as a batsman only, with old rival Matthew Wade – the man who forced him to look elsewhere to find a First Class team and was his keeping superior on the West Indies tour as mentioned above – taking the gloves for the side.
5. Despite his calm and collected nature on the field, Nevill is a major fan of aggressive heavy metal music, with Metallica his favourite band. He always enjoys jamming out with his guitar (which he always packs on cricket tours), regularly posting videos of himself playing on his Instagram page!
6. While he might not be as breathtaking with the bat as the legendary keeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist, the two keepers do have one thing in common – their height. Both men break the mould of being small, diminutive wicketkeepers, towering at the 6-foot barrier. Nevill will be hoping that in a few years time, that’s not the only thing the two share –he will be hoping that he can carve out a Test career worthy enough to be mentioned alongside the likes of Gilchrist when the conversation about great Australian wicketkeepers is brought up.Published 15 Jul 2015, 17:26 IST