Curtains on ODI career of Brad Haddin - Has he been Gilchrist's worthy successor?
A wicketkeeper has to prevent byes and keep on cheering his teammates. Sometimes he gets to suggest some field changes to the captain or the bowlers. When it comes to batting, it is just not their thing. Whatever runs they score is a blessing. This was a wicketkeeper’s role till the end of the 20th century, when a man called Adam Gilchrist came into the limelight.
The world had seen bits of Haddin whenever Gilchrist was rested during Gilchrist’s era behind Australia’s stumps. People compared Haddin’s batting calibre to Gilly’s, and were disappointed. However, despite not having been a dream run, in the long run Haddin did manage to fit in quite comfortable into Gilchrist’s shoes.
His career saw several ups and downs – competing with Matthew Wade, Tim Paine, Graham Manou, Ryan Campbell and Luke Ronchi. When his 17-month-old daughter Mia was fighting with cancer, he had to sacrifice his place in the team. But whenever he was out of the team, ‘BJ’ did exceedingly well for New South Wales, forcing a recall into the Australia team.
Changing batsmanship and vice-captaincy
There was a time during 2013 when Matthew Wade was the first-choice gloveman in his country. But after Haddin was included in the side on strength of an outstanding domestic season, he never looked back. In the prestigious Ashes 2013/14, the brightest time of his cricketing career, he was the best Aussie batsman of the series – scoring 493 runs at an average of 61.62, helping the team clinch The Ashes urn with a clean sweep. This led to Haddin becoming deputy to captain Michael Clarke.
In the later part of Haddin’s career, he evolved as a batsman – adapting his game or shifting gear according to the match situation. He could play the role of a sheet anchor, a pinch hitter and a brilliant finisher as well.
In the year 2001, Haddin had announced his arrival as a presence on the world stage with an excellent effort to run Guy Whittall out. Fourteen years later, at 37 year and 158 days, ‘BJ’ announced his retirement from ODIs – barely days after Australia regained the World Cup trophy.
Brad Haddin played 126 One Day matches, scoring 3122 runs at 31.53 with 16 fifties and 2 centuries. He also has 181 dismissals as his tally, which includes 170 catches and 11 stumpings. A great record by any standards.