Haddin ready for tough series
While the West Indies tour was a difficult one for Australian wicketkeeper Haddin, he knows the forthcoming series against India may push him to the limits, reports Arjun Sen.
It's always difficult to reprise someone else's role, and it becomes all the more difficult a task when the role is that of a man who has, more than once, been the difference between a good team and a great one.
They don't make them like Adam Gilchrist anymore. He was a legend, one of the best to have played the game. But, all good things must come to an end, and so did Gilchrist's stint with the Aussies.
Though stepping into his shoes wasn't exactly the most enviable job in world cricket, someone had to do it. Up stepped Brad Haddin, a man who had been Gilchrist's understudy for a while, often being a part of the national setup.
International cricket was the proverbial baptism by fire for Haddin. The New South Wales keeper broke his finger in the first over of his first Test, against the West Indies, but so desperate was he to hang on to his spot, that he played the entire series with a broken finger.
While the West Indies tour was a difficult one for Haddin, he knows the forthcoming series against India may push him to the limits.
"India-Australia series have always been competitive, all the controversies are in the past now, and we are really looking forward to a good, tough series," Haddin said.
"Like any other player, I too want to contribute in any way I can to my team winning."
So, did he have a chat with Gilchrist before leaving for India? "No, actually. But I did have a chance to interact with Ian Healy a few days ago," Haddin said.
Test cricket in India is often a hard grind, a team can go an entire session without a wicket, a situation that puts the onus on a wicketkeeper to motivate his bowlers.
Haddin agreed. "You have to be consistent as a keeper, you have to make sure you are alert throughout the day, and that is very important."
"The key to keeping wickets on Indian tracks is to gauge the wicket, make a few technical adjustments here and there in accordance to that, and then play yourself in."
There will be many a established name on show during the series, but among those giants will be a man trying his best to be noticed while doing the small things right.