Buchanan urges wicketkeeping fill-in for WC
The Australian coach wants the selectors to include Brad Haddin in their squad as backup for Adam Gilchrist at the upcoming World Cup.Updated: Feb 12, 2007, 19:40 IST
Australian cricket coach John Buchanan wants the selectors to include Brad Haddin in their squad as backup for Adam Gilchrist at next month's World Cup.
The selection panel is not expected to choose a reserve wicketkeeper for the two-month tournament in the Caribbean, but Buchanan today still made a case for the New South Wales custodian, without mentioning his name.
Buchanan, who is retiring as Australia's coach after the World Cup, has stressed the importance of having specialist cover for Gilchrist, as well as picking injured all-rounder Andrew Symonds in the 15-man squad.
Gilchrist has a remarkable injury-free record in his 11-season international career, but Buchanan believes there is a risk in relying on him for all the matches in Australia's title defence.
If the team makes the final for a fourth consecutive World Cup they will play 11 games.
Buchanan admitted it was a tough decision as the tournament, including six straight crucial Super Eight matches, allowed few chances for Gilchrist to be rested.
"We've been exceptionally fortunate with Adam in his career that he hasn't sustained any major injury, touch wood," he said today.
"But it's such an important tournament that my leaning is to take a second specialist wicketkeeper, but that second specialist wicketkeeper has to offer us more than just wicketkeeping.
"It has to be able to offer us batting potential and probably top-seven material. That's my personal leaning and I've expressed that to the selectors," Buchanan said.