Michael Clarke confident Brad Haddin still has Ashes role
Australia captain Michael Clarke has said he expects Brad Haddin to play again in the Ashes despite the wicket-keeper`s withdrawal from Thursday`s second Test at Lord`s.
London: Australia captain Michael Clarke has said he expects Brad Haddin to play again in the Ashes despite the wicket-keeper`s withdrawal from Thursday`s second Test at Lord`s.
The 37-year-old Haddin pulled out on Tuesday, with a team spokeswoman not giving any more details beyond "family reasons".
Clarke did not get into specifics either when he spoke to reporters at Lord`s on Wednesday but said he expected Haddin, who is staying on tour, to feature again in the series.
"He`s doing as well as he can do," said Clarke of Haddin. "I think this time right now it is pretty important we respect the privacy of the Haddin family and give him this chance to be with his family."
Clarke added: "I`m really confident that we`ll see more of Brad Haddin throughout this series and he will play a big part in the rest of this series."
England captain Alastair Cook said : "Our thoughts are with him (Haddin).
"I don`t know the specifics, but when you hear it`s for personal reasons you just hope his family are OK.
"The England side send their best wishes."
Haddin`s decision to withdraw from the second Test is not the first time he has put his family ahead of his cricket career.
In 2012, Haddin took several months out of the game after his then 17-month-old daughter Mia was diagnosed with neuroblastoma -- a rare form of cancer.
As his daughter`s condition improved, Haddin returned to international cricket during Australia`s losing 2013 Ashes tour of England.
Haddin was not at his best during England`s 169-run win in the first Test in Cardiff, dropping Joe Root on nought before the Yorkshireman made 134.
Haddin`s place at Lord`s will be taken by international debutant Peter Nevill, also his deputy behind the stumps at New South Wales.
Clarke was confident the 29-year-old would acquit himself well at Lord`s as Ashes-holders Australia look to level the five-match series.
"That`s the reason you pick a second wicket-keeper," Clarke said. "I`m really confident we bring someone in who is in really good form."
Nevill scored 764 first-class runs at an average of 76.40 during the last Australian season, including an unbeaten 235 against Tasmania in Hobart and completed 34 dismissals in the domestic Sheffield Shield.
Cook said he did not expect Nevill`s inclusion to weaken Australia.
"His first-class record is pretty decent, he`s averaging 45 and got a double-hundred," Cook said
"So we expect it to be no different in terms of the quality.
"He`s obviously been talked about as being his (Haddin`s) replacement for a couple of years."
Cook added England would look to utilise the inside knowledge of new coach Trevor Bayliss, previously in charge of New South Wales.
"We`re going to have to think a little bit on our feet out there because no-one has seen a huge amount of him, but obviously Trevor might have a bit of information on him," opening batsman Cook said.
Nevill, speaking before playing in Australia`s warm-up fixture against county side Essex, said: "I need to be on top of my game and ready to go should that opportunity arise."
He added he would call upon the vast knowledge of on-tour selector Rodney Marsh, one of Australia`s greatest wicket-keepers.
"He had a wonderful career as a wicketkeeper-batsman for Australia, so he`s definitely a great resource," Nevill explained.