Haddin is unlikely to be picked ahead of Wade for the South Africa series
Australia captain Michael Clarke has urged the media and public to stop the ongoing speculation about wicketkeeper Brad Haddin’s Test career being over after Matthew Wade was supposedly chosen ahead of him for the upcoming Test series against South Africa.
When asked about these allegations, Clarke dismissed them as false and stated that the decision was still ongoing.
“I’m one of five selectors and if you’re asking me as a selector that’s completely false, it hasn’t been discussed, it obviously is a topic for discussion and will be spoken about over the next couple of weeks that’s for sure. It’s probably one of the most important decisions that needs to be made leading up to the first Test match, and whoever gets left out it is going to be tough on them. Not only have they both performed at the highest level, Hadds has a lot of experience and has been successful over a long period of time, Wadey’s done every single thing in his power to make the most of his opportunity – he got a hundred in his last Test match. So it’s going to be a tough decision. I know the selectors and I will be discussing that over the next couple of weeks,” Clarke said.
“We need to talk about it, the selection panel need to talk about it. We need to see both sides, and we’ll pick the best XI for that game, that opposition, those conditions. That’s the only way you can do it. It’s not personal, it’s about what we think is the best team for that first Test,” Clarke added
Haddin was supposed to represent Australia in the Test series against the West Indies earlier this year, but returned home after his daughter Mia was diagnosed with cancer.
“It has been a tough time for Hadds – any single one of us would’ve made the exact same decision that Brad did in regards to going home and making sure he was there to support his family. He certainly knows how I feel about that and I have openly supported him on that,” Clarke said.
However, Clarke also noted that he had been very impressed with Wade’s form in the last couple of first-class matches.
“The other side is Matthew Wade cannot do anything more to be selected for that first Test. He has performed as well as any player, he has made the most of his opportunities, he’s an amazing talent, and he’s going to be a big player for Australian cricket over a long period of time,” Clarke added.
Haddin is currently in South Africa representing the Sydney Sixers in the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20), while Wade is still in Australia playing for Victoria.
In the first few matches he played for Victoria, Wade showed that he had the ability to deal with the pace-friendly pitches Australia are predominantly known for, and this will come in handy since South Africa have a brilliant pace attack, which is led by Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel.
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting showed his support for Haddin, stating that he still had a lot to offer, but Ponting also admitted that with Wade playing as well as he was, it would be tough for the selectors to decide who makes the cut and who does not.
“There are arguments for both at the moment, Hadds is a great mate of mine and we’ve got lots of off-field memories, I saw him up close and personal a couple of weeks ago in the Shield game in Bankstown and he played beautifully, hit the ball really well and kept very, very well. So I know his game’s in really good shape. Then you look at Matty Wade, he has really grabbed his opportunity, made a brilliant hundred in the Caribbean, he has had a great game up in Brisbane last week, so there are two great arguments to be put there as far as selection is concerned. Every Australian side that’s picked, there are always a few guys who think they’re unlucky or hard done by, and one of those two guys is going to miss selection for Brisbane,” Ponting said.
“I’ve got no doubt in my mind that Hadds has a lot to offer, and I saw it up close in that Shield game. I don’t think anyone will be writing Brad off, he’s a great character to have around the team, and he’s an unbelievable talent with bat and gloves,” Ponting added.
With former Australia keeper Rod Marsh being one of the members of the selection panel, many people see him as the man who will make the final decision.