Image courtesy of: Sydney Morning Herald
“I don’t think he understood and was secure enough in himself to get us to where we needed to go”
Australia vice-captain and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin has launched a scathing attack against former coach Mickey Arthur, saying that he “was very, very insecure” during his entire tenure with the team.
Haddin, who will be playing his 50th Test match against England in Brisbane, added that he was pleased Darren Lehmann had come in and sorted out the mess left behind by Arthur.
Haddin also admitted that the atmosphere within the team was much more calm and relaxed under Lehmann, while it was static and edgy when Arthur was in charge.
“I think with Darren coming in, the message he’s got across, the brand of cricket that we want to play, and I think you guys understand the brand that Australian cricket wanted to play and what we have forever and a day, I think that got lost in the period that Mickey had a hold of us,” Haddin said. “I don’t think he understood and was secure enough in himself to get us to where we needed to go, and it’s actually been refreshing coming into a campaign, smiles on guys’ faces enjoying the game for what it is, a great game of cricket.
“I think what Boof (Lehmann) does is he understands the game and he encourages guys to talk about the game and the bottom line is it’s a game of cricket. He’s a very well-respected person in cricket circles and he’s a good person. The one thing he gives the group that Mickey didn’t, he was very, very insecure and that came across in a lot of our selections and our play I think to be perfectly honest. Under Darren we’ve got a clear message of where we want to go and how we’re going to get there. He’s able to help guys on the way to get to that point.”
Haddin’s Test career was put on hold in April 2012 when he flew back home from Australia’s tour of the West Indies to take care of his seriously ill daughter Mia.
During that period of time, Matthew Wade replaced Haddin as the national team’s wicketkeeper.
However, Haddin flew to India in March this year when Wade sustained an injury and he was shocked to see how low team morale was.
“That wasn’t the Australian cricket team that I knew when I flew into Mohali,” Haddin said. “That was a unique situation which in all seriousness I can’t really explain it. It was uncomfortable, walking into it. Guys jumping at shadows and the insecurity around everything that was being done, so just refreshing to get back here now and enjoy the game for what it is, a great game and been great for all of us.”
Haddin regained his wicketkeeping spot at the expense of Wade just prior to the last Ashes series, where he set a record for the most dismissals in a Test series with 29.
However, despite Haddin’s heroics with the gloves during that series, Australia were still thrashed 3-0, but the 36-year-old conceded that the team atmosphere is a lot more “settled” heading into the upcoming Ashes series compared to the last series in July.
“I feel things feel a lot more settled going into this campaign than the last,” Haddin said. “I think we started to play the cricket we wanted at the back end of the last Ashes. I think the result was a fair indication of where everything was at. We had moments in that series where we didn’t quite grab hold of and England deserved to be 3-0 up. So we’ve gone away and looked at things we need to improve and it’s no secret we need to win those big moments so we’re more settled with where we’re at and where we’re trying to go.”