‘I think what Darren and his staff have done is take the anxiety out of the change room’, says Brad Haddin

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“There was no anxiety leading into the first Test”

Australia vice-captain and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin has announced that head coach Darren Lehmann played a vital role in helping the national team whitewash England 5-0 as he cleared all “the anxiety out of the changing room” prior to the start of the series.

Haddin also noted that captain Michael Clarke had made all the right decisions throughout the series.

“I think Michael’s always been an outstanding tactician,” Haddin said. “He reads the game as well as anyone you can play with. I think what Darren and his staff have done is take the anxiety out of the changing room. And all the nervous energy. We can just get on and do our job and Michael can do his without having to worry about anything else.

“I think our preparation was spot on. There was no anxiety leading into the first Test. Everyone was relaxed and knew exactly where they stood. We knew what our team was a long way out, going in to this campaign, so we could prepare to play Test cricket, not look over our shoulders and worry about what was going on. We could prepare for this series and give it the respect it deserved. It was a massive test for us, that first Test match.”

Haddin also defended Australia’s aggressive mindset and approach throughout the series, stating that it definitely seemed to have caught England off guard.

“We’ve played the brand of cricket that Australians expect and that we expect as a group,” Haddin said. “I think that’s been pretty evident watching from the sideline. I’ve been ultra impressed with the way our fast bowlers have gone about it. There have been no places to hide. Once they’ve been five down it’s been uncomfortable.

“And at times [it would have been] outright scary, trying to stand in front of these guys takes a lot of courage. From that point of view I’m happy with where it’s all at. We’re playing the Australian brand of cricket now. Darren and all his staff can take a lot of credit for that. We’re getting back to enjoying our cricket and enjoying being Australians and playing our way.”

Haddin added that he intends to represent Australia in the 2015 World Cup before he even starts to think about retirement.

“I’m very clear where I want to go,” he said. “I’ve said all along that I’d like to play along to the World Cup. From a cricket point of view I probably haven’t played as much cricket as guys my age. A lot of guys my age would’ve played 250 first-class games. I’m enjoying it at the moment. As long as I’m still challenging myself and things are going in the right direction at home I’ll play as long as I’m enjoying it and contributing to this team being the team we want to be.

“I’m 36, I can’t hide behind the fact that that’s my age. But from a cricket point of view I also started a lot later at Test cricket than most…And I’ve had some time away from the game, so from that point of view I feel in a good place about my cricket. I’m enjoying being part of this team and what we’re trying to create moving forward.”

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