‘There is no second chance for us’, says Brad Haddin

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

“We have got to make sure that we bring our A game and deliver under pressure”

Australia wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin has announced that the baggy greens have to beat the West Indies, who are the defending champions, if they want to have any chance of qualifying for the semi-finals of the World Twenty20.

Haddin’s comments come after Australia suffered a 16-run loss to Pakistan on March 23.

“Sometimes that can relieve the pressure because you know where you stand now,” Haddin said. “There is no second chance for us. We have got to make sure that we bring our A game and deliver under pressure. We have done that well over the last four months and I see no reason why we can’t continue with that.”

Haddin also believes that the West Indies are one of the top Twenty20 teams in the world right now.

“West Indies have embraced T20 cricket as well as anyone else in the world,” Haddin said. “They have got their own competition now in the Caribbean and they were the winners of this tournament the last time.

“From that point of view they have got a pretty good understanding of how to play this format. I think these wickets are very similar to what they have at home. They have got a pretty good idea of the way they want to play.”

One player Australia will be looking to dismiss early is opener Chris Gayle, who has had a fairly quiet tournament thus far, scoring only 82 runs at a strike-rate of 101.23.

“I think we have seen over T20 cricket for a long time that Chris Gayle is one of the most destructive batsmen along with Shane Watson in this form of the game,” he said. The earlier you get guys like that, the longer you go in terms of winning the game. It’s important that we get him early and it’s no different with any stroke-maker with that sort of power in the batting line-up.”

Haddin also refused to say whether Australia will stick with veteran spinner Brad Hogg or select 20-year-old leg-spinner James Muirhead.

“That could be a good debate for the selectors to have,” he said. “Probably Hoggy too [has a chance to play] as he can bowl a good wrong-one and he has been lethal for a long time against the right-handers.

“That is something the selectors will have to work out. Young Muirhead has got a very big leggie and he does enjoy bowling to right-handers. It will be interesting to see what they come up with because anyone can play.

“I think wrist spinners are dangerous in any format. Conditions have ensured that the real wrist spinners have been very effective in this tournament. They are an asset to have in your team especially in T20 cricket when they turn the ball big and the batsmen are going hard.”

Haddin was also excited about the possible return of all-rounder James Faulkner, and said: “James can bat from No 6 down and he can cover all bases as he is pretty reasonable with the bat in this format. He is a big asset to us with his bowling with the way he can jam in the yorker and close out the back end of a T20 game. He’s a guy who likes winning and is a huge competitor and the sort of guy you would like in your team.”

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