Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Australia wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin has announced that England “were petrified of facing” left-arm pace bowler Mitchell Johnson during the last Ashes series.
Johnson took 37 wickets at a jaw-dropping average of 13.97 as Australia went on to whitewash England 5-0.
“Mitch’s summer was something out of the box,” Haddin told ABC Radio this week. “I think the one thing is, and Mitch realises it as well, he can’t do his job if Rhino [Ryan Harris] or Peter [Siddle] or Lyno [Nathan Lyon] are not doing their job. They bowled really well together as a group.
“Mitch got a lot of the rewards for that because, to be perfectly honest, they were petrified of facing him. We can gloss over it…but I think that was an exciting thing about last summer, the pace Mitch bowled. But the other guys did an enormous job to support the group. And our slippers caught well.”
For Haddin, it was his first Ashes win over England, and he admitted that it was the best feeling in the world.
However, Haddin now has his sights set on the ODI tri-series against Zimbabwe and South Africa and the tour of the United Arab Emirates, where they will face Pakistan, in October.
“I do enjoy playing against England, I won’t lie about that. There’s obviously a goal there,” he said. “I know it’s a big cliché…but I’m just worried about the small steps in front of us at the moment. We’ve got a big series in the UAE, we’ve got India here, we’ve got a World Cup campaign.
“So it’s important not to think too far ahead to thinking about those events and miss the excitement about playing now. I have got the World Cup and Ashes in my mind, but I’m preparing to play these other tournaments to keep moving Australian cricket in that direction we want to go.”
In order to get prepared for the upcoming series, Haddin has been working on his fitness with former rugby union player, Tom Carter.
“I’m still in front of all the young guys on the training paddock,” Haddin said. I’m 36 and I’m still playing. There’s obviously some candidates there. I’ve seen young Sam Whiteman come on, who I think is going to be a pretty good talent, and Peter Nevill at New South Wales, I think is a very, very good gloveman as well.
“I’m all about picking the next best wicketkeeper. I think that’s what Australia have traditionally done and that’s what I encourage all the keepers behind me, to be the best wicketkeeper they can be.”