Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Cricket Australia’s team performance manager Pat Howard has revealed that wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin is set to become the country’s short-term captain.
Howard also noted that he will speak to Cricket Australia about putting Haddin in charge of the Test team for the upcoming series against India.
“This is a board matter but I will be applying to the board for Brad Haddin to be the captain of Australia. Nice and simple,” Howard told The Age. “Brad has been very good in this process of supporting his captain so we’re not looking for a succession planning captain at this time. We are looking for a person that is ready to go now. We’ve got a lot of other people who in the future might put their hands up but we’ve got a very clear framework of what we’re going with.”
Howard also stated that Clarke might need to undergo surgery after he re-injured his hamstring during the first ODI against South Africa in Perth. Clarke underwent scans on Saturday, but the results were inconclusive.
“We are putting the World Cup and Ashes right up there and if he’s right for the Indian Test series so be it,” he said. “But we’ve seen him rushed back and what we’d hate is for him to play a Test or two and then break down.
“Everything is on the table at this point. We saw Nathan Coulter-Nile go through hamstring surgery and come back in eight weeks, so obviously that is one possibility, yes. But we are actually going through having a look at all processes at the moment, and making sure we get player buy-in. It’s important that Michael as the patient believes he is assessing all possible options.
“I have talked about the priorities and what they are. Sometimes you have got to take a little bit of a long term and a medium term picture. If we do this well, we can get extra years out of Michael who is a world class player, rather than thinking in days and tournaments. We have an opportunity to really get the best out of the last couple of years of his career.”
As of right now, Clarke has to wait for everything to become a lot clearer before heeding the advice of physiotherapist Alex Kountouris and team doctor Peter Brukner.
“Getting to the World Cup is important and how we get through this progress and rehab program will be important first,” Howard said. “Anything past that we will assess how his body has come through that period and it will be a consultative process. ‘Mate, what can your body handle?’ If it can handle everything and we’ve done it really well, keep going, if it can’t we assess that at that time.
“Players react differently to different things. We follow best practice. I’m very happy with that and we are searching even further and wider now to look at different ways to challenge our thinking. That’s why it’s going to take a little bit of time to make sure the rehab program is [right]. We probably find something a little bit different and give it a go.”