Brad Haddin learns the truth hurts

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When is the last time you remember an Australian cricketer being widely panned for offering a real opinion about an opponent?

If Brad Haddin was a politician, news bulletins would be leading with headlines about a huge dive in the polls. 

The 34 year old offered a rare insight into his real thoughts and message boards, fan forums and social media exploded with a view of their own.

The wicket-keeper told Sky Sports Radio that India “can be as fragile as any team in the world if things aren’t going their way and they can turn on each other and the media turns on them pretty quick.”

Reflecting on the crushing test win in Sydney he went on to say that the Aussies knew if they could keep India in the field and build a huge total the tourists would fold.

“They break quicker than anyone in the world,” he said.

Normally the chest beating on these shores would instantly begin and the cricketer treated like a hero. Break out the fans, sun bed and devoted followers to feed him grapes.

Yesterday, in a strange twist, Haddin became the target.

Most fans posting on twitter pointed to the New South Welshman’s sub-standard glove work at the SCG and his poor form with the bat. The perceived price he places on his wicket also got a workout in one-liners.

It was an extraordinary reaction from fans who usually back the local even if he’s way out of line.

The verbal barbs not only fired up the supporters, but also Indian paceman Zaheer Khan.

“Well Brad Haddin, I think he should focus on his keeping,” Khan said.

“That looked really fragile to me. He needs to start moving.”

It’s rare for an athlete to offer anything beyond a cliche.

They get criticised for being boring and fans lament the death of characters in the modern game. 

It’s not that most are incapable of offering any insight that may seem interesting. Far from it. The majority of sportspeople have strong opinions about their opponents.

The fear of firing their rivals up or a reprimand from officials usually keeps anything resembling a real thought far, far away from the public arena.

Haddin will no doubt think twice before being so honest again.

It’s a shame, but the bland and boring will always cause less trouble.

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