Haddin should be the Test keeper at the Gabba
Brad Haddin is coming under lots of criticism AAP Image/Tony McDonough
Former Test keeper Brad Haddin should be more worried about what the chairman of selectors said yesterday than missing out on the first Test to Matt Wade against the South Africans at the Gabba.
John Inverarity, in his best headmaster manner said “Brad is still a strong contender for the keeping position”.
A sugar-coated kiss of death comment.
That’s like the CEO of a football club telling the media and fans the coach is in no danger of the sack.
Days, or short weeks later, the coach is gone.
Wade took over the gloves in the West Indies seven months ago and played all three Tests, when Haddin had to return home to be with his very sick daughter.
But Haddin is back to his best, and he’s a far better keeper than Wade. Haddin should have been reinstated yesterday.
Wade is too flashy with the gloves, and while there’s not much difference between them with the bat, Haddin is the more reliable proposition overall.
What a lot of cricket fans don’t realise, the Australian Test keeper is more exclusive club than Test captains.
Australia has played 744 Tests since 1877, selecting 428 players. There have been only 43 captains.
But there have been less Australian keepers in those 135 years – just 32.
And among the 32, five Australian keepers played just one Test each:
* Billy Murdoch in 1882 against England.
* Frederick Burton in 1887 against England.
* Hammy Love in 1932 against England in the infamous Bodyline series.
* Phil Emery in 1994 against Pakistan.
* And Graham Manou in 2009 against England.
There’s a good story about Emery and his father Nev, rarely told.
Nev, a first grade cricketer with Sydney University, always wanted to be a Test cricketer, but ended up first choice five-eighth on the 1946-47 Wallaby tour of the UK and France.
Phil, a first grade rugby rep with Gordon, always wanted to be a Wallaby, but ended up a Test cricketer, albeit for the one appearance, and one ODI.
Both were Shore head prefects – Nev in 1942, Phil in 1982 – and both were selected in the Combined GPS first X!, and first XV, in their eras.
Quite a father-son combination.
Amazingly, Jim Burke from Sydney Grammar in the 50s, and Phil Emery, are the only two GPS cricketers to win Test caps since World War two
There have been many fine GPS cricketers over the years, but only two kicked on.
And while I’m on amazing stats, not one country has won half their Test matches.
Australia is the closest with 350 wins from 744 matches – 47%.
England’s next, just pipping South Africa.
England’s played 926 Tests for 329 wins – 35.53%, South Africa 369 Tests for 131 wins – 35.50%.
But I digress, Brad Haddin should be the Test keeper at the Gabba.
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