Brad Haddin learns the truth hurts

Luke Doherty Roar Guru

By Luke Doherty, Luke Doherty is a Roar Guru

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    Pat Cummins is back in the Australian Test squad. (AAP Image/Dale Cumming)

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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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    The Crowd Says (49)

    • January 11th 2012 @ 7:04am
      Mark Petrakis said | January 11th 2012 @ 7:04am | ! Report

      Well said Zaheer, If Haddin is the best keeper in Australia we are still in deep trouble. Maybe he should concentrate on catching balls and stopping byes.

      • January 11th 2012 @ 9:48am
        Galaxy Hop said | January 11th 2012 @ 9:48am | ! Report

        Zaheer is attacking a straw man. Haddin’s point had nothing to do with the quality of his own glovework and Zaheer/forumers retorts are illogical and do not address the issue of India’s record of wilting abroad. If the only rebuttle to “You’re going s–t” is “No, you are” then they don’t have much, do they?

        • January 11th 2012 @ 11:12am
          Dixie said | January 11th 2012 @ 11:12am | ! Report

          Galaxy is spot on. Brad Haddin gave an insight into the Australian team’s thoughts on India, and they seem spot on. India drop their bundle, they’re weak under pressure and are under the pump. He has a regular (paid?) spot on the radio show the comments were made on, he wasn’t walked out to some media conference to shoot down the tourists. Brad Haddin does need to consider his own form – I presume outside the publicised soundbite he would have mentioned his disappointment with recent dropped catches, as he has with batting failures in the past, as does Zaheer, who left his team wanting when they most needed wickets early on day two.

          • January 11th 2012 @ 5:35pm
            Smithy said | January 11th 2012 @ 5:35pm | ! Report

            I think both of you are spot on (Galaxy and Dixie), I believe Haddin’s comments were valid, however, if I would have thought there might be others in the team that were better placed to make these comments. If Tim Paine was fit, I have no doubt that we would have a different keeper in the test side at the moment and I believe that Matthew Wade would have to be looking at getting a run shortly given Haddin’s poor form over the past 12 months. We all know India travels terribly (as displayed by their performances in this series to date and by their 4-nil drubbing in England late last year) and any team can be fragile given the circumstances Haddin mentioned. It’s also worth noting that Australia not long ago was bowled out by South Africa for a very poor 47 and there have been other poor batting displays by the Aussies as well (re 2nd test against the Kiwis) so you don’t have far to look to see that we have a pretty substantial glass house that we appear to be throwing stones from.

      • January 11th 2012 @ 12:10pm
        WoobliesFan said | January 11th 2012 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

        Haddin is a crap keep and India is a toally crap team….and? I’d rather thrash a team with an avg. keeper then be the losing team.

    • January 11th 2012 @ 8:47am
      sledgeross said | January 11th 2012 @ 8:47am | ! Report

      Well said Brad. If India are one of the best teams in the world they are still in deep trouble. Maybe they should concentrate on scoring runs and taking wickets.

    • Columnist

      January 11th 2012 @ 8:56am
      Brett McKay said | January 11th 2012 @ 8:56am | ! Report

      Luke, I don’t think it’s the message being sent that’s the problem, the message is bang on. It’s just that the wrong messenger delivered it this time around..

      • January 11th 2012 @ 9:17am
        Australian Rules said | January 11th 2012 @ 9:17am | ! Report


      • January 11th 2012 @ 9:34am
        Matt F said | January 11th 2012 @ 9:34am | ! Report

        True. Had someone who was actually playing well themselves made the comments instead there wouldn’t be any controversy. The old “don’t talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk” phrase comes to mind.

        • Columnist

          January 11th 2012 @ 9:35am
          Brett McKay said | January 11th 2012 @ 9:35am | ! Report

          precisely Matt. All it did was set it up nicely for Zaheer Khan’s inswinging leg-cutter of a retort…

          • January 11th 2012 @ 9:47am
            Matt F said | January 11th 2012 @ 9:47am | ! Report

            I loved how some of the press tried to spin Khan’s retort as proving that Haddin’s sledge worked and clearly got under the skin of the Indians. I thought Khan looked quite calm and jovial myself!

            • Columnist

              January 11th 2012 @ 10:11am
              Brett McKay said | January 11th 2012 @ 10:11am | ! Report

              Zaheer did well not to laugh…

      • January 11th 2012 @ 2:10pm
        Aaron said | January 11th 2012 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

        Brett you’re dead right mate. It’s likely everyone agrees with Haddin, I certainly do, they appear pretty mentally weak the Indians after a punishing time in the field fetching the rock.

        But for goodness sake Haddin, you’re grassing catches, can’t buy a run with the wand, slashing at wide ones in the first few balls at the crease etc. Sometimes, you need to pull your head in and let your ability do the talking.

        Luke, I normally rate your articles, this one, in my opinion, is off the mark.

    • January 11th 2012 @ 9:02am
      talisman51 said | January 11th 2012 @ 9:02am | ! Report

      Luke, it wasn’t honest it was stupid. How does ‘mouthing off’ about the opposition make them a ‘character’. I thought character was about being strong but courteous. The cricket isn’t boring – we don’t need ‘characters’ like Haddin while that stays so. If Haddin thinks this might deflect criticism of his own incompetence then he’s wrong. But he appears to be well entrenched in the boys club so unfortunately more deserving keepers will be denied opportunities.

      • January 11th 2012 @ 9:18am
        Happy Hooker said | January 11th 2012 @ 9:18am | ! Report

        No talisman, it was stupid AND honest.

      • January 11th 2012 @ 1:08pm
        Disco said | January 11th 2012 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

        Haddin’s degree of intelligence fits right in with this Australian set-up.

      • January 11th 2012 @ 10:36pm
        AndyMack said | January 11th 2012 @ 10:36pm | ! Report

        I agree, mouthing off when you win shows poor sportsmanship, not character. If I was Zaheer I also would have reminded Haddin that his performances have been pretty ordinary of late. Haddin was easily the most annoying cricketer in Australian domestic cricket for years (despite being very good with the bat), he is a poor representative for his country.

        India are here as guests of CA (of which Haddin belongs), leave mudslinging to the various media outlets on both sides on the story.

    • January 11th 2012 @ 9:06am
      Chris said | January 11th 2012 @ 9:06am | ! Report

      Gosh if this is the most controversial thing that’s going to be said all summer, thenthe game really has lost pretty much all of its personality.

    • January 11th 2012 @ 9:18am
      Vas Venkatramani said | January 11th 2012 @ 9:18am | ! Report

      I wish this wasn’t said for the simple reason being the cricket is compelling enough viewing. Even if India have been downright poor at times this series, they still have had performers like Zaheer providing enough theatrics to ensure there is some emotion out there.

      That’s why I don’t mind all the eye-glaring and excessive celebrations from the likes of Zaheer, Pattinson and Siddle. They are showing enough of that emotion on the field, that words off it cease to have any impact.

      As for the words themselves, I think Haddin is spot on the message when it comes to India being frail when the going gets tough. For all their good characteristics of being a difficult team to stop when they have momentum and play with incredible flair and daring when they are confident, they are equally meek when their opponent has them down.

      But Haddin has to choose his time. Dropping three catches in two matches, batting inconsistently, and having a younger alternative breathing down his neck being denied a chance has done little to endear himself to the Australian public. Add that to the fact despite all that, he’s been promoted to vice-captain in this series, now is the time for Brad to be focusing on the task at hand, and not indulging in pre-match banter that will bite him in the arse if India is not as frail as everybody thinks.

      • January 11th 2012 @ 9:57am
        soapit said | January 11th 2012 @ 9:57am | ! Report

        agreed, its a shame they are encouraged to pander to small minded fans who dont have anything to occupy their time between matches. designed to keep sport in the headlines.

        just keep your trap shut and get out there and play well. it seems like everyone has forgotten not saying anything is an option.

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