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Kiwi hospitality a ploy to unsettle us: Haddin

01 December 2016

Brad Haddin says the Kiwis' hospitality was a tactic to unsettle the Australians during last year's ODI World Cup // Getty

The former gloveman says the Black Caps' friendliness during the 2015 World Cup was a tactic to disrupt the hard-nosed Aussies

Former Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin believes a deliberate ploy from the Black Caps to be overly friendly during the 2015 Cricket World Cup contributed to New Zealand's memorable one-wicket victory at Eden Park in Auckland.

And, in turn, Haddin says Australia's "hard but fair" response in the tournament decider played a big role in them lifting the trophy at the MCG.

As the Trans-Tasman rivals prepare to face-off in the three-match Chappell-Hadlee series, starting on Sunday, Haddin has revealed how a "strange" approach from the Kiwis unsettled the Aussie players in their Auckland thriller during the preliminary stage of last year's World Cup.

Chappell-Hadlee series: All you need to know guide

And having identified what the Aussies believed was a "deliberate tactic" from the Black Caps, they turned the tables in the final a month later.

"From the moment we'd arrived in the country, the Kiwi players had been really nice to us. Too nice," Haddin writes in newly-released autobiography My Family's Keeper of the build-up to the Auckland match.

"They were calling up guys on our team asking if they needed anything organised for them while they were in the country. They spoke nicely about us in the media.

"On game day when both sides walked out for the anthems they greeted us like old friends, chatting away and asking us what we'd been up to during our stay.

"They were even nice to us when we went out to bat. The whole thing felt very odd.

Kiwi quick Tim Southee exchanges pleasantries with Haddin during the Eden Park pool match // Getty
Kiwi quick Tim Southee exchanges pleasantries with Haddin during the Eden Park pool match // Getty

"Thinking over it afterwards, it occurred to me that perhaps their behaviour was a deliberate tactic to throw us off our naturally up-tempo and uncompromising style of play.

"They had got us to change the brand of cricket we played and as a result they'd beaten us. None of us wanted that to happen again."

Black Caps victorious in World Cup epic

The Australians were criticised by some on social media for their conduct during the tournament final, with several Kiwi batsmen given 'send-offs' when they were dismissed.

But given no player was sanctioned for their conduct in the final, which Australia won by seven wickets, Haddin says their approach was justified.

Quick Single: It was like a knife to the heart: Haddin

"Both teams were in the same hotel (ahead of the final)," he writes. "Following the plan we'd made, we didn't chat to the Kiwi players, didn't engage in any way.

"On the field we tried to break their focus. New Zealand is a wonderful cricketing nation but deep down they never really believe they can beat Australia.

"Despite their previous victory, we thought this was still the case and early on in the game when one of their batsmen said, 'You don't think I'm good enough to be out here,' we knew the game was ours.

"We targeted the doubts that made them vulnerable and didn't let up. But we also didn't stray outside the rules (as is obvious by the fact that no-one was fined or sanctioned).

"We played hard but fair and we reaped the reward."

Australia coach Darren Lehmann and Haddin with the World Cup trophy // Getty
Australia coach Darren Lehmann and Haddin with the World Cup trophy // Getty

Haddin's comments are sure to add some fire to the upcoming three-match series, with matches to be played in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.

The two sides will then face-off again in a return leg across the Tasman early next year, a series Haddin will have a direct involvement in as an assistant coach for the series.

The Black Caps are the current holders of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy after winning the series 2-1 earlier this year.

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Meg Lanning Steve Smith

About the Writer

 @martinsmith9994
@martinsmith9994

Martin Smith is a writer for cricket.com.au. He previously wrote for Yahoo!7 Sport and Fox Sports.

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