The appointment of Brad Haddin to oversee the fielding of the Australia men's team delivers a dual advantage of a specialist wicketkeeper added to the coaching set-up as well as fresh ideas to further the development of a recently revamped player group, according to coach Darren Lehmann.
Haddin's appointment as High Performance Coach with the Bupa Support Team until the end of 2019 was announced today, with the former Australia gloveman to join the national set-up for the two-Test Qantas tour to Bangladesh that begins next week.
Quick single: Haddin joins Aussie coaching set-up
Haddin, who played the last of his 62 Tests during the 2015 Ashes series in the UK, takes over from ex-Test batsman Greg Blewett who has moved into a coaching role with South Australia in order to devote more time to his wife and young family.
Lehmann said today that the addition of a recently retired player who was a teammate of many players in the current Test squad would help build an even stronger bond within the playing group which has undergone significant change in the past two years.
Of the XI that took the field in Haddin's last Test appearance at Cardiff in July 2015, he is one of six (along with Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson, Chris Rogers and Adam Voges) who have since quit international cricket.
It's been the subsequent rebuilding of a team under new captain Steve Smith that Lehmann identified as a reason why Australia's fielding has not maintained the lofty standards it reached when it rose to number one Test outfit in 2014 and won the ICC World Cup 12 months later.
"It's starting to get back on track, it was a changing of the guard I suppose," Lehmann told cricket.com.au today from Australia's pre-Bangladesh training camp in Darwin when asked how he had rated his team's fielding in the recent past.
"We had a really solid fielding group when we had all the experienced guys in the World Cup year, but in the last couple of years there's been a lot of changes in the player group with some younger guys coming in.
"So getting back to the standard that we want when you're representing Australia is important.
"Blewy (Blewett) started that process, now Hadds gets to continue it on and develop his own style."
While new faces such as opener Matthew Renshaw and middle-order batsman Peter Handscomb have established themselves in the Test team over the past nine months, Haddin will also be re-acquainted with former Australia and New South Wales teammates Smith, David Warner, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon for the Bangladesh series.
Quick single: Smith's praise for Agar the batsman
However, it is the opportunity for Haddin to work closely with incumbent Test keeper Matthew Wade and other glovemen who might be called into the national team over the next two years that represents a point of difference to previous coaching structures.
While the Bupa Support Team has for years included a specialist fielding coach, wicketkeepers (including Haddin during his international career from 2001-15) are usually left to work on skills and drills in isolation now that touring parties rarely include a back-up keeper.
Having inherited the same meticulous training regime as his predecessor Adam Gilchrist, and Ian Healy before Gilchrist, Haddin will fill a dual role of mentor to Australia's serving wicketkeeper as well as the overseer of the team's ground fielding and catching practice sessions.
"That's the added bonus, his 'keeping background is exceptional," Lehmann said.
"With the 'keepers in our squad like Wadey and whoever else may keep, you've always got that expertise of wicketkeeping at hand and on call.
"It's also a great opportunity for Brad, who's been doing all the (Australian Cricket Coaches Pathway) work behind the scenes.
"He loves the game, he's a cricket nuffie at heart so that's a good thing, and he loves coaching so it's a nice fit.
"A recently retired player who can mix in with in with us older ex-players on the coaching staff keeps it really relevant for us.
"It's his baby for the next couple of years.
"He can run the ship how he wants to, after Blewy he's got a great base to work with and obviously some great young kids so we're looking forward to our fielding improving."
Australia in Bangladesh 2017
Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Hilton Cartwright, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade.
Bangladesh squad (preliminary): Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Mahmudullah Riyad, Liton Kumar Das, Mominul Haque, Mehedi Hasan, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Subhashish Roy, Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Rubel Hossain, Nurul Hasan, Sanjamul Islam, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Mohammad Saifuddin, Anamul Haque, Abul Hasan Raju, Al Amin Hossain, Nasir Hossain, Muktar Ali, Tanbir Haider, Saqlain Sajib, Shafiul Islam.
11-17 August Australia pre-tour training camp, Darwin
18 August Australia arrive
22-23 August Tour match,Fatullah
27-31 August First Test, Dhaka
4-8 September Second Test, Chittagong