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Whiteman endorsed as future Test 'keeper

Baggy Green veteran Haddin says Australia A gloveman has the traits for a long career at international level

Australia A wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Whiteman is a Test gloveman in waiting, insists retired 'keeper Brad Haddin.

Haddin oversaw Whiteman's work during a two-week stint as Australia A assistant coach in July-August, in which the team played two first-class matches against South Africa A in Brisbane and Townsville.

The Western Australian, playing his second series with Australia A after a breakout winter with the side two years ago, took eight catches in those matches and made an eye-catching 40 in his limited opportunities with the bat.

And against India A in at Allan Border Field this week, he added another five catches in the sort of polished display behind the stumps for which he is becoming renowned.

"He's got all the traits of a very good 'keeper," Haddin told cricket.com.au. "His work ethic and professionalism is outstanding.

"It was my first interaction with him 'keeping-wise and I was very impressed. He was outstanding through all the games that I was around and I'm really looking forward to watching him develop in the next couple of years and putting some pressure on the incumbent for the Australian spot."

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Asked if he believed Whiteman was good enough to make the step to Test level, Haddin was definitive.

"Yes, 100 per cent, if he keeps improving the way he has been," he said. "He's got all the characteristics to be a very good wicketkeeper for Australia.

"So I can see no reason if he keeps developing over the next couple of years that he can't put pressure on the guys playing for Australia."

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Haddin carried on a fine tradition of Australian wicketkeepers during his 66-Test career, exhibiting the sort of qualities – toughness, resilience and a keen understanding of the game – with which the role has become almost synonymous over the years.

"They're things that you pride yourself on," Haddin explained. "There's only one position in the team and you don't want to give your spot up.

"But I didn't have to reinforce those things to him. I was very impressed with the way he was around the changeroom.

"He's a great sounding board to the captain, he's got great knowledge and we did some really good work around his technique.

"I was showing him what we need to do when you're put under pressure, and how you can't afford to second-guess your technique.

"He was great to work with and I enjoyed getting to know him, and, like all wicketkeepers, he enjoyed the wins. All that came naturally to him which is a great sign."

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Whiteman is only 24 but has already played 44 first-class matches, with two hundreds – both at Brisbane's Allan Border Field – and 152 dismissals to his name.  

The left-handed batsman said he benefited greatly from time spent with 66-Test veteran Haddin.

"To work with Brad was awesome," he told cricket.com.au. "Growing up, I loved watching 'Hadds' keep and this was the first time I've had much to do with him.

"I definitely chewed his ear off a little bit and tried to get as much as I could out of him.

"He was really good to work with; just talking to him about the game and why he was so successful. I talked to him about his mindset and you saw him taking a lot of screamers as well, so I picked at his technique a little bit and basically just whatever came into my mind I was firing away.

"I took a lot away from that and I think my 'keeping is in a better position just from those couple of weeks working with him."  

Meg Lanning Steve Smith