Brad Haddin has been a terrific servant of Australian cricket for the best part of 15 years. As one of the country’s leading wicketkeepers, he was always going to be the logical replacement for Adam Gilchrist.
The New South Welshman was forced to bide his time in State cricket, until almost 9,000 runs convinced national selectors that Haddin was the right man for the job once the legendary Gilchrist decided to hang up the gloves.
Despite making his ODI debut back in 2001, it wasn’t until the West Indies tour of 2008 that Haddin finally got the call to play for the Test side.
Although he didn’t make any noticeable contributions with the bat against the West Indies or even India, Haddin finally broke free from Gilchrist’s shadows with a heroic 169 against New Zealand in Adelaide. The knock was reminiscent of his predecessor, with the incumbent hitting the ball with consummate ease.
With question marks over his batting clouding the 2010/11 Ashes campaign, Haddin answered his critics with a much needed 136 in the series opener in Brisbane.
A tough series against India followed, but Haddin never gave up, and responded with a glorious century in the opening match of the Bupa Sheffield Shield, and followed it up by leading the Sydney Sixers to a win in the final of the CLT20.
Another century against the Redbacks in the Ryobi Cup sent a timely reminder to selectors.
With the Australian side in turmoil, Haddin was drafted back into the squad at the ripe old age of 35.
His inclusion was seen as a way of returning grit to the Australian line-up, with Haddin sensationally elevated to the tole of vice-captain.
He started the tour of the UK with 113 against Scotland, before scoring 71 in a dramatic first Test in Nottingham, he also showed himself to be the finest gloveman in the land.
It is testament to Haddin’s character that he fought his way back into the side and looks destined to stay there.