Brad Haddin

Haddin shattered despite Ashes heroics

Brad Haddin was the most shattered man in the Australian dressing room on Sunday, yet he didn't deserve to be.

The veteran wicketkeeper played the innings of his career under extraordinary pressure on the final day of the first Test at Trent Bridge.

But his gutsy 71 from 147 balls, spanning three-and-a-half pulsating hours, ultimately ended in despair.

Unfortunately, that's been the theme for Haddin against England.

He's scored two of his three Test centuries in Ashes openers, but he's yet to taste a series success against the old enemy.

On Sunday, the middle of Haddin's bat powered Australia to within 14 runs of a famous victory in one of the greatest Test matches of all time.
Quick Single: Day five wrap

But in the end, it was the faintest of nicks, barely showing up on HotSpot, that sealed Australia's fate and dealt a major blow to hopes of a series upset.

Australian captain Michael Clarke said Haddin played with great bravery.

"I think the courage he showed to play his natural game, the way he played under pressure ... it was a credit to him. I think again experience plays a big part there," Clarke said.

"He deserves a lot of credit for fighting so hard and there is probably no one in the changeroom now more disappointed than Brad."

Haddin was there when play resumed on Sunday, with Australia needing 137 more with four wickets in hand.

He put on 43 with debutant Ashton Agar, and refused to lose his nerve when Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle departed with 80 still required.

Haddin and James Pattinson put on 65 for the final wicket - fast bowler Pattinson also outstanding with 25 not out.

But it was Haddin who kept Australia's heart pumping and slashed 107 runs off the target by lunch.

He blasted nine fours in his knock, including three consecutive boundaries from Steven Finn's first over - which really set England on the back foot.

Haddin rode his luck by surviving a run-out chance and a dropped catch by Finn in the deep, but it seemed his positive approach was going to pay off when Australia came back from lunch with 20 left to get.

In 2011, Haddin scored 55 when Australia chased 310 to record a famous victory over South Africa in Johannesburg.

Not long after, he found himself dropped from the Australian team and dealing with an illness to his daughter which made cricket the furthest thing from his mind.

But after playing one Test on the recent tour of India as an injury replacement for Matt Wade, the 35-year-old was officially brought back into the Australian team for the Ashes as vice-captain.

"It's great to see him fight his way back into this Test team," said Clarke.

"I know he loves being around this group and it's great to see him lead from the front today."