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Saturday, 27 September 2008

Australia in India 2008-09

Cricinfo.com

Brad Haddin, Australia's wicketkeeper, believes playing as a specialist batsman on last year's ODI tour of India will help him when he plays his first Tests there next month. Haddin's only Test appearances so far have been in front of small numbers in the West Indies and the Indian crowds will be something else entirely.
 
But having played four of the one-day games this time last year, Haddin feels he is well prepared for the noise and buzz of Test cricket in India. "I really enjoyed the atmosphere [batting] over here last time, it was different with the crowd and the heat but it was something you don't often experience, that sort of hostile crowd anywhere in the world," Haddin told AAP.
 
"There's so many people here and you're out right in the middle of it and it is quite hostile but it's something you've got to deal with and another challenge you're looking forward to. New South Wales versus Western Australia at the SCG when there's 200 people there you don't have the luxury of playing in these pressure situations where you have to deal with the crowd."
 
Haddin is trying to fill the massive gap left by Adam Gilchrist, whose final Test came against India in Adelaide in January. His role as the No. 7 batsman will be important but his main task is to be sharp behind the stumps and keep the side buoyant through some exhausting days in the field.
 
"I think it's important over here as a keeper that your tempo's consistent, because you do get long, hot days and it can get quite draining," Haddin said. "You don't want to be high at the start and have low patches and fluctuate too much during the game, you've got to make sure you have an even tempo so your game and the fielding is on even keel."
 
His first Test in India has been a long time coming. Seven years ago he was rushed there as a back-up when Gilchrist had a slight niggle between Tests, although in hindsight Haddin is glad the 23-year-old version of himself was not thrust into the first XI.
 
"I'm actually lucky I didn't play, I don't think I was ready to play Test cricket seven years ago," he said. "The experience was great, I was only here a short time, I was in and out in a couple of days because Adam was fine, but seven years down the track I feel pretty comfortable."
 
Haddin will be searching for some consistency with the bat during the four Tests after failing to post a half-century during his debut series in the Caribbean. He will also be aiming for an injury-free trip having nursed a broken finger through most of the West Indies tour.

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