Home > Features >

Brad Haddin, Steve Smith — Two players who swung momentum in times of crisis for Australia in Ashes 2013-14

Brad Haddin (left) has been in prime form against England in Ashes 2013-14 © Getty Images
Brad Haddin (left) has been in prime form against England in Ashes 2013-14 © Getty Images

Mitchell Johnson may be a very strong contender for Man of the Series award, but Australia’s wins wouldn’t have been as convincing without the rescue acts by Brad Haddin and Steve Smith. Abhijit Banare elaborates on Haddin and Smith’s performances which set the momentum for Australia in their first innings at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

The Ashes 2013-14 can be described under three general points: a) Mitchell Johnson and a sensational pace attack applying relentless pressure  b) England batting that couldn’t have been more abysmal  c) Brad Haddin and Steven Smith, who rescued Australia for the nth time.

Haddin’s performances in the series will go down in cricketing history as one of the finest by a wicketkeeper along with Johnson who ripped through the English batting. At the end of the series, Johnson is almost certain to be adjudged Man of the Series for demoralising England. But their wins couldn’t have been as thumping and convincing without the performance of Haddin in particular, and Smith.

A good show in first innings is as good as half the battle won. But none of the five batsmen in the XI barring Smith and Haddin looked as convincing as they did in the entire series. The overall statistics will reveal a valuable contribution from all the batsmen at different stages of a Test. But none will be able to match up to the vital innings played by Haddin in every single match and Smith who chipped in as well. It was the fall of fifth Australian wicket which spelled trouble for England time and again. In the three out of the five Tests, the sixth wicket was hard to come by and the momentum shifted away from England.

Let’s recount some of the key moments Haddin was involved in each of the Tests this series:

Brisbane: Haddin-Johnson

132 for six batting first, Australia should have been packed up in no time by James Anderson and Stuart Broad. But a 114-run partnership between Johnson and Haddin changed the course of Australia’s innings. As much as Johnson tormented the England batsmen, Haddin blunted the aggression of the English bowlers not just in this match, but in other Tests as well. He scored 94.

Adelaide: Haddin-Clarke

 

This was only one instance when the Australian team put up a comparatively dominating performance in the first innings. Even then, at 257 for five, Australia could have easily lost their way, but Haddin and Michael Clarke stitched a 200-run partnership to take the Aussies to a commanding position. The wicketkeeper scored 118 and Australia went on to post 570.

 

Brad Haddin (left) and Steve Smith came to Australia's rescue in the third Test match played at WACA © Getty Images
Brad Haddin (right) and Steve Smith came to Australia’s rescue in the third Test match played at WACA © Getty Images (File Photo)

Perth: Haddin-Smith

 

This was one of the finest knocks by Haddin in the series. England were hungry to avert a series loss and pushed as hard as possible to bowl out Australia on a pitch known to assist the pacers. At 143 for five, had England managed to take another wicket, the story could have been different. Yet again Haddin blunted them. He was accompanied by another player who seems to be adept with playing the saviour role — Steven Smith. The 124-run partnership under challenging conditions is one of the better innings you would see in Test cricket. Haddin scored 55 and Smith went on to score his second Ashes ton taking Australia to 385.

Melbourne: Haddin single-handedly drags Australia ahead

 

This time around, it was just Haddin who was the saviour for Australia by scoring 65 and taking Australia to a score of 204 — his fourth fifty in the series.


Sydney: Haddin-Smith

 

It was a déjà vu of Perth, in fact even worse. Instead of 143 for five, it was 97 for five. Yet again Smith and Haddin did the repair job taking Australia to 225 when Haddin was dismissed for 75.

Statistics:

Out of the 1700 runs scored by Australia in the first innings across these five Tests, Haddin and Smith together have contributed 40.52 per cent of these runs i.e. 689 runs, while the rest of the five batsmen together managed 42.35 per cent i.e. 720 runs. This gives an indication of Haddin’s consistency in the series. Overall, the sixth and seventh wicket partnerships for Australia have averaged 68 in this series and Haddin has been part of most of those partnerships.

Playing style

Both Haddin and Smith looked positive in their style despite being under pressure. England bowlers would say many instances when they went past Haddin’s bat early in the innings. But that’s what happens when you are in good form and you end up making your own luck. Haddin and Smith’s fearless attitude turned the pressure back on to England in no time. The flow of runs never stopped. Both these players played the pull shot extremely well.

Haddin over a period a time has turned out to be mentally much tougher and never gets bogged down. He has also spoken openly about the illness of his daughter Mia and the impact it had on him. At 36, Haddin looks as fresh as ever. One can only imagine the contribution he could have done to Australian cricket, if he wasn’t in the shadows of Adam Gilchrist.

For Smith, this series would finally mark his beginning of a matured Test player. No more will you hear of Smith, the bits-and-pieces player meant for the shortest version of the game.

While Smith is inching towards the peak of his career, Haddin will look to end his career on a high. After completing a major challenge at home, these two would be hungry to replicate the same when they face the World No 1 team, South Africa in Tests.

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)

 

 

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Birmingham

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 4, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Leeds

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (19:30 IST)   at Kingstown, St Vincent

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014  at Harare

Zimbabwe won by 3 wkts

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Dambulla

SL won by 7 wkts (D/L method)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Nottingham

India won by 6 wkts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 61 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Photos

Australia vs Zimbabwe, ODI tri-series at Harare

Videos

Misbah disppointed with Pakistan's performance

Australia’s losses to minnows in limited-overs cricket

India tour of England 2014: Who is Jason Roy?

Zimbabwe’s 12 most memorable victories in international cricket

Zimbabwe vs Australia, 4th ODI: Highlights

Elton Chigumbura-Prosper Utseya partnership takes Zimbabwe to historic win over Australia

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 Australia vs Zimbabwe England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan South Africa Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014 Zimbabwe vs Australia

Bishen Singh Bedi mocks BCCI on Twitter

Adam Gilchrist to meet Narendra Modi in India

Wahab Riaz’s daughter critical, needs O positive blood

India tour of England 2014: Geoffrey Boycott calls for Alastair Cook, Ian Bell and Joe Root to be axed from ODI side

Robin Uthappa eying the Indian opening slot

Duncan Fletcher’s heroics and Zimbabwe’s first win over Australia

Archie MacLaren’s amateurs fell Warwick Armstrong’s mighty Australians in one of cricket’s greatest fairytales

David Bairstow: A champion claimed by depression

Should Michael Clarke cut down on playing time ahead of ICC World Cup 2015?

Australia’s losses to minnows in limited-overs cricket

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

668 Posts | 6 Fans

Yuvraj Singh's ton against MCC

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan visits NOTTO centre

Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon-Ek Baar Phir: Will Shlok let Aastha starve for days?

Adele’s two unreleased songs leaked in full

Now a blood test to detect TB in children

Top 6 monsoon dressing tips for dummies

BlackBerry partners with Idea to offer 1GB data plan for postpaid customers

India 4th most affected by mobile malwares: F-Secure

Aagadu trailer: Get ready for Mahesh Babu in full on action avatar!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here