Australia vice-captain Brad Haddin on Friday said a win in Saturday’s series decider against India will do world of good to the visitors ahead of the upcoming Ashes rubber against arch-rivals England at home.
The seven-match One-Day International (ODI) series between India and Australia is presently locked at 2-2 with two games being washed out. Both the sides will lock horn in the seventh and last ODI at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium at Bangalore on Saturday and Haddin said a win in such high-pressure contest can lift the spirit of his side ahead of the Ashes.
“It is a big game. These are the games you want to be a part of. It’s obviously a high pressure game with a lot at stake. The series is on the line,” he said.
“Guys can continue to perform well at this level and games like this do hold a lot of weight leading upto a big series like the Ashes,” Haddin told reporters at the pre-match press conference.
Haddin said having played in the country on a regular basis, Indian conditions are now not alien to the Australian team.
“The conditions now aren’t as foreign as they used to be. There’s a lot of cricket played over here and guys are understanding how to play, especially the shorter format of the game, over here in Indian conditions. From that point of view we’re set up for a very exciting game tomorrow,” he said.
Asked about Mitchell Johnson‘s return to Australia to prepare for the upcoming Ashes series, Haddin said it was in the best interests of the Queensland pacer to go home and make himself available for selection by playing in three domestic matches before Cricket Australia (CA) announces its squad on November 12.
“Mitch [Johnson] has been monitored like every other player and we thought it was in his best interest to go home and get right for the two four-day games and put himself up to be available for selection for the Ashes,” he said.
“It is a very exciting way to end this series. I think it is just reward that it is 2-2 now leading into the final because game it’s been an outstanding series so far,” he added.
Asked being the vice-captain of the side whether he was consulted on Johnson’s return, Haddin said the team management knew about it for a while.
“We thought this was the best preparation for Mitch leading into the summer,” he reiterated.
Haddin said Australia have got enough cover to replace Johnson.
“We have got guys like Nathan Coulter-Nile and Moises Henriques who have been on the sideline for the entire tour. They are ready to go. Nathan is known to a lot of you guys over here with his success he had in the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20). We have got enough cover,” he added.
Haddin said the current field restrictions and powerplays have been detrimental to the spinners in the ongoing series.
“I think it has not been a conscious [decision], at first. It is just the way the game has panned out. I think the way the field restrictions are at the moment, it allows free scoring during the middle of the game and with the powerplays leading into the back end of the game. I think that has been a big reason why the spinners have gone for more runs than they normally would have,” he said.
Haddin said Australia have got enough cover for Johnson’s absence.