Brad Haddin (above) has looked uncomfortable against the short ball © Getty Images
Brad Haddin (above) has looked uncomfortable against the short ball © Getty Images

Melbourne: Dec 27, 2014

India have vowed to continue bowling short-pitch deliveries to Brad Haddin as the visitors believe the wicketkeeper remains vulnerable to the bouncer after watching him fend meekly in the second innings of the second Test even though he scored 55 here Saturday. There was no subtlety at all in India’s tactics to Haddin, whose 55 was every bit as valuable as his string of game-changing innings during last summer’s Ashes whitewash, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

Despite having a ball that at 10 overs old would have provided enough movement in the air and off the deck if pitched up, India were hellbent on bouncing him out again. But, with two men stationed in the deep for the hook and pull shot, India had taken away the element of surprise with the short ball.

Knowing what was coming, Haddin played the cross-bat shots with confidence and startling effect, particularly against Mohammed Shami. So predictable was India with their short stuff, Haddin had enough time to club them well in front of square. He should prepare for more short-pitched assaults after the Indians declared they would continue with their strategy.

“Did he seem comfortable with it? If you say so. We really thought he had a genuine weakness over there and we continue to think he has a weakness over there,” Ravichandran Ashwin said when asked why India thought they could bounce Haddin out.

“We will continue to target him in the next Test match, the next innings as well. He doesn’t quite look comfortable, so that’s the idea with that.” Haddin had been one of the few people in Australia not worried about his form with the bat, and the reason for his self-assuredness has become apparent.

He turned what was perceived as a weakness into a weapon, hooking, pulling and swatting India’s bowlers with ease. If anything, India bowled Haddin back into form.