July 15, 2015
With Australia being out-played in the First Test in Cardiff cracks have appeared quicker than we first thought. Losing Harris through injury, Watson woes with the bat continue or losing Haddin for personal reasons. Both Haddin and Watson are out for the 2nd Test at Lord’s with the latter being dropped. Bit early to be ringing changes unless your backs against the wall isn’t it?
Australia came to England a month ago with plenty of confidence and bravado about them. After a convincing Test series in the West Indies with a solid unity among their ranks. Since arrival in England things started well, with two friendly wins against Kent & Essex before their first real blow was struck.
That being losing their ever consistent performer with the ball in hand Ryan Harris. Harris prior to this series had been struggling with a knee problem for long time. It wasn’t until he had two sets of scans of his knee during the tour match against Essex that he realized his Ashes series was over.
After the First Test match in Cardiff we really saw the value of Harris as Australia struggled to contain England while resting up their strike bowlers. Harris was ever so consistent and accurate restricting his opposition from scoring while picking up a few wickets of his own. Half of the wickets Harris has taken during his Test career were against England in the Ashes.
Although Josh Hazelwood looks like a great addition to the squad he is still inexperienced which leaves the coach with something to ponder moving forward.
Shane Watson has been a persistence performer in the Australian side since 2009 when he made his debut as an opener in the middle of an Ashes series. When he first came on the scene the hype surrounding him was extraordinary. His countrymen expected big things from this beach boy with his long blonde locks and his confidence approach (The Aussie way).
One thing that has slowed him down is his old nemesis the LBW rule. He has been a victim of this dismissal 29 times in his Test career!
Watto taking the full brunt of the English press made matters worst when in the second inning at Cardiff, after being greeted by James Anderson ” Good luck in your last Test innings, Watto”, missed his 57th delivery and was struck on the pads, after battling for so long to play in front of that pad, there was a massive shout and umpire Erasmus put his finger up. Watson being Watson went for the review only to see a couple red lights followed by a umpires call, much to the delight of the English crowd who sang ” Cheerio, cheerio, cheerio,” on is departure from the crease.
Australia have since confirmed that Watson has been dropped for the 2nd Test at Lord’s starting on the 16th of July. Incomes a Mitch Marsh who hit two hundreds in both warm-up games and who is ten years his junior. So the question has to be asked and that is ” Will we see Shane Watson in the baggie green again?” Unfortunately not, let not forget what he has achieved on the cricket field for his country.
Brad Haddin has been confirmed to miss the 2nd Test due to personal reasons. Most people see Haddin as the kind of fiery in your face Australian wicket-keeper. Who’ll put everything on the line for his country – he has been a great servant with the baggie green on. Let’s not forget he is 37, your body catches up with you around 35 and the strains of keeping should hurry up that process, which shows us his dedication to his country and sport!
Away from his sport Haddin has a young family and cricket can take its toll on family life. Being away from home for long periods of time. His brave daughter was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and this caused Haddin to fly home from the West Indies tour in 2012.
‘Our focus was purely and solely on our daughter. I didn’t think of cricket – our life was making sure our daughter had the best possible chance she could… she was going through a battle like no other,’ Haddin said in 2014.
Although we don’t quite know what has happened this time around, we wish Haddin and his beautiful family all the best for the future, sometimes life gets put into perspective and we have to appreciate the things we have while we can.