Veteran wicketkeeper says every batsman needs luck when they start their innings
Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin says every batsman needs luck at the start of their innings, especially when confronted with the ‘ball of the 21st century’.
In the first Test against the West Indies, Haddin was brought undone by Devendra Bishoo’s brilliant leg-break, a ball that pitched on leg-stump and spun sharply to take the top of off-stump.
The dismissal provoked memories of Shane Warne’s classic to Mike Gatting 22 years prior, a delivery that was dubbed the ‘ball of the century’.
“Ball of the century,” Haddin said with a grin.
“It was a good ball. He bowled well. I probably could have gone forward a bit further or gone back but it was a good ball.
“It was a good talking point, I think, after the game. It gave me an out for getting out.
“I thought he bowled really well in the conditions. He bowled a bit quicker than we thought and attacked the stumps.”
Haddin, out for eight from 10 balls, was one of Bishoo’s six first-innings wicket in Dominica. He also dismissed Australia’s two most accomplished players of spin in Michael Clarke and Steve Smith.
But Bishoo was less effective later in the innings as debutant centurion Adam Voges and No.11 Josh Hazlewood combined for a 97-run 10th wicket partnership.
“Obviously he got tired and his fingers hurt the longer we can keep him out there,” Haddin said.
“That’s something we need to look at as a top six and seven, to make sure we keep their bowlers coming back for long spells.
“But no, he got me with a good one.
“I think that one had my number on it. I think the ball before I showed the form I should use.”
While Haddin concedes he got out to a special delivery, he says every batsman – from Bradman to Ponting – needs a little luck on their side when they first arrive to the middle.
“I think it’s anyone at the start of their innings. In this game, you can do as much work on your technique and spend as much time as you can in the nets, but at the start of your innings, everyone needs luck,” added Haddin.
“You hear it from all the top players to have played the game. You need a bit of luck in your first few balls at the crease until you get into the rhythm of your game.
“But credit to him. He knocked me over with a good ball.”
This post originally appeared in Cricket Australia.