Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 26th 2013 Contents A52
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, December 26, 2013
Brad Haddin admits Australia s Ashes-
winners may have reached the peak of their
powers---but he is still committed to proving
that theory wrong by seeking continued
At 36, wicketkeeper-batsman Haddin and
opener Chris Rogers are the elder statesmen
of a team of significant collective vintage.
Haddin concedes it is reasonable to point
out that, after winning the Ashes before Christ-
mas with an unassailable 3-0 lead, it will be
a challenge to remain on an upward curve.
Yet that is the aim Michael Clarke s team
has set itself, to try---as England managed in
2011---to top the world Test rankings.
Haddin himself has made a habit of defying
expectations not only to prolong his career
but scale new heights, and is very much in
the school of thought that age is merely a
Nonetheless, asked whether he and his
teammates may have reached their optimum
together, he said: "Maybe.
"But that s something that we ve challenged
ourselves, to continue on the road and... to
become better cricketers."
Haddin is not the only member of the team
defying the calendar, with linchpin seamer
Ryan Harris---previously injury-prone---bowling
better than ever at 34.
"There s a lot can be made of age," Haddin
added. "If we talk too much about age, I
wouldn t be standing here.
"I ve been told on a number of occasions
I m too old. It s not something we think too
"If you re performing and keep challenging
yourself to be the best cricketer you can and
contribute to this group moving forward, we re
comfortable with that.
"Age is not something the players are wor-
As he approaches the Boxing Day Test at
the MCG, the traditional centre-piece of the
Australian season, he has his eyes on several
more years at the top yet.
"I hope so," he said.
"I ve said for a while that as soon as I stop
challenging myself out on the training paddock
to become a better player is when I give the
game away---but I still see a lot of cricket in
front of me.
"I feel as comfortable as I have in this envi-
"I m really enjoying where this team is trying
to go, and the brand of cricket we re starting
"I m enjoying being challenged by the group
to keep getting better and keep moving forward
as a group."
Even with the Ashes in the bag, Haddin is
in no mood to let up against opponents who
arrived here hoping to win the urn for a fourth
"I ve been on the end of a few hidings from
England, so from my point of view it s not
that hard at all (to find motivation).
"You never take a Test match for granted.
I ve never played in a dead rubber---and that s
from the bottom of my heart."
Rogers opening partner David Warner, scor-
er of two centuries to Haddin s one in the
series, is out to make sure Australia s batsmen
receive the same praise as the bowlers for their
impressive contribution this winter.
Bowling coach Craig McDermott has lauded
his attack as the best in the world, and Warner
does not think Australia s top six are too far
off the same status either.
"We are well on our way," the combative
"We ve been gelling well together... we re
playing good cricket at the moment."
Warner is not minded to offer an Australian
perspective on the shock retirement of Graeme
Swann, or the off-spinner s controversial
remarks about the arrogance he sees in some
"What s happened with Swanny and the
English team is their business, and we don t
care what happens," he said.
Haddin says Aussies want to get better
Peter Siddle is happy to sit back
with his friends in the victorious Aus-
tralia dressing-room, and leave it to
opponents England to ponder how
much they do all value Test cricket.
Graeme Swann has clarified remarks
he made after announcing his shock
retirement---that he leaves behind some
players who, he believes, take their sport
and their status for granted.
As the predictable Twitter storm
broke around newspaper headlines var-
iously suggesting which players Swann
might have had in mind, the man him-
self was moved to emphasise to his
own followers that he was most def-
initely not speaking---as had been inter-
preted by many---about players in the
current England team.
Australia can rise above any troubles
which may beset the tourists, because
they have the 2013/14 Ashes in the bag
already with an unassailable 3-0 lead.
Siddle, of course, is hoping for victory
number four in the Boxing Day Test
on his home ground at the MCG.
As for England s latest distraction,
he said: "It s their changing rooms, not
"All I can speak for is us. It s every
boy s dream in Australia...all I ever
wanted to do was get the Baggy Green.
"To achieve that is everything I could
have hoped for. There s nothing else I
want to do.
"It s something we cherish a lot."
Siddle added his voice to the chorus
of approval for Swann s outstanding
career---as England s all-time most suc-
"I guess it was time for Swanny," he
"He felt his time was up, (but) he s
had a great career.
"I ve enjoyed my time playing against
him. He s always been a big challenge."
Brad Haddin...has made habit of defying
Siddle cherishes Test career
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