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Posted by anccricket on October 22, 2008 at 7:16 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Callum James Ferguson


Born November 21, 1984, North Adelaide, South Australia


Major teams Australia, Australia A, Pune Warriors, South Australia


Nickname Ferg


Playing role Middle-order batsman


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm medium


Height 1.80 m

Callum James Ferguson

After a few stutters at South Australia, Callum Ferguson came of age in 2008-09 and ended the summer as a regular international performer and the owner of a Cricket Australia contract. An easy-to-watch right-hander, Ferguson had suffered from giving away regular starts, but he came home more determined to cash in following a trip to the English leagues in 2008. There were two hundreds and three Pura Cup fifties in a haul of 644 runs and, despite being lightly built, he showed power with 401 FR Cup runs at almost a run a ball and more explosiveness in Twenty20s.


The national selectors were impressed and he was picked in the one-day squad for the 2009 Chappell-Hadlee Series. Over the next eight months he played 25 ODIs, earned five half-centuries, stood out in a crisis and confirmed himself as a man for the future. Sadly, he suffered a serious knee injury while fielding in the Champions Trophy final and the subsequent reconstruction ruled him out of the home summer. Rated highly by Cricket Australia, he retained his national deal despite the lay-off, and was appointed vice-captain at South Australia for 2010-11.


Ferguson, who has had two stints at the Centre of Excellence, showed incredible maturity when he made his first-class debut, posting 733 Pura Cup runs as the rest of the team's stroke-makers struggled. The next summer he backed up with 506 at 36, but his only concern in making four half-centuries was a highest score of 65. A talented junior, Ferguson went to the Academy in 2002 and was then chosen for the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh in 2004, but his first major knee injury on the eve of the tournament kept him from playing.


Posted by anccricket on October 22, 2008 at 7:11 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Shaun Edward Marsh


Born July 9, 1983, Narrogin, Western Australia


Major teams Australia, Kings XI Punjab, Western Australia


Nickname Sos


Playing role Top-order batsman


Batting style Left-hand bat


Bowling style Slow left-arm orthodox


Height 1.84 m


Relation Father - GR Marsh, Brother - MR Marsh

Shaun Edward Marsh

As a child Shaun Marsh spent a lot of time in the Australian set-up travelling with his father Geoff, the former opening batsman. The international grounding and a backyard net helped develop Marsh into one of the finest young run-makers in the country. It also gave him a taste of what he could expect on his first trips with the national team. He made a successful start to his ODI career when he opened in the West Indies in 2008 and won a late call-up into the Test squad to tour India later in the year.


The recognition came after his most consistent domestic summer, which also earned him his first Cricket Australia contract - the selectors view him as a long-term top-order prospect - and the title as Western Australia's Player of the Year. It was quite a response after Marsh was suspended by the state for two games following a drinking session in November 2007. He fought back to finish the summer as the Warriors' leading one-day run scorer with 318 at 39.75 and a solid Pura Cup contributor with 663 at 60.27. The top Twenty20 batsman in the country with 290 at 58, he came to international prominence in the inaugural Indian Premier League, where he was the competition's leading scorer with 616 at 68.44.


While he didn't play in India with Australia later that year, he did get a handful of opportunities in the one-day side despite a subdued domestic campaign - his highest score in 10 matches for the Warriors was 74. He opened with back-to-back half-centuries against South Africa and tailed off before tearing his hamstring while fielding at the WACA. A lengthy recovery included a visit to the US, where he traded hitting tips with the baseballer Manny Ramirez, but when he came back into the Australian set-up in Dubai he hurt his leg again.


Having regained his fitness, he scored a run-a-ball 112 for Australia in Hyderabad, an innings quickly overshadowed by Sachin Tendulkar's 175. In Australia's home summer he was steady and consistent, scoring between 12 and 83 in seven games, before succumbing to a bulging disc. He missed the New Zealand tour but regained fitness to play in the IPL and picked up an aggressive 59 in an ODI against England at Lord's.


More gifted than his father - "He's got a few more shots than me," Geoff once said - Marsh is a left-hander who impressed the tough judges of Steve and Mark Waugh while scoring his maiden first-class century in 2003. The milestone arrived with two sixes in a row over midwicket off Mark Waugh's offspin and a rash of compliments. "It's a pretty good feeling when the Australia captain comes up to you and says 'well done, mate'," Marsh said. The second hundred had to wait until 2004-05 as he struggled with concentration, the finest trait of his father's batting, and was in and out of the state side. However, he picked up 503 runs with two centuries that summer and in 2005-06 continued to show his consistency with five fifties in a collection of 676 at 37.55. In the one-day game he was even more entertaining with 296 runs at 49.33.


His next summer was quieter, with a top score of 50 from six Pura Cup outings as he collected 226 runs at 20.54. An Australia A representative, Marsh attended the Academy before making his first-class debut in 2000-01 and was part of the Australia Under-19 squad that won the World Cup in 2002.


Posted by anccricket on October 22, 2008 at 7:07 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Steven Peter Devereux Smith


Born June 2, 1989, Sydney, New South Wales


Current age 21 years 364 days


Major teams Australia, Australian Institute of Sports, Kent 2nd XI, Kochi Tuskers Kerala, New South Wales, New South Wales Second XI, New South Wales Under-19s, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sutherland, Sydney South East, Worcestershire


Playing role Allrounder


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Legbreak googly



Steven Peter Devereux Smith

Steven Smith is the most promising Australian spinner since Shane Warne emerged - but he is more than that. He carries the extra advantage of being an outstanding batsman who could soon slot in to the top six for his country, whether he bowls or not. By the age of 21 he was in Australia's Test, one-day and Twenty20 teams, picked on promise and quickly showing the composure of a seasoned professional. There were words of caution about his early elevation, but there was no hiding the excitement about a player who gives the ball air, hits it hard, catches it at will and seems unbothered by pressure.


Smith became an international player in 2009-10 after starring with New South Wales, striking four Sheffield Shield centuries and finishing the season with career-best figures of 7 for 64. After only 13 first-class games he was picked on a Test tour of New Zealand but didn't get to play. He had already been trialled in the T20 and ODI sides, impressing with his attitude, and was used more as a legspinner than a batsman. Figures of 2 for 78 in his first one-dayer against West Indies don't look great, but he convinced Ricky Ponting to keep the field up to build pressure. Not many 20-year-olds - Smith looks even younger - win arguments like that. He was part of the squad in Australia's journey to the World Twenty20 final and his opening Test series, against Pakistan in England, was encouraging. There were three wickets in the two games and a muscular 77 in the second innings at Leeds.


A promising start to his state career occurred in 2007-08, when he played his first games in the three domestic formats. In the Pura Cup he opened with 33 and began his FR Cup experience without batting, although he posted 35 in his second attempt. The biggest impact came in the Twenty20 tournament, where he finished the qualifying matches as the competition's joint-highest wicket-taker with nine at a remarkable average of 5.33. His 4 for 15 in the dying stages against a Queensland side chasing 122 helped New South Wales to victory and earned him the Man-of-the-Match award.


Further all-round gains were made in 2008-09 when he added 207 runs in four first-class games, including a high of 68, and five wickets. There were six FR Cup breakthroughs in seven appearances along with 117 runs, but he delivered only four overs in five T20s, despite his success the previous summer. Smith was given his first New South Wales rookie contract in 2007-08, was named in the Australian squad for the 2008 Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia, and had his state deal upgraded in the 2008 off-season.


Posted by anccricket on October 22, 2008 at 7:04 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Timothy David Paine


Born December 8, 1984, Hobart, Tasmania


Major teams Australia, Australia A, Pune Warriors, Tasmania


Nickname Kid


Playing role Wicketkeeper batsman


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm medium


Fielding position Wicketkeeper


Height 1.80 m


Education Lauderdale Primary, Rokeby High, Rosny College



Timothy David Paine

A solid top-order batsman and wicketkeeper, Tim Paine was earmarked as next in line behind Brad Haddin when he was picked in Australia's one-day squad to tour England in 2009. It came after a strong Australia A series, in which Paine made 134 opening the batting against Pakistan A to confirm his limited-overs abilities. He quickly moved ahead of Graham Manou and Chris Hartley to become the full-time understudy and was part of the Test squad to face Pakistan in 2010. He did well, grabbing 11 catches and a smart legside stumping in the two matches, and contributed useful runs, with a high of 47 at Lord's.


Chosen to open in his second ODI, Paine started to shine as an international player a couple of matches later when he recorded his first century against England, with 111 at Trent Bridge. Since then he has been a steady contributor as he learns the game whenever Haddin is away. An elbow problem kept Haddin at home and allowed Paine a lengthy chance to audition for the gloves in the United Kingdom in 2010. It was the first time an understudy had been granted so much time in Tests since Ian Healy debuted in 1988-89.


Paine already knows how quickly the hard-won position can be lost after breaking his finger in India last year, an injury which provided Manou with another chance. It wasn't costly to his international ambitions, but it contributed to a quiet home summer with the bat, although he did collect a hundred in Tasmania's FR Cup final victory. In 2008-09, Paine confirmed his place as the state's wicketkeeper in all formats after battling with Sean Clingeleffer for the Sheffield Shield berth. He scored 445 Shield runs at 29.66 and collected 42 dismissals and his importance to the team was recognised when he was named Tasmania's vice-captain for 2009-10. Paine has learnt how to combine his batting and wicketkeeping roles having struggled in the past to manage the two disciplines.


In 2006-07, Paine was playing as a specialist batsman when his superb 215 opening against Western Australia in his fifth first-class match placed significant pressure on Clingeleffer. A few games later, Paine was handed the gloves but the added responsibility affected his run-making - his six innings during that time yielded one score in double-figures and an average of 4.66 - and the previous arrangement was restored. Still, Paine played every match in Tasmania's Pura Cup-winning season, scoring 621 runs at 31.05, and it seemed only a matter of time before he would again be behind the stumps in the first-class team.


Paine had no such trouble with his twin roles in the one-day format. He was a consistent contributor in Tasmania's triumphant 2007-08 campaign and finished with 261 runs at 37.28 along with 21 dismissals. His 115 came in the final preliminary match against South Australia as the Tigers built momentum ahead of the decider. The previous year Paine was the state's highest scorer in the one-day arena with 314 at 31.40, and in his debut year of 2005-06, he celebrated his first state century with 111 in the ING Cup. He had been earmarked for great things when the Tigers signed him to a rookie contract at the tender age of 16. Paine, who captained the Australia Under-19 team to the 2004 World Cup in Bangladesh, has had three stints at the Academy.


Posted by anccricket on October 22, 2008 at 7:01 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Clinton James McKay


Born February 22, 1983, Melbourne, Victoria


Major teams Australia, Australia A, Victoria, Victoria Second XI, Yorkshire


Playing role Bowler


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium


Height 1.94 m

Clinton James McKay

Clint McKay was elevated to national duty in 2009 and made a steady start at the elite level. A Test debut came in Perth against West Indies - he bowled Denesh Ramdin - and he was regularly used in the one-day side as well as being a Test tourist in New Zealand. A 194-cm fast-medium bowler with good control, McKay is a neat fit in the limited-overs side, although he faces stiff competition for games. Still, his economical returns, including 4 for 35 against Pakistan in Perth, helped gain him a Twenty20 contract with Yorkshire in 2010.


It was not until 2008-09 that McKay broke through at state level and was one of the key members of Victoria's triumphant Sheffield Shield side. McKay's 33 wickets at 21.42 meant he was sixth on the competition tally, which was a strong performance in an attack boasting impressive pace depth. McKay picked up his maiden five-wicket haul and collected 3 for 35 in the final, while also grabbing 12 FR Cup wickets at 34.58. His efforts earned him the attention of the national selectors and he was picked for Australia A's home series against Pakistan A in 2009. McKay starred in the first unofficial Test, when he grabbed a career-best 6 for 75 and eight wickets for the match.


McKay had to wait until he had lost his Cricket Victoria contract before making his debut for the state, getting his chance in November 2006 when several of Victoria's fast bowlers were struck down with injuries. In an effort to get in shape, he had trained with the Coburg VFL team and shed about nine kilograms. Three first-class games and six one-dayers came in his debut season, when the highlight was grabbing 4 for 42 in the Pura Cup match against Queensland and removing the top three batsmen in ten balls.


A handy lower-order batsman - he has made two centuries for his district club Essendon - McKay regained his state contract in 2007 and followed with another useful summer in 2007-08, when his five Pura Cup outings brought 16 wickets at 24.75 (He was unlucky to be overlooked for the final after picking up seven victims in the previous match). He shone in the FR Cup, collecting a remarkable 13 wickets at 14.76 from only five games to leave him equal sixth on the competition list. He carried his form into the Champions League Twenty20 in India, where he was the tournament's joint second-highest wicket-taker with 10. Shortly after, he received an SOS from the national selectors to join the injury-ravaged Australian ODI squad in India.


Posted by anccricket on October 22, 2008 at 6:59 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Simon Mathew Katich


Born August 21, 1975, Middle Swan, Western Australia


Major teams Australia, Derbyshire, Durham, Hampshire, Kings XI Punjab, New South Wales, Western Australia, Yorkshire


Nickname Kat


Playing role Batsman


Batting style Left-hand bat


Bowling style Slow left-arm chinaman


Height 1.82 m

Simon Mathew Katich

With an unconventional style and a get-your-gloves-dirty approach, Simon Katich proves you don't have to be fashionable to be successful. His walk-across-the-stumps technique isn't as crabby as Shivnarine Chanderpaul's, and he is scrawny next to Matthew Hayden and Shane Watson, but Katich has been a must-have man at the top of Australia's order in the second stage of his career.


In phase one, which began with a Test debut in 2001 and included a spot in the 2005 Ashes loss, Katich was overly intense. Learning to enjoy his job was central to the stunning revival from seemingly washed up domestic batsman to respected Test player. Rather than trying to prove anything to the Australia selectors who cut his national contract in 2007, he conceded he was struggling and deserved to be dropped. The 2007-08 season was the turning point, with his 1506 Pura Cup runs for New South Wales earning him another chance in a baggy green. The fun continued when he quickly became a national fixture with six hundreds in 16 matches, even though he was playing out of position.


Katich is capable of batting at two paces: he can nudge, leave and work the ball across his body for hours; or release free-flowing drives through cover, cuts behind point or heavy pulls. The method depends on the situation and how he feels, with his body language usually giving away the mood. An accomplished leader of New South Wales, he has plenty to offer tactically, although he is expected to be too old to be a serious contender as the next Test captain. While his left-arm wrist-spin is under-valued by Ricky Ponting - Katich also says bowling aggravates his shoulder - his runs are always appreciated.


Posted by anccricket on October 22, 2008 at 6:56 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Phillip Joel Hughes


Born November 30, 1988, Macksville, New South Wales


Major teams Australia, Australia A, Australia Under-19s, Hampshire, Middlesex, New South Wales, New South Wales Under-19s, Western Suburbs


Playing role Opening batsman


Batting style Left-hand bat

Phillip Joel Hughes

Phillip Hughes tried not to tremble during his four-ball duck on Test debut in Johannesburg. For the next week Australian supporters were shaking over the apparently streaky composure of the left-hander who was supposed to be the next Matthew Hayden. The original fears didn't last long and by the end of his first Test series he had showed he could be an unconventional but highly accomplished starter. At 20, Hughes was Australia's youngest debutant since Craig McDermott 25 years earlier, and when he recorded twin centuries in Durban - he brought up his maiden hundred with two sixes - he was the youngest to achieve the feat.


The 415 runs in three Tests were followed by centuries in each of his three County Championship games for Middlesex, proving he could adapt to the early-season conditions in a stunning streak which further irritated England supporters who were angry he was given the chance to fine-tune before the Ashes. Fans in both countries were surprised by the success of his country-baked technique, which includes compulsive slicing through point and slashing to cover, as well as stepping away to provide room for tennis-style drives down the ground.


After such a stunning rise the fall was swift, starting when Steve Harmison bounced him out during a pre-Ashes tour game at Worcester. He was roughed up by Andrew Flintoff in the first Test at Cardiff and after two failures at Lord's broke the news of his dropping on Twitter. Life on the fringes was hard initially and it took him a while to regain confidence at New South Wales, but he remained in the selectors' plans and ended the Sheffield Shield season with 953 runs, including three hundreds. He filled in for Simon Katich in the Sydney Test and Shane Watson in Wellington, where he finished off the win with a brutal 86 off 75 balls. A dislocated shoulder during a boxing training session kept him out of the squad for the Pakistan series.


Having wowed the national selectors in 2007-08, when at 19 he became the youngest to score a century in a Pura Cup final, Hughes piled up 819 more Sheffield Shield runs in his second summer. His timing was impeccable - Australia were looking for someone to take over from Hayden - and a week before the squad for South Africa was picked, he posted 151 and 82 not out against Tasmania. Already he was the youngest New South Wales player since Michael Clarke, making his state debut aged 18 years and 355 days - 111 days older than Clarke in 1999-2000. The blond hair and shiny earring added to the similarity, though in batting style his rough technique is more like that of Katich or Phil Jaques, his state team-mates. It was the absence of Jaques that allowed Hughes to debut and his 51 against Tasmania was a positive start. He followed with a level-headed 68 in his first one-day game, at the MCG against Victoria, and even spent nine overs as the acting wicketkeeper when Brad Haddin left the field injured.


By the end of that season he owned 559 first-class runs at 62.11 and beat Martin Love's record as the youngest centurion in a first-class final when he picked up 116 in the second innings of the victory over Victoria. The rise showed no sign of stopping when he started the following pre-season in India with Australia A and things blossomed from there. In addition to his Test call-up, Hughes was the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year, the Sheffield Shield Player of the Year and won the Blues' Steve Waugh Medal. Pretty impressive stuff for a young man who grew up on a banana farm in northern New South Wales.


Posted by anccricket on October 22, 2008 at 6:54 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Ryan James Harris


Born October 11, 1979, Sydney, New South Wales


Major teams Australia, Deccan Chargers, Kings XI Punjab, Queensland, South Australia, Surrey, Sussex, Yorkshire


Nickname Ryano


Playing role Bowler


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm fast


Height 5 ft 10 in

Ryan James Harris

An eye-catching fast-bowling allrounder, Ryan Harris sprung on to the international stage in 2009-10, a season which he initially feared would be a write-off. Harris was forced to have knee surgery in the lead-up to the summer and almost needed a second operation before benefitting from injuries to Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus.


A stocky, skiddy bowler who is surprisingly fast, Harris quickly became too good to ignore after being a replacement in the one-day side and he remained with the squad until leaving the England tour with another knee problem. Appearing as a late call-up against Pakistan, he collected five wickets and repeated the performance in the next match. The ride soon led to a Test debut in New Zealand and he did well during both games, taking nine wickets including 4 for 77 in horribly windy conditions in Wellington. Opportunities may become limited for him if all the fast men are fit, but Harris has proven strike-power, taking at least a wicket in every ODI in which he has bowled.


Until his international debut in 2008-09, he had almost qualified as a journeyman. He started at South Australia and did well for them in both disciplines, but left for Queensland via a brief stint at Sussex. He finally showed his talent in the state arena in 2006-07 with his maiden first-class half-century, his first Pura Cup five-wicket haul and his last-ball heroics in a one-day game. He followed up in 2007-08 with consistent performances that earned him a spot in the Pura Cup Team of the Year as 12th man, with best bowling of 7 for 108, and was South Australia's top wicket-taker with 37 at 29.86. Adding in his average of 24.20 and it was hard to see why the Redbacks didn't try harder to stop him moving to Queensland.


During a busy end to the season he swapped states and joined Sussex on his British passport, playing one game before the English county realised he had signed with Queensland as a local. In his first season for the Bulls he delivered with the ball, finishing with 33 victims at 26.48, before breaking his foot stopping a drive late in the season.


He had arrived as a first-class bowler in 2006-07 against Western Australia when he swung the ball menacingly and finished with match figures of 8 for 140. In four outings they were his only first-class victims for the summer, but he also impressed with a fighting 74 in Melbourne. That season he was South Australia's leading Twenty20 wicket-taker with seven at 11.57 and was second on the FR Cup list with 11 at 34.72. A muscular hitter, his limited-overs highlight was lofting a six over long-on from the final ball against Queensland when the Redbacks needed five for victory. A 2002 Academy graduate, Harris toured India with the squad in the same year.


Posted by anccricket on October 22, 2008 at 6:54 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Benjamin William Hilfenhaus


Born March 15, 1983, Ulverstone, Tasmanias


Major teams Australia, Australia A, Chennai Super Kings, Tasmania


Nickname Hilfy


Playing role Bowler


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium


Height 1.86 m

Benjamin William Hilfenhaus

The journey took a little longer than expected, but Ben Hilfenhaus picked up a baggy green in 2008-09 to re-confirm his status as one of Australia's bowling stars. While back and knee injuries have worn him down at times, he pushed through the problems to join Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle in a bowling attack that could become frightening if the trio stays together. Hilfenhaus swings the ball at speed and gained seven South African wickets in the three games before going home to rest his back ahead of the Ashes tour.


He starred in England, leading the series wicket-list with 22, and gained approving nods from the local seam bowlers with his combination of movement in the air and off the wicket. After being Man of the Match in his first home Test in 2009-10, he missed the rest of the summer with knee tendonitis that took more than six months to ease. Back in England for the Pakistan series, his eight wickets in the two games were no surprise, but his 56 not out at Lord's was.


Hilfenhaus was able to lay down his trowel after a series of dramatic performances in his first two seasons catapulted him to a national contract in 2007. Two years earlier, Hilfenhaus was earning money on a building site, but his ability to shape the ball away at 140kph earned a six-figure pay packet. "It has been a fast ride," he said after picking up the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year prize in February 2007. A month earlier he represented Australia for the first time in a one-day international on his home ground at Hobart, taking only 12 balls to get his maiden wicket when he trapped Brendon McCullum.


A strong and fit man from Ulverstone in northern Tasmania, Hilfenhaus is only the second fast bowler from the state to play for Australia after Greg Campbell, Ricky Ponting's uncle. While shaping the ball away is his specialty, he can also angle it in and his repertoire was crucial to the Tigers' maiden Pura Cup victory in 2006-07. Hilfenhaus' 60 wickets at 25.38, the third most in the competition's history, included three five-wicket hauls, but his back-breaking workload means he is always an injury candidate. He delivered 509.1 overs in the first-class arena that summer, nearly 200 more than any of his domestic fast-bowling counterparts. His collection of 28 wickets at 43.82 in 2007-08 was not the follow-up campaign he wanted but the selectors showed faith and chose him in Australia's Test squad to visit the West Indies in 2008, although he was later ruled out due to a recurrence of stress fractures in his back.


In his opening season Hilfenhaus quickly built a strong reputation and after 39 wickets at 30.82 was named in the Australia A squad for the Top End series. A former national under-19 representative, he also accepted an invitation to return to the Academy after first attending the facility when it was based in Adelaide in 2002. He was Man of the Match in his second game against Victoria and his first-season highlight was a ten-wicket haul, including 7 for 58, against New South Wales.


Posted by anccricket on October 22, 2008 at 6:51 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Bradley James Haddin


Born October 23, 1977, Cowra, New South Wales


Current age 33 years 221 days


Major teams Australia, Australian Capital Territory, Kolkata Knight Riders, New South Wales


Nickname BJ


Playing role Wicketkeeper batsman


Batting style Right-hand bat


Fielding position Wicketkeeper


Height 1.80 m

Bradley James Haddin

Brad Haddin displayed impressive courage during his opening Test series in the West Indies when he played through the pain of a broken finger, and by the end of his first year was one of the national team's most important assets. At that time he was indispensable, shuffling around the one-day order, proving himself as a productive Test run-maker and slowly improving on his glovework. There were even a couple of Twenty20 captaincy engagements when Ponting, Clarke and Hussey were rested. The only serious break Haddin got in that time was to his finger.


Having waited seven years for an opening after gaining one-day international status in 2001, he was not going to return the chance to stamp himself as Adam Gilchrist's long-term replacement. The fracture to his right ring finger occurred in his debut Test, but he played through the final two games of the series, despite being in further discomfort when an infection developed. He eventually succumbed during the one-day series and went home with 16 Test catches and 151 runs at 30.20, including a confident double of 33 and 45 not out in the third contest.


Life in India was tougher and the flaws in his keeping were on show, but when he started contributing with the bat he was able to relax and both aspects of his game improved. The breakthrough occurred against New Zealand in Adelaide, where he passed 50 for the first time in Tests and went on to 169, showing flashes Gilchrist would have accepted. A hundred was narrowly missed at the WACA when he was fighting with the tail and there was only one single-figure score in six Tests against the Proteas.


In England in 2009 Haddin began in great form with the bat, scoring 121 at Cardiff and 80 at Lord's, where he gave up 20 byes as he struggled to deal with the late movement. He broke a finger shortly before the start of the Edgbaston Test and was replaced by Graham Manou, but bravely came back for the final two games. He remained a useful contributor with the bat during the 2009-10 campaign, but his highlight was the spectacular, one-handed take at full stretch down the legside off Salman Butt. It was a hugely impressive catch that helped Australia to an unbelievable win at the SCG in 2009-10. (New Zealand supporters find it hard to forget the glove-assisted bowled of Neil Broom in a one-day game the previous summer.) Another injury, a batting-related elbow problem, rubbed him out of the Pakistan series in England.


When fit, Haddin is also a highly valuable presence in the limited-overs sides, and owns a couple of one-day centuries as an opener. He is a clean, effortless hitter and his lofted straight drive is among the best shots in the game. Haddin deserved his international chance after holding the most nerve-fraying position in Australian cricket for years. Once he had seen off the highly rated Darren Berry, Wade Seccombe and Ryan Campbell, he was the wicketkeeper-in-waiting and entrusted with warming the seat whenever Gilchrist needed a rest. When Gilchrist left Haddin was handed the gloves at the first opportunity.


In 2004-05 he scored 916 first-class runs at 57.25 while leading the Blues to a one-wicket Pura Cup victory over Queensland and he also posted a limited-overs century for Australia A against Pakistan. A regular leader of Australia's 2nd XI, Haddin backed up in 2005-06 with 617 Pura Cup runs at 51.41 and added another 669 at 55.75 the following year. In 2007-08, which was interrupted by national tours to India and a series of one-day appointments, he kept his average above 50 while scoring three hundreds in seven first-class games.


Haddin was a tourist for the 2005 England trip but was used only once as a one-day Supersub and finished the game without having a hit. A former Australia Under-19 captain who grew up in Gundagai, he began his domestic career in 1997-98 with the Australian Capital Territory in their debut Mercantile Mutual Cup season, and two years later was playing for New South Wales.