Cricket

Sombre mood, but business as usual for the Aussies

M.S. Dhoni plays a shot during Australia's tour to India. Australian vice-captain Brad Haddin on Thursday said Dhoni is a “true gentleman” of the game and has left his team in a much better position than it was when he took over.  

As the cricket caravan moved to Sydney, the mood in the Australian camp was sombre despite the excitement of the New Year.

It was here that Phillip Hughes lost his life after being felled by a short-pitched delivery at the SCG.

Brad Haddin played in that match, representing New South Wales against South Australia. And it is at the SCG that Australia meets India in the final Test, beginning on January 6.

Those traumatic moments could play out before his eyes again.

Haddin would need to keep a lid on his emotions when the match gets underway. He said, “It’s a very difficult moment for us.” But with the Test series on, it’s business as usual for the cricketers.

Asked about M.S. Dhoni’s shock retirement from Tests, Haddin said, “The great thing about Dhoni was his temperament. No matter where the game was going you wouldn’t know. He had a pretty even tempo through whatever situation was going on and that’s why he’s had such longevity in the game.”

Haddin added, “I was very surprised at his retirement. He’s been a great servant of Indian cricket, the way he handles himself and the team, the calmness he brings to a very, very big job in captaining the Indian cricket team.

“He was great to play against and a true gentleman of the game. I think he’s left Indian cricket in a better place than it was when he took over.”

On Indian pacemen’s short-pitched ball tactics against him at the MCG, Haddin said, “It was pretty easy to get a plan because we knew what was coming. I hit two fours and they went back to conventional bowling. If that’s their plan, I’ll combat them whatever way I see fit. If their bowlers want to bang it down halfway for an hour-and-a-half then go for your life.”

Talking about Australia’s delayed declaration on day five at the MCG, Haddin said, “We won the series, that’s the main thing we took out of it.

“I think we earned the right to play the way we did in Melbourne. We’ve played India totally out of the series. Come Sydney, if we get ourselves into that situation, it’d be different because we’ve taken India out of the series.”


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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 4:42:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/indias-tour-of-australia-australiaindia-test-series/article6744830.ece

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