Lehmann: Dropping Brad Haddin was the hardest decision

Birmingham: Australia coach Darren Lehmann confronted the controversial decision to retain Peter Nevill for the third Test ahead of veteran wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.

Australia coach Darren Lehmann (left) with Brad Haddin
Australia coach Darren Lehmann (left) with Brad Haddin

Haddin missed the previous game due to his daughter’s health and, although Nevill performed impressively at Lord’s and again in Birmingham, there have been reports of disquiet in the squad about the situation.

Given the personal nature of Haddin’s withdrawal, it was felt he might be handed an immediate return.

“We’ve talked about it openly,” Lehmann said. “We all love Hadds, the players love Hadds, so everyone’s going to have different emotions but that’s part of professional sport and we try and deal with it as best we possibly can.

“It’s comfortably the toughest decision we’ve had to make. I know there’s been a big hoo-hah about ‘family first’, well we still have that.

“We certainly care about Brad and his family but we had to make a decision on what we thought was the best XI for this particular game.

“The cold hard facts are Hadds played the last 12 Test matches and made 250 runs at 15, with 16 bowleds out of 21. It comes down to performance.”

Support for Clarke
Meanwhile, Lehmann will give struggling captain Michael Clarke “as long as he needs” to turn around his poor form.

Clarke averages just 18.80 this series and has a top score of 38 in his last 10 innings against England, leading to serious questions over his future. “He’ll get as long as he needs, he’s captain,” said Lehmann. — PA Sport

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