Peter Nevill has got the nod ahead of Brad Haddin as Australia’s wicketkeeper for the third Ashes Test against England at Edgbaston, captain Michael Clarke confirmed on Tuesday.
Haddin, 37, quit one-day-internationals after Australia’s World Cup victory at home in March and the snub might push him closer to international retirement.
Haddin played the opening Ashes Test in Cardiff but sat out the second Test at Lord’s due to family reasons.
That paved the way for Nevill to make an impressive debut in Australia’s series-levelling win, during which the 29-year-old took seven catches and scored a brisk 45 in the first innings.
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Clarke, who is no longer a selector, said selection chairman Rod Marsh and coach Darren Lehmann had spoken to him about their decision to play Nevill in the Test starting on Wednesday.
“Rod and Boof (Lehmann) came and spoke to me and told me what they were thinking,” Clarke told reporters.
Nevill moved from Victoria to New South Wales in 2008 and developed a close friendship with Haddin, who he considers his mentor.
While his protege had a strong debut at Lord’s, Haddin had a poor first Test in Cardiff, dropping England centurion Joe Root on nought and failing twice with the bat.
“It’s obviously a lot harder for me because I have that attachment to Hadds, I’ve grown up playing cricket with him, we’ve spent a lot of time together and I love the fact that he’s still here working hard,” Clarke said.
“If an opportunity comes he’ll grab it with both hands.
“On the other hand, Nev made the most of his opportunity in the second Test, I thought he batted really well and I thought he kept exceptionally well.
“So it’s a tough one when you sit in the middle, but that’s the way the selectors have gone and I respect their decision.”
Haddin has played 66 Tests for Australia and Clarke hoped his deputy will continue to play.
“He still wants to play that’s for sure and he has a great relationship with Nev,” Clarke said.
“So I think he sees his role over the last couple of days leading up to this Test to help Nev as much as possible and they are really good friends so there’s certainly no lack of respect there.
“He’s a great man Hadds, he’s been an awesome vice captain, I’ve really loved having him as vice captain and he’s performed exceptionally well.
“He’s done himself and his family really proud in the way that he’s represented Australia and New South Wales and I hope he keeps playing.”
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