Brad Haddin announced his decision to skip the second Ashes Test, citing personal reasons. The 37-year-old has been replaced in the starting line-up by Peter Nevill, who, at 29, will don the baggy green for the first time.
Haddin is not retiring, but did not make the reason for his unavailability public. He has been under severe pressure due to his form over the past 18 months, and his performance with the gloves and the bat in the first Test was disappointing.
He dropped a relatively routine catch off the bat of Joe Root, who, on 0 at the time, went on to make a match-turning 134. It is conceivable Haddin could have played his last Test, although definitively stating so would be premature.
This development mirrors an interesting subplot in the 2013-14 Ashes in Australia, where Jonathan Trott flew back home after the first Test, claiming to be under stress, following a heavy defeat. Australia would be keen to ensure this tour does not turn out to be similarly disrupted.
The second Test starts on Thursday at Lord’s, with Australia looking to level the series after suffering a 169-run defeat at Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens.