Australia coach Darren Lehmann believes Brad Haddin is in desperate need of a break to recharge after a forgettable World Twenty20 for the veteran gloveman.
Haddin, who was utterly untouchable with both bat and gloves during the Ashes whitewash, has fallen below his lofty standards in Bangladesh, making costly errors behind the stumps.
And his batting, so crucial in Australia’s regaining of the urn over the summer when he averaged 66 and scored a half century in the first innings of each Test, has also been short of what fans had come to expect from him in his most recent purple patch of form.
In Australia’s six-wicket, two-ball loss to the West Indies on Friday, Haddin missed a regulation stumping chance that allowed the dangerous Chris Gayle a life when on 26 – the most costly of a handful of errors by the normally sound keeper.
But Australia paid the price, with Gayle dispatching Glenn Maxwell’s next delivery to the boundary en route to a 35-ball 53 that set up the Windies’ last-gasp victory.
Haddin, 36, also took a screamer off Mitchell Starc to remove Marlon Samuels – showing off the acrobatically ability he has displayed for the past six months.
But Lehmann was in no doubt that the non-stop cricket had started to take its toll.
“His keeping has been poor. That’s OK, he won’t mind me saying that,” Lehmann said.
“He’s honest enough for that. He’s been fantastic over a long period of time for us.
“He took a great catch (to dismiss Samuels) and missed a couple of opportunities.
“At the end of the day he’s been exceptional for us. He’d be disappointed in his own form in these two games.
“That’s not hiding away from the truth.”
Haddin, of course, has not been alone in slipping below his best during the T20 tournament.
The Ashes’ leading runscorer, David Warner, has failed on both occasions with the bat – as has short-form superstar Shane Watson.
“The simple fact is (Haddin is) one of our better performers and a couple of our experienced blokes – Shane Watson, David Warner for example – they didn’t have the impact, those three, that we would’ve liked,” Lehmann said.
When asked if the sheer volume of cricket Haddin had played recently had contributed to mental fatigue that would lend itself to a sub-par performance, Lehmann was sympathetic.
“He’s had a lot of cricket,” he said.
“But at the end of the day we all have jobs, we all have a lot of cricket to play.
“But he’s been fantastic around our group and we’ll stick with him because he’s a brilliant person and he will get a rest now and obviously freshen up and come back a better player.”