World Cup winner Brad Haddin has questioned the hype over England’s recent one-day form.
In comments that will put the noses of local pundits and players properly out of joint, Haddin expressed bemusement over the so-called rebirth of English cricket.
Australia recently arrived in London at the same time England completed a thrilling 3-2 ODI series win over New Zealand.
The cricket was congenial, competitive and close. Some local media outlets wondered if it was the greatest one-day series – ever.
“I don’t understand what the excitement is about .. I’m a bit puzzled by it,” said Haddin.
“We played them in the first game of the World Cup when it counted and the pressure was on.”
England were crushed by 111 runs in that tournament opener against Australia, who went on to defeat New Zealand in the final on March 29.
“It was just like they were a couple of months too late,” Haddin said.
“I don’t really understand the talk – did they not enjoy cricket before then? I don’t know. I don’t really get where they are coming from. That might be my naivety.”
Shane Watson appreciated the “flair” England recently showed, but also couldn’t resist poking fun at the poor timing.
“Unfortunately for them (it was) a little bit too late because the World Cup has just been and they’ve got another three and a half years to go until the next one,” Watson quipped.
“But it’s good to see that they’ve moved with the times.
“They’re going to have to do the same in Test cricket as well.
“They’ve got the quality of players no doubt to be able to do it … but it’s going to be interesting to see how they try and take us on.”
Watson nominated dour captain Alastair Cook as a potential roadblock to playing the same brand of freewheeling cricket in the Ashes.
“I’m not sure if that’s exactly in Alastair Cook’s DNA to be really able to put a game on the line,” the allrounder said.
“But there’s no doubt if they’ve got the quality of players around, then Alastair Cook will move with that as well.”
Haddin wasn’t sure there would be any shift in the Test side’s approach.
“I don’t know where the wheels change. I think they’ll play the same way they’ve always played,” the wicketkeeper said.
“They play great cricket over here … they’ve got a couple of guys that can really take the game away.”
Watson wasn’t quite as shocked as Haddin to see the recent headlines.
“Nothing surprises me over here,” he said.
“Positive or negative, they don’t mind going to extremes.”