Australian wicketkeeper Peter Nevill faces the prospect of being left out of the Test team despite a record-breaking Ashes debut, with coach Darren Lehmann hopeful Brad Haddin is ready to return to the team.
Nevill had one of the more memorable Test debuts – taking seven catches in the crushing 405-run series-levelling win while also batting with purpose.
His seven dismissals were a record for a wicketkeeper on Ashes debut and also the second most by an Australian on debut.
The 29-year-old fell one short of equalling the most-ever dismissals by a wicketkeeper on debut, jointly held by Australia’s Brian Taber and England’s Chris Read.
It wasn’t even the only record he snared at Lord’s – he also now holds the honour of securing the fastest dismissal for a wicketkeeper in history, waiting just two balls to get off the mark in England’s first innings when he accepted an edge from Adam Lyth off Mitchell Starc’s bowling.
The stats make for impressive reading when added to his well-compiled 45 in his only Test innings to date.
It will likely all count for nought if Haddin is able to return though, having missed the Lord’s Test for personal reasons.
It would be a cruel blow considering Nevill’s stunning debut, but one which would be hard to deny given Haddin’s place as a senior figure in the team, despite his indifferent showing with bat and gloves in the series-opening Test in Cardiff.
Haddin remains a deeply respected figure in the Australian dressing room and if available, that perhaps counts for as much as runs and catches, even if Nevill has cemented his place as the heir apparent.
Lehmann flagged the possibility of the veteran gloveman being available for Australia’s tour match against Derbyshire which starts on Thursday – before stressing the decision was entirely dependent on Haddin being ready.
However, he admitted Nevill had made the decision more difficult following his Lord’s efforts.
“(We are) just trying to work out what happens moving forward and hopefully (Haddin will) be available for the Derby game,” Lehmann said.
“Selection’s always difficult, so (selector on tour) Rodney (Marsh) and I will have to sit down and work out which way we go.
“We have to get Brad back playing cricket before we cross that bridge, if that makes sense.”
Lehmann heaped praise on Nevill and allrounder Mitch Marsh, the two players who were brought in for Lord’s after not featuring in the series-opening loss in Cardiff.
“For us we were really pleased with both performances from Mitchell and Peter,” Lehman said.
“I thought they did a really good job for us and injected some enthusiasm in the group.”