Peter Nevill will become Australia’s 33rd Test wicketkeeper on Thursday, when Brad Haddin misses the second Ashes Test due to family reasons.
Haddin was a noticeable absentee from Australia’s training session at Lord’s on Tuesday, staying in the pavilion for the majority of the hit-out.
On Tuesday night, Cricket Australia confirmed Nevill will take the gloves this week and make his Test debut at age 29.
Haddin has withdrawn himself from the second Test, but will remain with Australia’s 17-man Ashes squad in London.
Nevill is likely to be reasonably nervous, especially given the home of cricket will be the scene of his national debut.
But Peter Siddle, a former teammate of Nevill’s at Victoria, is confident Haddin’s understudy is ready to deliver.
“He’s played well in the opportunities he’s had. His record back home speaks for itself, he’s had a couple of great years in first-class cricket,” Siddle said.
“I played a lot with him as a youngster, being a Victorian boy.
“He gets his opportunity, I’ve got no doubt he will be ready to go.”
Nevill is coming off his strongest Sheffield Shield season yet for NSW, having won the Steve Waugh medal awarded to the state’s best player.
He scored 764 first-class runs at an average of 76.40, with the highlight being an unbeaten 235 against Tasmania in Hobart.
Nevill also snared 34 Shield dismissals in the past season, convincing selectors he deserves to be Haddin’s long-term successor and should tour the West Indies and England.
The gloveman played a tour match against Essex prior to the Ashes opener in Cardiff, declaring he would be ready to go if called upon during the five-Test series.
“I can always learn a lot from Hadds, but this tour I’ve got to prepare to play,” Nevill said in Chelmsford.
“I need to be on top of my game and ready to go should that opportunity arise.”
Nevill departed Victoria to join NSW in 2008, when he quickly struck up a close friendship with Haddin.
Haddin even asked his understudy to keep for Sydney club Easts when they played together in first grade.
“Brad has had a massive impact on my career, he’s always so generous with his time,” Nevill said when he was named in the Ashes squad.
Nevill is no stranger to many England players, having captained a Cricket Australia XI in a tour game during the 2013-14 Ashes.
WHO IS PETER NEVILL?
*Struggled for opportunities at Victoria due to incumbent keeper Matthew Wade so he shifted to NSW in 2008
*Has played for NSW as a specialist batsman alongside Brad Haddin
*Has captained NSW and also a Cricket Australia XI in a tour game against England in 2013-14
*Scored 764 Sheffield Shield runs in the 2014-15 season to win the Steve Waugh medal awarded to NSW’s best player
*Developed to the point where he was picked as Australia’s reserve wicketkeeper for the Ashes ahead of Wade.