Spiritual leader Haddin returns v Derby

Brad Haddin will press his claims for a return to the Test side on Thursday, when Australia start a three-day clash with Derbyshire.

Haddin, who withdrew from the second Ashes Test due to family reasons, is set to share wicketkeeping duties with Peter Nevill in the tour game at Derby.

National selectors are unlikely to be swayed by one match, but equally a big score from either gloveman won’t hurt their hopes of playing in the third Test that starts on Wednesday.

Despite Haddin’s mind being on far more serious matters, he was an active member of the 17-man Ashes squad last week.

The 37-year-old helped a dazed Chris Rogers shuffle off Lord’s on day four of the second Test.

He was a regular in the nets and sent a congratulatory bottle of champagne to Nevill, who made his Test debut behind the stumps.

“He’s almost like your father figure,” David Warner said.

Warner has learned the ropes alongside Haddin at Sydney club Easts, NSW and Australia.

Western Australian Mitch Marsh has spent less time with Haddin, but still regards him the same way.

“Brad is one of the great blokes in Australian cricket,” Marsh told radio station SEN.

“We all know he’s going through some tough times personally.

“He’s one of our most experienced players and for young guys like me to be around him as much as I can be on this tour – it’s awesome.

“I love having him around the team.”

Michael Clarke is captain, while Steve Smith is his deputy.

However, Haddin remains the spiritual leader of the side.

“He gets that extra 10 per cent, 20 per cent, 30 per cent out of individuals,” Warner said.

“Running up sand hills (for example), if Brad Haddin’s there you’ve got to do it.

“That’s our mentality, that’s how we’ve always been brought up.

“He’s that leader and we’ll basically do anything to follow in his path.”

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