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2nd ODI, India v Australia at Kochi, Oct 2, 2007

Haddin's the hero as Australia win

With Michael Hussey ruled out, and Ricky Ponting sitting out the first two ODIs due to a hamstring strain, Australia were missing two of the world.s premier one-day batsmen when they took on India in Bangalore and Kochi. And when they were down to 90 for 4 and 66 for 3 while batting first, it seemed that the World Champions were missing their key players.

However, one of the replacements - Brad Haddin, stood tall against the Indian bowling, his scores of 69 and 87 not out helping Australia post a total above 300 on both occasions. In the abandoned match in Bangalore, Haddin played second-fiddle to Michael Clarke in their 144-run stand, with Clarke going on to make a century. The situation was better in the second game, with Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symonds having put on 94 runs after India had wrested the early advantage.

Haddin joined a set Symonds at the crease, and took his time to get going. The first 11 deliveries he faced fetched four runs, before he upped the tempo with a slog-sweep off Harbhajan Singh that sailed over deep midwicket. He was nearly bowled by one that spun back in to him in the same over, but continued on, before repeating the same shot against the same bowler when he came on to bowl from the other end.

Spinners and fast bowlers were played with equal ease, as Haddin consolidated along with Symonds. Symonds fell in the 47^th over, and by then his partner had already picked up the scoring rate, creaming Sreesanth for three boundaries as he came on to bowl in the end overs.

Words were exchanged between the two but Haddin remained unflappable, and reserved the best for the last, hitting two fours - straight down the ground a scoop over fine leg - and a six over midwicket off the 49^th over bowled by Zaheer Khan.

A well-paced 87 off 69 balls was the end result, as Australia.s 306 proved to be too much for the hosts India, who fell short by 84 runs. With Haddin, a wicketkeeper-batsman and a perennial understudy to Adam Gilchrist, finally making his mark at the international level, Australia would have a few selection headaches once Ponting comes back into the side.

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