Melbourne: Former wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin has backed the national selectors’ decision to axe James Faulkner from the Australian squad for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, saying that the all-rounder has not been performing well from over the last one year. “James would be disappointed, but over the last 12 months, he hasn’t consistently been in Australia’s best XI for a long time now,” cricket.com.au quoted Haddin as saying. The 39-year-old said that although Faulkner could give good performances in the international arena, he has been lacking that strength since long.”We know the performances he can give in the international space but we haven’t seen that power hitting for a long time. I think this is a selection that’s been coming for a while,” Haddin said. Australia announce squad for Champions Trophy 2017; injured Lynn set to return, Faulkner axed
“James is a competitor in his own right, he’ll go away and work on what he needs to. But he hasn’t been in that number one Australian team for a long time,” he added. Part of the winning Australian side in the 2015 World Cup, Faulkner’s clever death bowling and lower-order batting saw him become an important member of the Australia’s world-leading ODI side. However, the all-rounder has suffered a major slump in form in the recent time, failing to reach half-century and averaging less than 20 since the World Cup triumph. Earlier, John Hastings was named in the 15-man ODI squad at the expense of Faulkner for the Champions Trophy, which is to be held in England and Wales from July 2.
Despite being dumped from the squad, Haddin believes Faulkner has the capability to earn his spot back batting higher up the order.
“You’d like to see James come back and be able to hold down a number six spot with the bat. You’d hope his game keeps developing so he can hold down that spot and give you those dangerous overs with his changes of pace through the middle and back-end of the game,” the 66-Test veteran said.