Sydney - A guitar-strumming rocker when not keeping wickets, Australia's Peter
Nevill will hope to hit the right note when he makes his surprise Test
debut against England in the second Ashes match on Thursday.
Haddin's decision to skip the Lord's Test due to family reasons has
cleared the deck for Nevill's Test debut and this is not the first time
the 29-year-old had to fill in for his mentor.
He flew to West
Indies in 2012 as a reserve for second-choice Matthew Wade when Haddin
was forced to return home due to his daughter's illness.
competition with Wade for a playing spot in the Victoria team prompted
Nevill to move to New South Wales in 2008 and that is where he blossomed
both with gloves and bat and developed a close friendship with Haddin.
has had a massive impact on my career, he's always so generous with his
time," Nevill, who often carries a guitar with him, said during a News
Corp interview in March.
"He's helped me out a lot and he's got a great eye for wicketkeeping and understands the technical aspects of it so well.
little things like talking to him about scenarios or mentally what he's
thinking and his keys as a keeper. He's certainly helped me become a
Nevill had his strongest Sheffield Shield
showing last season for NSW, which earned him the Steve Waugh medal for
the state's best player.
He scored 764 first-class runs at an
average of over 76, including an unbeaten 235 against Tasmania in
Hobart, and his form with the bat meant he played as a regular batsman
for NSW when Haddin was available for domestic cricket.
also had 34 Shield dismissals in the last season, enough to earn a spot
in the Test squad as the second keeper behind Haddin on the tours of
West Indies and the Ashes.
"I can always learn a lot from Hadds,
but this tour I've got to prepare to play," Nevill said. "I need to be
on top of my game and ready to go should that opportunity arise."
Now that the opportunity has arrived, his Australia team-mate Peter Siddle was convinced Nevill would make it count.
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,"
said Siddle, Nevill's former Victoria team mate.
"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."