Fifth Ashes Test: Brad Haddin shares his thoughts on England's woes
Brad Haddin reckons England are close to breaking point as they bid to avoid a 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Sydney.
Last Updated: 02/01/14 10:55pm
England have surrendered the Ashes after suffering heavy defeats in all four Tests and they passed up the chance of a nets session at the Sydney Cricket Ground two days before the start of the fifth Test.
"I don't think they're in a great place, to be perfectly honest," wicketkeeper Haddin said.
"I think you could probably tell a bit of that in their fielding the other day (in the Melbourne Test). I think that's the first thing to go when you're struggling a bit.
"The batting and bowling, it's an individual thing, but I think the team stuff looked like it was breaking a bit the other day."
England, who led by 116 with 10 wickets in hand after lunch on Saturday's third day in Melbourne, contributed to their own demise with a second-innings batting collapse followed by two dropped catches by skipper Alastair Cook.
Despite that eight-wicket humiliation, the tourists sprang a surprise by not using their scheduled morning nets session on Wednesday.
England's misfiring batsmen have yet to pass 400 in the last two Ashes series.
All-rounder Ben Stokes is the only English batsman to have scored a century in the series, but leg-spinner Scott Borthwick, who may make his Test debut at the SCG, said the tourists were comfortable with their final Test preparation.
"No reason whatsoever (for not having a net)," Borthwick insisted. "We just had a nice run around, a bit of catching... we'll do our skills tomorrow."
Borthwick could replace Monty Panesar in the England bowling attack, while left-hander Gary Ballance appears set to make his Test debut - in all likelihood at the expense of opener Michael Carberry.
Haddin said he was confident Australia can make history by fielding the same team for five consecutive Tests, despite injury doubts over pace bowlers Ryan Harris and Shane Watson.
Watson picked up a groin injury while bowling in the Melbourne Test, while Harris's lingering knee injury has been compounded by a foot complaint.
The pair took part in a light fielding session on Wednesday but none of the Australian fast bowlers appeared in the subsequent nets session.
Haddin said the fact that Watson returned to bowl in Melbourne, albeit at a reduced pace, was a good sign and the chances of Harris playing were "pretty high".
"(Harris) is doing everything he can to play and the only way he won't play is if he's injured - and he's not injured at the moment," Haddin said. "I think that dodgy knee of his is feeling good.
"(Watson) bowled the other day so I can see no reason why he won't (play and bowl). It just depends on how many overs we need to get out of him."
Should selectors stick with the same eleven, it will be the first time an Australian team has remained unchanged for a five-Test series.
You can watch the fifth and final Ashes Test live on Sky Sports 2HD from 10.30pm on Thursday January 2