Australian wicket-keeper crucial for the home side on an impressive day two.
Brad Haddin conceded he had his fair amount of luck as his spirited century helped put Australia in command of the second Ashes Test over England in Adelaide on Friday.
Haddin enjoyed huge slices of good fortune on his way to his third Ashes century with his swashbuckling 118.
The wicketkeeper shared in a record sixth-wicket stand of 200 with skipper Michael Clarke (148) in a 570 for nine declaration, and had the tourists reeling at 35 for one at stumps, trailing by 535 runs.
Haddin rode his luck in an adventurous knock containing five sixes and 11 boundaries and was given out to a catch behind off Ben Stokes when on 51 only to be recalled by the umpire when Stokes was found to have over-stepped for a no-ball — cancelling out his first Test wicket.
Haddin and Stokes sniped at each other after that over and South African umpire Marais Erasmus had to intervene to keep the players apart.
“I don’t know what he said. I didn’t bowl the no-ball,” Haddin laughed.
“I was shocked. I was on my way off to get a cold drink and Michael (Clarke) said come back. I had my fair share of luck out there over the last couple of days.”
Haddin was also dropped by Michael Carberry in a straight forward chance late on Thursday’s first day when he was on five and should have been run out when he was on 18.
“Didn’t think about it at all. You need to have a bit of luck in this game. You can do all the technique you want, but everyone needs luck. I had my fair share,” he said.
Haddin, playing some of his best cricket in the twilight of his career at 36, has scored above 50 in his three innings in this series as Australia have England under pressure after losing the last Ashes series 3-0 in July-August.
“I think it’s the state of mind. I’m pretty comfortable with where my game’s at, at the moment. I’m enjoying being a part of this team moving forward and just enjoying my cricket,” he said.
“We had the luxury of only having an hour or so out there. We know we’ve got a couple of big days in front of us. We’ve got to take 19 wickets to be in this Test match.”
Haddin declared skipper Clarke as the best batsman in the world, while Mitchell Johnson was bowling with serious pace.
“I think you’ve seen since Michael’s taken over (as captain), his batting’s gone to another level,” he said.
“He loves batting at this ground. He averages 100 here. We know he’s such a good player of spin bowling, he’s so quick on his feet.”
Haddin said he was delighted that Johnson was bowling for Australia.
“That was some serious pace that first four overs and he had some good shape. You could tell by his run-up that they were going to come out with some serious pace,” he said.
“He just looked smooth, he was coming into the crease and it looked like he was gliding in. I noticed up on the board he had the six fastest balls of the day after his first seven or so balls so it’s always good having Mitch bowling that sort of pace.
“That ball that got Alastair Cook was a cracker. It swung late and I think at 150 kilometres per hour (93 miles per hour) that was a very good delivery.
“My worst part of the week is the seven minutes having to face him in the nets. It’s always good to have Mitch in your team.”