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Peter Nevill: Australia's new wicket-keeper swaps guitar for gloves

Rohan Raj | Updated on: 18 July 2015, 14:16 IST

When Brad Haddin was ruled out of the second Ashes Test at Lord's, Australia filled the void with 29-year-old New South Wales wicket-keeper, Peter Nevill.

A guitar-strumming rocker when not keeping wickets, Nevill will be eager to hit the right notes when he takes the field against the refreshingly aggressive English side who are leading the five-match Ashes series 1-0.

The Australian wicket-keeper has admitted to mixed emotions about his international debut at Lord's. While excited about playing for his country and wearing the illustrious baggy green, Nevill feels sad for his close friend and teammate Brad Haddin.

"It is a unique circumstance. My thoughts are with the Haddins, but it is a tremendous honour and privilege to play for your country. It's the thing dreams are made of really. I really feel for Hadds, he's someone I've been very close to, but it's not for me to speak any further on that matter," Nevill said ahead of the 2nd Test.

As Peter Nevill gears up to perform his duties for Australia in the 2nd Test, here's what you need to know about him.

Nevill's recent form

The right-handed wicket-keeper batsman was in prolific form for New South Wales in the 2014-15 Sheffield Shield tournament. The Victoria-born player scored 764 runs in his 10 games at an average of 76.40 including two hundreds and three fifties. His Sheffield Shield performance also earned him the Steve Waugh medal - an award given to the best player in the state. In February 2015, Nevill notched up his highest-ever score of 235 runs against Tasmania. Nevill also smashed 78 runs during Australia's warm-up game against Essex in hostile conditions earlier in July.

Brad Haddin's understudy at New South Wales

Looking for opportunities, Nevill moved to New South Wales in 2008. The 29-year-old developed a close friendship with Brad Haddin at the club. Though Haddin had been keeping wickets for New South Wales, Nevill managed to feature in the state side as a specialist batsman. "Brad has had a massive impact on my career, he's always so generous with his time," Nevill said during an interview in March. "He's helped me out a lot and he's got a great eye for wicket-keeping and understands the technical aspects of it so well. He's certainly helped me become a better wicket-keeper," he added.

Role as captain

Apart from leading New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield tournament, Peter Nevill's leadership was recognised during the warm-up game against the touring English side in the build-up to the 2013-14 Ashes series. Nevill led Cricket Australia Invitational XI by example, scoring 83 runs in the first innings. He also took four catches including one to dismiss England skipper Alastair Cook.

Players speak highly of Nevill

England captain Alastair Cook: "His first-class record is pretty decent, he's averaging 45 and got a double-hundred. He's obviously been talked about as being (Haddin's) replacement for a couple of years. So we expect him to be no different in terms of the quality."

Australian seamer Peter Siddle, who played alongside Nevill at Victoria, said: "He's 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. 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."

First published: 18 July 2015, 14:16 IST
 
Rohan Raj @ro4an_raj

After a poor stint in gully-cricket quashed his hopes of turning pro, Rohan moved away from the playing field and began criticising those who were still on it. Football eases his mind and watching City paint Manchester blue is his elusive dream. When not talking, thinking or dreaming about sports, Rohan can be found listening to EDM or watching movies. A sports correspondent at Catch News, he has previously worked with Hindustan Times, Daily Bhaskar and India Today.

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