Aussie legend Brad Haddin has heaped praise on England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow, ahead of the Ashes.
The Three Lions have already played their first two tour matches Down Under and remain unfancied to pull off a big upset against Steve Smith's men.
However, former Ashes hero Haddin thinks much of the tourists' chances of success could depend on the form of Bairstow.
Despite making a stuttering start to his international career, Bairstow has emerged has one of England's most consistent players over the last 18 months.
Haddin has been impressed by Bairstow's strengthened mentality and his improvement with the gloves.
“Jonny has had an outstanding time with the bat, and one thing I’ve admired about him is that he has got runs under pressure,” the ex-Aussie wicketkeeper said, per The Mirror.
“He has got runs that have made a difference to his team, which is really important for the wicketkeeper.
“What people have overlooked, partly because of his batting, is the development in his keeping. Over the last 12 months his keeping has come a long way.
“He started his Test career a little bit behind the pace with his gloves, but he has improved massively. He’s a vital player for England, not just with the bat and the gloves, but also for the energy that Jonny gives.
“As a keeper you don’t want anyone to notice you, because [that means] you’re doing a good job, and I think that’s the case with Jonny.”
“He looks confident in the way he goes about things now, and the way he keeps and bats under pressure shows that he has a great character.”
However, Bairstow will not want to become too overconfident following Haddin’s praise. His record of 370 runs over nine tests against The Aussies - with an average of 24.66 - will need to be improved upon if England are to go to Australia and win.
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