Brisbane, Dec 19: Former Australian wicketkeeper Ian Healy feels Brad Haddin's experience is invaluable and his position in the side is safe.
The 50-year-old Healy lauded Haddin's leadership on Friday and said his position in Australia's Test side is his for as long as he wants it.
The 37-year-old Haddin has previously hinted that the 2015 Ashes could signal the end of his career, saying last month that a third Ashes tour is "as big a carrot as you can have put in front of you".
But the series against England is still over six months away and Haddin's form is already under the microscope after another low score on the third day of the second Test against India here.
The vice-captain was caught at short-leg for six in the morning session, dropping his average from seven matches since the end of last summer to 9.10, with a highest score in that period of 22.
It's a dramatic letdown from the high of the keeper-batsman's Ashes heroics 12 months ago; Haddin scored 493 runs and averaged over 60 against England last season, including five fifties and a century.
While Haddin's output with the bat has tailed off, Healy said his work with the gloves has stayed at the same high level it's been at since he regained his No.7 position 18 months ago.
"I don't have a problem with his (Haddin's) position (in the side). He's safe for as long as he wants to play and if his batting continues to plateau he won't enjoy playing so he'll get out, I'll reckon," Healy, who played 119 Test matches, was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
"He'll either get it right or he'll go on his own. Putting a rookie wicketkeeper into this current team is not ideal. They need the experience of Haddin. We'll know by before the end of this summer."Haddin's work behind the stumps was rewarded on day two of this match when he completed his sixth catch of India's first innings, equalling the Australian record held by Wally Grout, Rod Marsh and Healy.
"If he gets that sharpness back with the bat ... he'll be right. If he doesn't then he'll be asking questions of himself," said the legendary wicketkeeper.