Once again there has been very little action in international cricket over the past week with the third Test between Australia and the West Indies the only match in the men’s game. There have also been three Women’s One Day Internationals with West Indies Women emerging victorious in a hard-fought three-match series against their Sri Lankan counterparts.
It is from this series that a couple of contenders for this week’s award emerge, with Shanel Daley named Player of the Series for her all-round exploits which included twin half-centuries, as well as her usual economical and highly effective bowling; and Anisa Mohammed taking five for 34 to help the hosts win the opening match.
However, the only three-figure score this week came in the men’s game and it was from Matthew Wade, who hit his maiden Test century in Australia’s first innings in Dominica. He came to the crease with the visitors on 157 for five having just lost their captain Michael Clarke, and proceeded to score 106 off 146 balls to take Australia to 328 – a total which proved to be enough on a typically turgid West Indies pitch.
The 24 year-old is quickly emerging as Australia’s first choice wicket-keeper in all formats of the game and, despite protestations to the contrary from Clarke, has seemingly usurped the incumbent Brad Haddin. Tim Paine was originally thought to be next in line behind Haddin, who is currently taking a break from the game for family reasons, but he is currently battling a career-threatening finger injury.
All of which has left the Tasmanian-born Victorian in possession of the gloves, and he has already shown what he is capable of, as, in spite of initial criticisms about the standard of his glovework, that has now improved to a standard considered acceptable in international cricket, while his batting ability has never been in doubt. He averages over 40 in all first-class cricket, while his List A average of over 35 is up there with the very best on the Australian domestic circuit.
Barring serious injury or a catastrophic loss of form, it appears that he will be the man behind the stumps for Australia at both the World Twenty20 later this year and during the Ashes not long afterwards.
© Cricket World 2012