Matthew Wade aims for Test selection
Australian wicket-keeper batsman Matthew Wade has stated that he is keen to challenge Peter Nevill for a spot in the Test team by performing well in the ongoing One-Day International series against England.
Wade has been a member of the Australian set up since 2011 when he made his Twenty20 International debut, but has only played 12 Tests and 49 ODIs to date.
From 12 Tests, Wade has 623 runs at an average of 34.61 with two centuries, while he has amassed 982 runs at 24.55 from 49 ODIs with six fifties to his name.
In the 2015 Ashes series in England, Nevill was the wicket-keeper who replaced Brad Haddin when the 37-year-old took a break to be with his family.
Understanding that Nevill is the first choice wicket-keeper at Test level, Wade is nevertheless keen to press for a recall by putting in the hard yards.
“I’ve just got to put good performances forward," he said.
“Nevill is obviously the front-runner at the moment and then I’m hoping I’m behind him.
“(We’re) trying to push each other to be the best players we can be so you can only do it by good performances and if I can put enough of them forward than who knows what’s going to happen.
“But at the moment Nev (Nevill) played pretty well during the Ashes so I’d presume he’s probably going to take the gloves in the Bangladesh tour.
“That’s fine, I’ll keep working hard and keep putting good performances forward and hopefully we can push each other as hard as we can.”
With Brad Haddin the preferred keeper in the ODI format over the last 12 months, Wade feels that he has put up his best performances whenever given a chance.
Having been given another go in ODIs in the ongoing series against England, Wade is looking forward to cement his spot in the shorter versions of the game.
“My last 12 months in one-day cricket I felt like I’ve played pretty well when I got picked for the South African tour and then the series before that (against England in 2014), where I got picked for a few games.
“I felt like I played well enough in one-day cricket.
“It was just taking the confidence from that series, even though it was a long time ago, forward.
“I can look back over the last three or four years and try and tinker with things if I wanted to but it’s more important for me now to really establish myself as a player in the one-day team again.”
Since 2014, Wade has only featured in nine ODIs, including the five-match series against South Africa at home, where he scored 117 runs at 29.25.
In the first ODI against England in the ongoing series, Wade played a crucial hand with his unbeaten half-century to push Australia’s total past 300, winning the man-of-the-match award.
After Australia succumbed to 193 for six, a 112-run partnership between Wade and Mitchell Marsh rescued the visitors, helping them get past 300.
Wade added that he and Marsh looked to stretch the partnership and bat through the 50 overs by rotating the strike and looking to go big towards the end.
“I knew that we had to get it as deep as we could.
“Obviously Mitch Marsh is a terrific hitter at the end so I was just trying to build a partnership with him, hit the gaps and run as hard as we could.
“It’s a pretty big ground, plays a little bit like the MCG, so I just knew I had to hit the balls into the gaps and run as hard as I could and hopefully Mitch was going to be there at the end to clear the boundary.
“Luckily enough we were both there. There wasn’t a lot of sixes hit but we built a nice partnership together.”
Despite the strong competition for the wicket-keeper’s spot, Wade is happy that he is able to make it count whenever given a chance.
“It’s always tough when you’re not in the (Australia) team.
“But luckily enough I got those opportunities, to play three games here and I managed to play five against South Africa last summer.
“To be around the team there and still be able to go back to Victoria and be able to work on a few little things (was ideal).
“Every innings you play for Australia is important but at the start of the series it’s nice to get away for sure.”
Wade will look to carry forward the momentum into the second ODI, when Australia take on England at Lord’s on 5th September.
© Cricket World 2015