Having made his debut in 2012, Matthew Wade scored his maiden ODI century earlier this year, an innings of exactly 100 that helped Australia recover from 5 for 78 to eventually win that match, against Pakistan, by 92 runs. However, his performances since then read 35 (off 56 balls), 5, 8, 2, 9, 2 and 3 not out.
Despite being the only specialist wicketkeeper in Australia’s squad, Wade was left out, with Peter Handscomb taking over the duties for two of the four ODIs in the ongoing series against India. He knows he needs to respond to that situation, especially with the Ashes looming, and competition heating up – Peter Nevill scored three first-class centuries in 11 innings since being dropped in November and 26-year old Alex Carey set a Sheffield Shield record of 59 dismissals for South Australia last season.
“There is no point sitting up here and thinking about what has already happened,” Wade said on the eve of the Nagpur ODI. “My form with the bat has not been good enough. The selectors have told me that I need score runs if I need to be picked.
“A lot has been made about me failing in the Bangladesh and couple of times here. But before I played in India I was batting really well. I would have liked to score more runs in this series but that’s not happened. If I think back to the way I was batting in India [during the Test series] I played quite well. It is not panic stations yet and I know what I have to do.”
Wade was brought back into the XI in Bengaluru, but he could only face three balls as the Australian innings ended. He is not part of the T20 squad and so will have to focus on making an immediate mark in the 2017-18 Shield season, which begins on October 26.
“They will be crucial for my chances. I’m not worried about the matches, I have to score runs any time I have to go bat. I have to score runs regardless of if I’m trying to score runs for the Ashes or getting picked for Australia or whoever I’m playing for at the time. Doesn’t phase me, I have been doing all the hard work it just hasn’t happened for me yet.”
Wade insisted that he has not heard any complaints about his wicketkeeping. He had given away 30 runs in byes during the first Test against Bangladesh in Dhaka, but came back in Chittagong quite strongly, effecting three catches and two stumpings, including one off a ball that reared up towards his chest.
“I thought I kept quite well in Bangladesh, I know there was lot of talk especially during the first Test with the number of byes I conceded. But if you look at their keeper [Mushfiqur Rahim conceded 22 byes] and given the conditions I thought we were quite similar. I felt in the second test especially, I took some good chances. I have been pretty good here, on the back of India where I felt I kept quite well. Selectors have told me there have been no concerns with my keeping. They just want me to score more runs.”
Having represented Victoria since the age of 19, Wade will return home to Tasmania for the 2017-18 domestic season. He said he took the decision to end a 153-match association with Victoria, whom he had captained for the past four seasons, keeping in mind his young family.
“I was picked in the Test team I was travelling quite a lot and just had a baby girl at the time so I wanted to be around the family,” he said. “My partner Julia and the baby – to have a lot of family with her has been really good. I’m looking forward to playing for Tasmania, I will have a few days off then play one-dayers followed by the shield games. It is a bit of fresh start but I’m really looking forward to.”
Source: ESPN Crickinfo