Cricket star Matthew Wade reacts to Test snub
Matthew Wade has responded to his Test snub after he was overlooked for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka.
The Tasmania wicketkeeper has been the top runscorer in the Sheffield Shield this season, amassing 571 runs from six matches at an average of 63.44 batting in the middle order.
The 31-year-old has carried on his impressive form from last season and in the past two summers has racked up 1225 runs while averaging 51.04. But despite Australia crying out for established batsmen, a recall to the Test side hasn’t been forthcoming.
After a 2-1 series loss to India Australian selectors dropped Shaun Marsh, Mitch Marsh, Aaron Finch and Peter Handscomb for the Sri Lanka series and brought Queensland openers Matthew Renshaw and Joe Burns into the squad, as well as Victorian young gun Will Pucovski.
Opening up about being left on the sideline once again, Wade said it was disappointing his weight of runs hasn’t come into calculations and questioned coach Justin Langer’s assertion performances would dictate selection.
“Justin Langer shot me an email just before the start of the last Test (against India in Sydney) just saying well done on my performances and at the moment I’m probably not going to get a look-in any time soon,” Wade told Fox Sports News yesterday.
“I feel like my form is as good as anyone in the country. When Justin took over he said weight of runs would be the leverage to get selected and I feel like I’ve put the runs on the board over a long period of time now.
“I’d like the opportunity if it comes, I understand it’s probably not going to come as a keeper, my Test career is probably done as a wicketkeeper, but I feel like my weight of runs as a batsman should be looked at.”
Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said yesterday it was difficult for Wade to push his case for a middle order Test spot unless he bats higher for Tasmania — because he wasn’t going to be considered with the gloves given Tim Paine is the captain.
“It’s fantastic to see him scoring a lot of runs. It wasn’t long ago that he was in our Test squad, he struggled and we dropped him,” Hohns said.
“He’s playing as a wicketkeeper-batsman for Tasmania and it just so happens we have a wicketkeeper-batsman in our Test side who is the captain.
“If Matthew wants to be considered as a straight-out batsman, it would be nice to see him batting a little higher up for Tasmania.
“That conversation has been had.”
However, Wade said although he was batting at six, he was accustomed to coming in early in innings in domestic cricket on the toughest batting wicket in the country. He also said he feels like a Test No. 5 or 6 and hoped selectors were keen to consider him as a specialist batting option in those positions, rather than viewing him solely as a wicketkeeper.
“I’m hoping they’re not just looking at me as a specialist keeper, I hope they are looking at me as a batsman as well,” Wade said. “If I have to prove that in Shield cricket, I will.
“I’ll come up the order and take off the gloves. Hopefully the communication keeps coming.”
Of the lack of opportunity in the baggy green despite his fantastic form, Wade added: “It’s pretty frustrating.
“It was a blessing in disguise that I got to play just as a batter with Tim (Paine) in the (Tasmania) team, so it probably showed the selectors that I can play as a specialist batsman.
“I’m not batting in the top four of five at the moment for Tasmania, but at the moment in the Test team I feel like number five or six, that role would suit me perfectly, so hopefully they come knocking soon.
“I’m arguably batting on the worst wicket in the country. Granted it is at six, but I feel like I’m in pretty early in most innings. They might want me to come up the order, maybe that’s something that I can look at.
“I understand, as a keeper it’s probably not going to come there … my Test career is probably done as a wicketkeeper but I feel like my weight of runs as a batsman should be looked at.”media_camera
Wade played the last of his 22 Tests against Bangladesh in 2017 and has scored two tons and four half centuries while on international duty in the whites.
In addition to explaining Wade’s absence, Hohns also defended his panel’s treatment of Glenn Maxwell, who last year was overlooked for an Australia A tour of India then Test tour of the UAE. Maxwell has opted out of this year’s Indian Premier League, declaring he has a burning desire to play Test cricket.
“Glenn hasn’t played Test cricket for us for a while and I guess right here and now, we are wanting him to focus on white-ball cricket with the World Cup coming up,” Hohns said.
“We’ve had several conversations with Glenn about all this and right now he is just content to focus on one-day cricket.
“However, he makes it very clear he would like to play Test cricket.”
Originally published as Test reject Wade hits back over snub