Wade in contention for Test wicketkeeping spot: Clarke – Cricket News Update
Australian skipper Michael Clarke is convinced that if young wicketkeeper Matthew Wade continues to perform as he has throughout the recently wrapped-up tour of the West Indies, he could be in competition for Australia’s Test wicketkeeping spot with Brad
“I've made it very clear that I think Wadey's done everything in his power to put as much pressure on the selectors as possible. What I also said was that if Brad was available for this tour he would have played the first Test match,” Clarke pointed out,
adding that he felt the spirit of competition for positions in the team would benefit the game immensely. He also observed that the Australian team was lucky to have two talented wicket-keepers to choose from for Tests.
The debate over the wicket-keeping spot in the Australian team commenced when Matthew Wade was chosen over Brad Haddin for the Commonwealth Bank series, and made his international debut in February this year. This move by the National Selection Panel led
to some confusion, with many, including Haddin, assuming that the elder batsman had been dropped.
The selectors denied any such development, and the 34-year-old was included in the Test squad for the Windies tour, with Wade being retained for the limited-overs leg of the tour. However Haddin ended up pulling out of the series owing to personal problems,
and Wade was granted his Test debut.
The 24-year-old, in addition to his wicketkeeping performances, impressed with the bat, scoring a vital century (106) during the third Test against the Windies at Windsor Park.
“… Wadey, if he plays like that, certainly will continue to put pressure on not only the wicketkeeper's spot but a batsman's position too,” Clarke observed.
The selectors, however, have plenty of time to gauge the performances of both players, and decide which one will be included in the playing XI for the series against South Africa, which is due to be played in the second half of 2012. Meanwhile, the Australian
team has a 6-month break from Test cricket, as they turn their attention to the shorter format of the game, with an upcoming series against Pakistan in Sri Lanka, and the World T20 later this year in September.
“There's a lot of cricket to be played before any of the selectors have to worry about the next XI or the next squad of 15 for our next Test series,” Clarke said, adding that he hoped Wade would continue to perform well in the limited-overs format of the
game until the next Test series rolled around.