Matthew Wade, who is gunning for a spot in the playing XI in T20s, stated that being flexible, dynamic and accommodating is his biggest strength, but added that he expects to bat in the top three. Wade also claimed that, for a whole decade now, he’s felt like he’s on the verge of getting axed.
With the World T20 three months away, Australia are yet to finalize their first-choice wicket-keeper, but the front-runner for the role is Matthew Wade. A veteran who made his international debut back in 2011, Wade has been a regular in the T20I side since last year, and most recently even skippered the country against India. Yet the presence of Alex Carey, Josh Philippe and Ben McDermott in the squad means that there are no guarantees that Wade will be a starter come the World T20, purely because of the competition he faces.
Experience is something that should work in the 33-year-old’s favour, but the southpaw believes that his biggest advantage is his flexibility and dynamism. Wade has batted everywhere from 1-8 for Australia in T20Is, and thus, though he expects to bat in the top-order, the left-hander is ready to fit in the side ‘wherever there’s an opportunity’.
“I can bat anywhere, that’s one of my strengths – I’ve batted pretty much everywhere for Australia,” Wade was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“Wherever there’s an opportunity for the team I’ll go to but I’d assume Finch, Warner and probably the wicketkeeper would be at three or, if not, open. We’ll work it out as we go but I see myself playing in the top of the order if I play.”
Wade, due to the presence of several other wicket-keepers, will be ‘competing’ for a WT20 spot in the forthcoming five-match series against West Indies, but, according to the 33-year-old, such a scenario is nothing new. The 36-Test veteran insisted that he’s been under pressure to perform throughout his career, and claimed that he’s always felt like he would get dropped should he not rack up the runs.
“I think every game you play for Australia is a bit of an audition. I’ve never really been a cemented player in the Australian cricket team anyway so it will be no different going into this tour. Every tour I went on, I felt like if I didn’t perform I wouldn’t be on the next tour. There’s nothing really different for me.
“I’m in a different place in my life with my cricket. I get an opportunity to play games of cricket again for Australia, whether it’s one or two games here or 10 in a World Cup. It’s about going out there and playing nothing to lose, which I really do. I’m comfortable with it, I’ve been used to it for 10 or so years.”
After a disappointing outing against India, Wade fell out of favour in Test cricket, with the selectors omitting him from the squad for the now-cancelled tour of South Africa, but the 33-year-old is still hopeful of regaining his spot. Wade stressed that he still has the ambition to play Test cricket, and insisted that he still can feature in the Ashes if he scores big runs for Tasmania in Shield cricket.
“I still have an ambition to play Test cricket (again). I still think if I can go home and put some good performances on the board, an opportunity is there to play in the Ashes and I could still get picked.
“I played well in the Ashes last time, so there’s a little bit of hope there – it’s dwindling hope, but it’s there if I put my best foot forward in first-class cricket.”