Axed Test batsman Matthew Wade insists he has no regrets about a selfless decision to open the batting but hasn’t given up hope of reclaiming his spot ahead of next summer’s home Ashes campaign.
Wade became the fall guy for the 2-1 series loss to India when he was overlooked for the now aborted tour of South Africa, having averaged a modest 21.63 and failed to pass 50 in his past 14 innings. However, he had been well placed to correct that in three of his innings against India, making 30 and 40 while opening in Melbourne, appearing set for a century at No.5 in the first innings in Brisbane until an injudicious pull shot on 45 put his spot under pressure.
Selection chairman Trevor Hohns gave Wade, 32, the news he didn’t want but the Tasmanian, having been through this before, was in no hurry for detailed feedback.
“I have been around long enough, as I said to Trevor, to know that if you don’t perform at my age at a high level, then your spot is going to be up. And if your team is not winning, there is more chance of something like that happening,” Wade said on Saturday.
“I am comfortable with what I did. There is someone that is probably going to be left out when we lost the series, and that was me.“
Wade, the only Australian outside of Steve Smith to post Ashes tons in 2019, accepted coach-selector Justin Langer’s request to open the batting in Adelaide and Melbourne when David Warner and Will Pucovski were unavailable. It was an unfamiliar role and earned him credit points but an unexpected series loss meant the selectors were always going to make at least one change.
“The only regret I have is that I didn’t turn one of my starts into a big score. I batted really well at the top of the order,” Wade said.
“I actually enjoyed the experience. It was something I had never done … the facts are, [Cameron] Green is going to play for a long period of time, he is an all-rounder and everyone wanted him to get into the position he is in now. Travis Head is a good, young player as well and then there was myself in the middle order all kind of jostling for spots.”
While he was overlooked for South Africa, Wade was chosen for the Twenty20 tour of New Zealand, where he is a senior player and remains a key figure of a side preparing for the World Cup in India from October. He is the No.1 wicketkeeper and skipper Aaron Finch said he will bat in the top three through the five-match series, beginning on Monday in Christchurch.
Once that series is completed he will return to Tasmania for the remainder of the Sheffield Shield season, hoping to reignite his red-ball form. The dates for the T20 World Cup mean Wade will have little or no red-ball cricket at home next summer before the Ashes but, regardless, he says his focus will be on performing for the Tigers – with good form there helping him push to add to his 36 Tests.
“In terms of my path back into the Test team, that will take care of itself if I perform and, if an opportunity comes up, they [selectors] know I can play at that level,” Wade said.
“I will go back and contribute to, hopefully, wins for Tasmania … if I do that, and manage to score the runs on the way to those wins for Tassie, then maybe I get another opportunity but I have never been a player that goes back and just wants to score runs individually for himself.”
Most Viewed in Sport
Source: Read Full Article