Legendary Australia skipper Ricky Ponting believes Peter Nevill is the right choice if Australia decides to drop Matthew Wade for the upcoming Ashes.
The debate over who would don the wicketkeeping gloves for Australia has been a never-ending debate Down Under with both Wade and Nevill failing to impress in the opening two rounds of the Sheffield Shield.
While Wade has managed just 33 runs in the first two games, Nevill has scored 63 runs in as many games. Wade has been under severe pressure since his disastrous outings in the series against India and Bangladesh. In fact, such was his struggle in the subcontinent that despite being the only specialist wicketkeeper in Australia’s squad, he was left out, with Peter Handscomb taking over the duties for one of the games during the five-match ODI series against India.
And with Wade showing no signs of regaining his form, Ponting has backed Nevill to replace him. However, the World Cup-winning skipper spared a thought for Wade who is facing the heat for his performance in the subcontinent which according to Ponting is a hard place to bat.
“I reckon I’ve heard every wicketkeeper in Australia’s name mentioned in the last couple of weeks. If they do make a change, I would feel a bit for Matty Wade, (given) the games that he’s played have all been in the subcontinent leading up to (the domestic summer in) Australia,” Ponting told Cricket Australia.
“It’s a hard place to bat for anyone over there. But they made it clear at the start of this Sheffield Shield season that these spots were up for grabs, and so far not many guys have put their hand up and said ‘I’m the man you’ve got to pick,” he added.
Ponting praised Nevill for his wicketkeeping skills before giving him his backing.
“Nevill is the obvious one to go back to. He makes very few mistakes with the gloves, a good consistent character, a good guy to have around your side, works his backside off with the bat, he’s very hard to get out and when he bats for New South Wales he makes big scores. So for me, he’s the obvious one,” the batting legend said.
Ponting also spoke about Cameron Bancroft and Alex Carey’s chances of making it to the squad.
“I’ve heard Bancroft’s name mentioned the last few weeks; he has a chance to be the number six batter or the number seven batsman/wicketkeeper. (South Australian) Alex Carey’s name has been thrown around as well (but) I’m not sure he’s quite ready for it yet just looking at how his batting numbers stack up in first-class cricket,” Ponting opined.
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