Former Australian batsman Michael Hussey requested the Cricket Australia (CA) selectors to stick with the struggling wicket-keeper batsman Matthew Wade for the impending Ashes 2017-18 series against England while adding it would be an exciting and tough competition in the Down Under.
“The selectors made that call and went with Matthew Wade — and I would prefer them to back him now. I think it [Ashes] will be a tough series,” Test specialist Hussey was quoted as saying by The New Daily.
Hussey believes the hosts would face a stern test owing to the expectations of coming good against Joe Root-led England which adds more pressure for the eagerly-awaited series.
“There are lots of challenges along the way — the pressure of the Ashes, the expectations and one has to remember that there are plenty of guys in our team yet to experience it,” Hussey added.
The 42-year-old Hussey had been the mainstay in the middle-order for Australia after throwing his unconditional support behind unimpressive Wade, remarked the hosts are firm favourites for the traditional series.
“Australia are the favourites,” Hussey further added.
The former left-handed batsman Hussey is predicting the five-match series results as 3-1 in favour of Steven Smith-led side.
“Australia to win 3-1,” Hussey maintained.
Pertinently, Hussey represented Australia at Number six spot while playing an integral role – to shoulder the responsibility of the then much-talked about batting order, as Wade has also batted with the former.
“Show some faith, show some belief, give him [Wade] the opportunity in the Ashes series. And then if it doesn’t work out, then maybe look at it again,” Hussey said.
On the other side, Hussey stated the national selectors should have shown faith in another Ashes contender last summer in the form of Peter Nevill, for the ‘keeping job at home.
Moreover, Hussey reiterated the change has taken him by surprise when Nevill made way for Wade
“When Nevill was dropped initially, I must admit I was a little surprised,” Hussey asserted.
Currently, Wade, who’s representing Tasmania in the six-team tournament, scored one and six in the first round of the ongoing JLT Sheffield Shield competition for Tasmania against Western Australia.
However, in the second round against Queensland on November 4 (Saturday), the wicket-keeper batsman Wade scored only nine after facing 41 deliveries when Luke Feldman dismissed him.
On the other side, Nevill is playing for New South Wales at Hurstville Oval against Western Australia.
Wade struggled with his glove work but eventually went on to improve as the cause of concern for the selectors has been his lack of form with the bat.
“It seems like he has really improved his keeping. Batting-wise he might not have made as [many runs as] everyone would have liked but maybe this is his series,” Hussey said after observing Wade.
While throwing light on the Number six position, Hussey suggested the contender should be best in business particularly with the bat
“I would like whoever is the best batsman to bat at six. Whether that is an all-rounder, pure batsman or spin bowling all-rounder,” Hussey concluded.
VIDEO OF THE DAY:
While batting at No. 6, Hussey smashed five hundreds in 26 Test innings, as he went on to score at the healthy average of 51.75.
The first of the five-match series will start with Gabba Test on November 23.