Justin Langer, the caretaker coach of Australia, has said that working harder at training could see wicket-keeper batsman Mathew Wade usurp Peter Nevill as the number one wicket-keeper of the team. Nevill, who has not played a one-day international, was selected ahead of Wade for selection in the World Twenty20 tournament in March in India.
Wade made a comeback in the team during the tri-series and finally grabbed the opportunity after playing a match winning knock in the series decider. After failing to score big in three previous knocks in the Caribbean against West Indies and South Africa, Wade hit an unbeaten 57 off 52 balls including two fours and three sixes in the decider to take Australia to a respectable total. The left-hander showed great composure having been under pressure to deliver after being preferred ahead of Test wicketkeeper Peter Nevill.
Citing the examples of Adam Gilchrist and Ian Healy, Langer said that a good work ethic is the only way for Wade to make the spot of wicket-keeper his own.
“I was very lucky to play with Ian Healy and Adam Gilchrist and they always had the best work ethic of anyone in the squad,” Langer said.
“I heard (Wade) say a few weeks ago that Peter Nevill is obviously the best wicketkeeper in Australia. Well, I’d like to think Matthew Wade is aspiring to be the best wicketkeeper in Australia.
“If he works hard … if he has a Healy-Gilchrist work ethic, there’s no reason why he can’t be the best wicketkeeper in Australia. “But that’s up to him if he wants to really work at that.”
Apart from his match-winning knock in the tri-series final, Wade has impressed everyone with his tidy work behind the wickets.Wade conceded no byes in the tri-series , where pitches can play low and slow like the sub-continent.
The good display behind the wickets has surely boosted the left-hander’s selection hopes for Australia’s limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka in August. Australia will travel to Sri Lanka next month for a three-Test series, where Peter Nevill will take over behind the stumps in the test series.
Australia will play five one-day matches and two T20 games in Sri Lanka in August and September, following a three-Test series which starts on July 26.