Admitting that keeping wickets in Indian conditions will be tough, Australia wicket-keeper Matthew Wade has said he is looking to hone his techniques before the four-match Test series begins.
The 29-year-old, who was dropped from the Test team after the 2013 Ashes series, returned to the side after the Australian selectors made five changes to the team that lost the first two home Tests against South Africa last year. But since then he has done little to justify his selection. Picked in the team due to his superior batting skills, Wade has managed only one score in double figures in his five innings after replacing Peter Neville, who is considered as the finest Australian wicketkeeper by many.
With pressure on him piling, Wade will be desperate to prove his worth with a good show behind the stumps on sub-continental pitches. And going by his words, one can surely understand he is under no illusion of the enormity of the task in front of him.
“Stuff’s going to happen in this country,” Wade said on Thursday (February 16) in Mumbai.
“It’s definitely tougher (keeping) in India. There’s balls that are going to hit the rough and go down; there’s one that’s going to go over the top of your head,” Wade said.
The wicketkeeper does not have very fond memories of India. He was a part of the Australian team that was thrashed 4-0 by India in 2013. The series did not go according to plan for Wade too as he played the second Test with a fractured cheekbone before missing the third Test after injuring his ankle.
Speaking about his approach for wicketkeeping in Indian conditions, he said:
“It’s about being really clear in your mind … if the ball hits the rough, you’ve just got to react.
“The ball that turns and bounces, you’ll react (and take the edge) if your technique’s good. It’s about trying to hone my techniques in the next week or two. Then, when you do get one that spits out of the rough, it’s just trusting your technique,” he added.
Wade further said he enjoys keeping in conditions different to home.
“The ball beats the bat a lot more … you are obviously in the game a lot more so it’s a lot better to get some rhythm,” he said.
With pitches likely to assist the spinners, Australia skipper Steven Smith is fully expected to use Nathan Lyon and Steve O’Keefe in tandem while Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Swepson and Ashton Agar could also be used at one point or another during the long series.
“Swepson is probably the only one I haven’t kept to over the past four or five years but I’ve played Australia A with all the other guys,” he said.
“I’ll get some work in with those guys over the next three or four days.”
Australia start their series in Pune on February 23 before heading to Bengaluru, Dharamsala and Ranchi for the remaining Tests.