Ian Chappell backs Australia’s Matthew Wade snub
Former Aussie skipper Ian Chappell has whacked suggestions former Aussie wicketkeeper Matthew Wade was short-changed this summer after being denied a Test recall.
The Victorian-born left-hander has produced the most dominant domestic season since Steve Waugh in 2003/04, blasting runs 571 runs for his new state of Tasmania to earn himself the Domestic Cricketer of the Year award.
But the whirlwind shake-up to Australian cricket following Steve Smith and David Warner’s ban meant new captain Tim Paine would be the nation’s gloveman for at least a few years.
While a slump in form behind the stumps has plagued Wade’s reputation as a keeper-batsman, his recent hot streak with the willow had fans calling for him to return as a standalone batsman — and the stats are all on his side.
But former Channel Nine commentator Chappell believes Wade is “not a good enough wicketkeeper” to warrant a recall, citing his performances with the bat in his most recent Test appearances as evidence.
“He’s not a good enough wicketkeeper to be picked and that’s part of the problem,” Chappell said on Macquarie Sports Radio on Wednesday.
‘Those who are jumping up and down saying he should be picked as a batsman haven’t look at what he did in his last few Tests. He didn’t make many runs.
“I don’t think you need to look further than that.”
Wade’s last Test was in September 2017. Apparently 18 months isn’t enough time to rebuild from a form slump.
Unfortunately for the former three-format wicketkeeper, Wade’s Shield average of 63.44 counted for nothing during the home summer. Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns explained the board’s decision, which only raised more eyebrows.
If Matthew wants to be considered as a straight-out batsman, it would be nice to see him batting a little higher up for Tasmania,” he said.
Wade, a notoriously chirpy gloveman behind the stumps, wasn’t letting that one fly.
“He (Hohns) voiced his opinion about me batting in the top four, I raised that Shaun Marsh bats five for WA,” Wade said on SEN radio.
“The Bellerive pitch is a tough batting wicket. I’ve been at stages like 4/50 a lot and I think it’s a specialist position, five and six, you’ve got to bat with the tail.
“You probably need someone to set the pace a little bit down there with the tail and kind of build the total a different way than just a specialist batsman.”
Wade admitted he felt short-changed after “ticking all the boxes” for selection over a statistically disastrous summer for Australia.
“It’s disappointing for me, it seems the criteria when Justin took over was weight of runs and hundreds. I feel like I’m ticking all those boxes and the reasons I’m not getting picked is I’m not batting in the top four.”
Wade averages 28.58 in his 22-Test career, which was spent primarily batting at seven.
The 32-year-old was also denied a spot in Australia’s 15-man squad for the upcoming ODI tour of India, despite scoring 487 runs at 44.27 with the willow while captaining the Hobart Hurricanes to the top of the Big Bash table.
Despite the recent setbacks, Wade says the return of Tim Paine to Tasmania for the back-end of the season could give him an opportunity to prove himself higher up the order.
“I’ve sat down and had a good think about it, and to be moving around in the order for my personal goals is not something I’ve ever wanted to do as a player. I’ll be playing wherever suits Tassie and the Hurricanes,” he told cricket.com.au.
“Having said that, I think Tim Paine’s available for the first three (Shield) games back after the break so that may be an opportunity for me to go up the order and see what I can do.
“I feel like I’ve put weight of runs on the board and I still haven’t got a chance yet. So it’s a little bit frustrating.”