Damning stat exposes ‘shaky’ Aussie batsman
Matthew Wade’s spot in the Australian Test side is under question after another failure with the bat on Sunday.
The Tasmanian was removed by Indian debutant Navdeep Saini for four in the second innings of the New Year’s Test, edging a delivery that seamed away from the left-hander.
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It was Wade’s 12th consecutive Test innings without reaching 50, and each of those knocks were on home soil.
In comparison, Australian teammate Marnus Labuschagne has passed 50 on eight occasions since Wade last achieved the minor milestone.
Navdeep Saini is having a morning to remember – the wicket of Matthew Wade his second of the session ? #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/BEJHqEI55l
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Although he was arguably dismissed by a jaffa on Sunday, there were no excuses for Wade’s first-innings wickets in Melbourne and Sydney.
On day one of the MCG Test, Wade compiled 30 before needlessly charging at Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and spooning a catch to the mid-on fielder.
Refusing to learn from his mistake, Wade was dismissed in almost identical fashion at the SCG on Friday, caught at mid-on for 13.
Test cricket is a game of patience and discipline, and Wade could be accused of lacking these virtues since returning from the 2019 Ashes series. He put the team first by opening the batting in the first two Tests when David Warner was injured despite never having done so in first class cricket, but the goodwill for his selfless attitude may not last if he continues to fall for low scores.
“A little bit of pressure now on Matt Wade,” former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist said on Fox Cricket before Wade’s innings on Sunday.
“So disappointed with the way he’s given up his wicket in the last couple of Tests … pretty soft dismissals.”
Australian great Shane Warne responded: “He could be playing for his spot.”
That may well be the last time we see Wade bat in a test for awhile. Tough competitor but his spot must be shaky now #AUSvIND @FOXCricketLive
How long do we persist with Matthew Wade? Averaging 30 in Test cricket is not offering enough. Time to move on in my opinion and find someone we desperately need to play a role in the middle order for when Marnus and a Smith don’t fire.
Wade’s Test average from 34 appearances sits at 30.15, which is considerably lower than Travis Head’s 39.75.
He also turned 33 last month and it’s no secret national selectors have an infatuation with blooding youth in the Test side.
Head has been touted as a future Test captain, and the selectors may be wondering whether they axed the wrong middle-order batsman this week, dropping the South Australian rather than Wade or Cameron Green to accomodate the new opening pair of Warner and Will Pucovski.
Former Australian paceman Jason Gillespie conceded he was bemused to discover Head had been dropped from the starting XI.
“I just feel he always seems to be the one that’s questioned,” Gillespie told the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age on Thursday.
“That’s a frustration. He’s averaging 40 in Test cricket after 19 Test matches. Mark Waugh played 127 games and averaged 41. Why is Travis under such scrutiny? I find it staggering.”
The selectors would be brave to change a winning side should the Aussies beat India in Sydney, so Wade will be optimistic about keeping his spot in the middle order for the fourth Test in Brisbane.
But more failures in the final Test of the summer could spell the end of the veteran’s time in the baggy green.
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