Matthew Wade, the Australian wicket-keeper-batsman, pointed out that the visitors clinched the One-Day International (ODI) series against Sri Lanka, largely due to the one-day specialists adjusting quickly to the unfamiliar climes to negate the threat of the turning ball. Australia sealed the five-match series after beating the home side by six wickets in the fourth ODI in Dambulla on Wednesday (August 31).
“We have had the advantage, the one-day players getting the advantage to see what the Test pitches have played like and coming here with a clear gameplan,” Wade said on Friday. “Myself and George Bailey and a few others have just come over for the one-dayers, we have had a clear plan and it has worked so far.
“The wickets have been some of the toughest you’ll get in one-day international cricket, we’ve come from the West Indies, which took spin. You don’t usually play on used wickets back to back in one-day internationals. It hasn’t been suited to the way we play but we’ve adapted really well. We are playing a few more quicks than what they (Sri Lanka) are, but with variable bounce and reverse swing, we’ve countered their spinners,” he said.
Peter Nevill, the incumbent Australian wicket-keeper for Tests, was picked ahead of Wade for the two-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series, starting on September 6.
On his part, Wade said that he would look to concentrate on taking his game to the next level. He also observed that he has been putting up consistent performances in the 50-over format in the recent past.
“Every time you don’t get picked for Australia is disappointing, but that’s the way it goes,” he said. “I’m not a 100 % sure of the reason. (Peter) Nevill played the T20 World Cup and I was told he was going to bat lower, so they wanted to go with his keeping. I’ll just keep playing the way I play in ODIs.
“I feel my game is at a level now where I can contribute in ODIs. There was a period of time where my game wasn’t in order three or four years ago, where I felt I wasn’t contributing enough. At the moment, I feel my game is in good order. I want to get picked for every tour, every match because I feel I can do the job.”
After Australia won the tri-series in West Indies in June this year, Justin Langer, the stand-in coach, had said that the 28-year-old from Tasmania could became the country’s best wicket-keeper, if he stuck to the age-old virtues of practice and hard work.
Wade admitted that he still needed to work on his wicket-keeping skills, but also noted that his glovework had improved.
“It came as a bit of shock to me that it came out in the press like that. I spoke to JL (Langer) after and understood what he was trying to say,” Wade said. “I’m under no illusions that I need to work harder and get better at my game. If I want to play Test cricket again, I have to work harder.
“I’ve improved with my glovework over the past 3-4 weeks in the subcontinent. I went to England and kept playing, that makes a huge difference in the off-season: going home or just training indoors or going to Brisbane to get work done. This time I went to England. I feel like I’m keeping as well as I’ve done for a very long time.”