Australia v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Melbourne

Wade 'disappointed' with missed chances

Brydon Coverdale

December 20, 2012

Comments: 70 | Text size: A | A

Wicketkeepers are like umpires: the less you notice them the better. Just as spectators recall an umpire's howlers and forget the correct decisions, a wicketkeeper is remembered not for his catches, unless they are spectacular, but for his grassed opportunities or missed stumpings. Matthew Wade knows that over the past few weeks, he has been a little more conspicuous than Australia would like - and not just by virtue of unexpectedly bowling an over of medium-pace in Hobart.

As Wade prepares for his first Boxing Day Test, he has tried to put behind him a pair of missed stumpings this summer that have stuck in the minds of onlookers. In Adelaide, Wade gave Graeme Smith a life on 46 when he advanced to the spin of Michael Clarke, and Smith went on to score 122. At Bellerive Oval, he denied Nathan Lyon a wicket when he couldn't grasp the ball cleanly while Nuwan Kulasekara was down the pitch.

The Smith chance was costly, the Kulasekara one not so much. But they were both occasions when Wade couldn't hide from the spotlight that comes with Test cricket, especially having been chosen over Brad Haddin at the start of the summer. Wade said his primary challenge was to maintain concentration over the course of a Test match; unlike the other fielders, who can get away with drifting off mentally every now and then, a wicketkeeper must always be switched on.

"I'm disappointed, I don't need to read what's printed or what's said in the media for me to get disappointed or thinking about my glovework," Wade said at the MCG on Thursday. "You can't miss chances behind the stumps, it's as simple as that. I'm thankful that this [Hobart] one didn't cost us as much as what it probably did in Adelaide. When I wake up in the morning I've got to be looking forward, if I'm looking back all the time I'm not going to be improving at all and stuff like that is going to keep happening.

"It's probably concentration, that's probably what it comes down to. I've definitely done enough technically, I do enough training. That's all I can go back to is finding a way to concentrate for a longer period of time and working on it at training. Every keeper misses chances, I know I'm going to miss chances, but I would like to have a little bit bigger gap in between missed chances than one Test match."

Wade conceded that the pressure of Test cricket had become greater when playing at home, after he made his Test debut in the West Indies earlier this year in a time zone that meant few Australian fans were watching. That certainly won't be the case on Boxing Day, the biggest day in Australia's cricket calendar, and under such pressure he will need to find ways to prevent his mind from drifting away from the task at hand.

"You don't know that you're not concentrating," Wade said. "Once the moment is gone that's when you think 'was I there 100%?' That's the question you keep asking yourself. There's lots of pressure in Test match cricket. I knew that coming in. I suppose it's more than what I thought it was going to be, as in ... home Test matches there's a little bit more pressure on the players.

"It's little things. I get nervous a lot, so I tend to not eat enough during the day. Little things like that, nutrition ... concentration is something you've got to be able to switch on and off. I'm learning every day that I play a Test match how to do that. As long as I can continue to learn and improve things can be right."

Wade spoke to Adam Gilchrist in the lead-up to the Perth Test against South Africa, seeking advice on how best to handle the pressure of Test cricket. Like Wade, Gilchrist took over from an established gloveman, in his case Ian Healy, when he arrived on the international scene. Gilchrist's batting quickly won over critics who wondered if his glovework was of Test standard, and Wade's batting has been encouraging enough to suggest he has the temperament for Test cricket.

A strong performance at his adopted home ground would do Wade's confidence the world of good. Although he grew up in Hobart, Wade has played the vast majority of his state cricket with Victoria, and has been part of 23 Sheffield Shield matches at the MCG - usually in front of near-empty stands that make the cavernous ground feel like a completely different venue to the one that appears for Boxing Day Tests or AFL grand finals. It will make Wade's 25th birthday a very special one.

"It's my birthday as well, on Boxing Day, to cap it all off," Wade said. "I didn't think a few years ago I'd be driving in to the MCG on my birthday to play a Boxing Day Test. I thought I'd probably still be down in Lauderdale having a couple of beers with my mates watching the Test match. It's all going to come true Boxing Day morning."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by ygkd on (December 23, 2012, 7:19 GMT)

@featurewriter is correct. I believe Hartley is sorely under-rated. Ludeman has the potential, I think, to be the best gloveman in the country (opportunities in SA where Darren Berry coaches have certainly helped, for he's improved considerably since leaving Melbourne). So, although Wade could certainly improve with time, I'd go for someone who is closer to the required mark. As for comparing against Gilchrist, a keeper's batting is something which has been considered for over a hundred years. Even Bert Oldfield was seen as a better bat (6 FC centuries) than the younger Chilla Walker (no FC tons). Their glovework was probably on a par - the result though was two tours for Walker but no tests before his untimely death in the Second World War. Oldfield had been a little luckier - he was near death when rescued in WWI before going on to play over 50 Tests. So, batting mattering is nothing new. It's just how much & maybe comparison with Gillie is expecting too much, as @featurewriter says.

Posted by popcorn on (December 22, 2012, 12:19 GMT)

Both Brydon Coverdale and Mathew Wade have conveniently (?) omitted the MAJOR goof -up in Mathew Wade's wicket -keeping in the seconfd innings of south Africa'a Adelaide Test.Mathew Wade HAD NO BUSINESS to STAND UP CLOSE TO THE STIUMPS to Ben Hilfenhaus' FAST bowling,because of which he dropped a SIMPLE CATCH off Faf du Plessis in the 116th over,when South Africa were 5 / 212. Had he caught it,we would have won the Adelaide Test. Faf du Plessis went on to score a century and saved the match for South Africa.ABSOLUTELY UNPARDONABLE JUDGEMENT by Wade.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 22, 2012, 3:11 GMT)

@wellrounded no one is dissing sl,i believe. I accept sl has world class players in sanga and mahela. Herath is a good spinner. Dilshan is in form. Other 7 are all average street cricket stuff

Posted by Htc-Android on (December 22, 2012, 1:55 GMT)

@gnanzcupid u said its a shame to lose a series to countries like Eng at home. But u just lost the test series to Eng at home and we have drawn the series against them. can u tell me wats wrong with losing a test match to NZ? Are they minnows?

Posted by ozziespirit on (December 22, 2012, 0:53 GMT)

Honesty Wade isn't as good as Prior, but he's got potential. Prior goes in and consistently scores 60-70 with a high strike rate. Wade's yet to establish himself at that position.

Posted by wellrounded87 on (December 21, 2012, 21:30 GMT)

Not sure why everyone is dissing SL so much. They are a quality side. Sure their attack is a little stagnant with no real fast bowlers but they get their lines and lengths right consistently and bowl pretty well. They have a world class batting lineup with Thiriman Jayawardene and Sangakarra in the side. And not to mention Angelo Matthews. These are all players most sides would love to have in their team. Also Herath is leading wicket taker this year ahead of Ajmal, Steyn, Philander, Anderson, Swann and Siddle. They are a good side they're just struglling to put 5 good days of cricket together consistently at the moment but when they do they will start winning series regularly

Posted by Beertjie on (December 21, 2012, 16:00 GMT)

Good luck with getting the knack of concentrating as wk but the challenges in the Caribbean were nothing compared to what you're going to face in India and England! If I could pick a new keeper it would have to be a right-hander given the number of lefties in the Aus top 6. Paine and Neville suggest themselves but one is no longer keeping and the other's batting has slipped this season. But I'm not keen on going back to Haddin for obvious reasons, no matter how much MC would appreciate his advice, mentoring of youngsters, etc. But Wade has to improve as a keeper - we can't have a Kamran Akmal missing vital chances, but scoring valuable runs. Agree @featurewriter but Hartley has as much chance of playing for Aus as Copeland has of being picked again.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (December 21, 2012, 10:11 GMT)

Whizzer801 - Wade got picked when both Haddin and Paine were unavailable and did a great job in the west indies thus keeping his spot. Haddin has never been the best gloveman, Paine was but hasnt played enough good cricket since coming back from his two years of injury.

Posted by dunger.bob on (December 21, 2012, 9:40 GMT)

@ the Prior guys,

Early in his late starting Test career Gilchrist carved up Waquar, Wasim and a young and lightning fast Akhtar with Saqlain providing the spin. He put on a double ton stand with Langer of which he supplied 149 no. It was the fourth innings and we were 5 for not many chasing 300+ and it was at Hobart on a pitch that was worse than the one that the last test was on. In two and a bit sessions he pretty much single handedly blasted us to an incredible victory. .. over the years he did it time and time again. .. Prior may be good, but is he really THAT good?

Posted by Ayush_Chauhan on (December 21, 2012, 9:20 GMT)

@hatsforBats awesome answer, but in @mikey's defence, maybe he recently started watching cricket...u can hear all you want, you believe what you see...

Posted by HatsforBats on (December 21, 2012, 8:28 GMT)

@mikey76, I'm sorry but how is Prior a better all round batsman than Gilchrist? Better avg and SR? More runs and centuries? A wider range of shots? Excellence under pressure and match winning performances? Regularly picked as keeper for all-time world XI? Mate, Prior doesn't even come close.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 5:55 GMT)

for all those India fan s you people lost 8-0 and lost to England sri lanka drew 1-1 ha ha ha last time we was in the tri nation final even in the world cup we didn't lost the match ha ha ha hya, even in England we lost 1-0 beat south Africa once, you were good because of a man call garr Kirsten ha ha ha . t20 w cup what happen . wow come on people it want be so long . before we beat oz . one you mention just like sachin drag alone and cost us the w cup

we are better than Afghanistan even nz we are rebuilding phrase not like you people can t ask legened call it day our big 3 will step a side after down under so young boy can take turn

Posted by Marcio on (December 21, 2012, 3:47 GMT)

Wade is a capable batsman, and should average around 40-something eventually. he needs to improve his keeping, though. Is sneering narcissism genetic in the English race, @FFL? Why do you spend your days in front of a computer trashing anyone who doesn't belong to your culture?

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 21, 2012, 2:59 GMT)

@mikey76 dhoni not a good keeper? Do you have any idea of his odi batting? He may be struggling a bit with bat in tests. But therez no doubt on his keeping abilities. He is the best in the world at present

Posted by Rowayton on (December 21, 2012, 2:57 GMT)

Did somebody actually say that Prior was a better all round batsman than Gilchrist? That is very funny. By the way in 2012 Wade has a better Test batting average than Prior and probably will continue to do so. I have yet to see a wicketkeeper who didn't have some trouble adjusting to Test cricket. Don't forget that England dropped Prior for a year at one stage because, basically, he was useless. Wade will be fine.

And England's much vaunted spin twins? In a combined 14 Tests against Australia they have taken 40 wickets at an average over 40. Ordinary at best.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 21, 2012, 2:53 GMT)

As i have been always saying,the Present lankan team has only two real talents-sanga n mahela. After them lanka would not even beat afghan.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 2:44 GMT)

observe the close ups. the ball didn't even reach his gloves, conclusion, not guilty

Posted by CustomKid on (December 21, 2012, 2:26 GMT)

@Front-Foot-lunge (December 20 2012, 07:28 AM GMT), I love prior as a keeper batsman. For me he is the ultimate team man, holds it together when all others fails, gets quick runs when required, he can do it all. His keeping however isn't silky and I wouldn't rate him much higher than wade in that respect.

As for the minnow bash, just remember you got white washed 3 zip on neutral territory to the ultimate minnows who don't play many tests at all, got flogger by the Saffas at home 2-0, drew 1-1 with the minnows currently playing Australia down under, and staggered across the line against a hapless indian side thanks to one player in your team the chef.

Things are far from strawberries and cream in your neck of the woods. I'm assuming your old boys got awarded OBE's for their amazing efforts in the subcontinent.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (December 21, 2012, 0:01 GMT)

Front-Foot_lunge - Your comments again are pathetic. For someone who believes Australian cricket is poor cant seem to get enough of it. Your attack on lyon is ridiculous the bloke has 50 wickets at an average of 30 (not bad for a spud), also bowled us to a series victory in Sri Lanka how did Swann go at that. we have had teams like SOuth Africa unwilling to take him on and go for a victory as did Sri Lanka. He is no worse than Swann. As for keeping Prior I remember to be one of the biggest spud wicket keepers of all time. Cant believe he is still in the England side shows your lack of depth. Wade has made some mistakes early and been very good with the bat, Paine is still coming back from two years out injured and needs to find form before being considered so at the moment it is Wades gig and he will still be the keeper come India. Your attacks on Australia is tiresome, lease we competed far better against South Africa and beat Sri Lanka away.

Posted by whizzer801 on (December 20, 2012, 23:51 GMT)

@Mikey76. Sorry to disappoint you but Prior can not be classified a better all round bat than Gilchrist. If that was the case he would be averaging more than Gilchrist not 6 runs less.

Posted by Chris_P on (December 20, 2012, 23:50 GMT)

As for Wade, promising keeper batsman, but really, isn't amongst the top 6 glovemen in Australian cricket. When in Tasmania, he wasn't even the best there & moved to Victoria for a chance.. The missed stumping of Matthews didn't cost Australia, the one from Smith did, as did the miss from DuPLessis. not offering excuses as SA are clearly the best going around, but in the overall context of the series result, they were more than a tad costly. But things won't change, here or elsewhere, you give the gloves to a guy who can maybe get 10 runs average more than the best gloveman, but never measure what the misses have cost in giving up one part of expertise for another.

Posted by whizzer801 on (December 20, 2012, 23:47 GMT)

I cannot understand anyone saying "Wade has made a solid start to his career". He single handed lost the test for Aust at Adelaide and all everyone could say was "The Aussie bowlers could not bowl Saffa out". On top of the missed stumpings he dropped Du Plesis before and after lunch. Had he completed either catch and Aust would have won in Adelaide and at worst drawn the series. How can someone single handed lose a series (let alone a test) for his country and be considered having had a solid start to his career. The problem is Aust have picked their 3rd best Keeper. It is not Wade's fault that both Haddin and Paine are of higher quality than he is. It is the selectors who need to explain why they would chose a 3rd string keeper, when the other two are both equally as good players with the bat. There is absolutely no sense to his selection.

Posted by Chris_P on (December 20, 2012, 23:45 GMT)

@gnanzcupid. Still bashing the Lankans I see? The Hobart test showed that they fought hard against a determined Australian side & put up a fighting performance. The 4 tests India played down here last season was mostly notable for the lack of fight the Indian team put up. Not making this up, I saw all of the tests, they simply turned their toes up. The columns were littered with your countrymen being very upset with India's performance (rightly so). What is wrong with posting plaudits where deserved?

Posted by Chris_P on (December 20, 2012, 23:39 GMT)

@Narbavi. I refer to test matches, ergo my point. You want a team, whom you haven't beaten in a test series for over 16 years at home, to go to associates? Interesting. You still haven't answered why the Sri Lankan bashing. I would have thought as a true cricket enthusiast, you want to see as many teams playing at the highest arena who can supply quality players. How else would we have appreciated the quality of players like Murali Sanga etc.

Posted by BG4cricket on (December 20, 2012, 23:30 GMT)

@mikey76 - while I agree that Prior is the best keeper at the moment you are clearly living in a fantasy world if you think in any way that he is a better batsman than Gilly - runs, hundreds, average and strike rate clearly show Gilly to be far superior with the bat.

Posted by dunger.bob on (December 20, 2012, 22:29 GMT)

Cut down the chat Matty. That might help you concentrate on your keeping. ... nothing wrong with geeing your fielders up, but look for quality of comment, not quantity. ... other than that I think he's going OK but he does have to sort those missed stumpings out. .. you don't get many opportunities so you've gotta take them. ... go and see Ian Healy, the best technician I've ever seen.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2012, 21:28 GMT)

Wait, people are saying that Sri Lanka don't have any world class players? Really? Do the names Sangakkara, Jayawardene, Samaraweera, Dilshan or Herath mean anything to you?

If Sangakkara gets 40 in the next innings he get to 10000 runs in 195 innings. That's the same number as SRT and Lara. If you're going to say that Sangakkara isn't world class, then you have to say the same about Lara and Sachin. Good luck with that.

Posted by mikey76 on (December 20, 2012, 19:27 GMT)

Pretty sure Tim Paine will be wearing the gloves for the ashes. Wade just isn't test class and will be found out on the tracks in India. Matt Prior showed that all is not lost if you initially struggle, he went from zero to hero within a couple of years. Such an advantage having a safe keeper who can average 44 at no.7. PFEL, You're clearly blind or just deluded if you think Dhoni is one of the best keepers around at the moment. He is a terrible keeper and rarely does much with the bat, Prior is head and shoulders above everyone and is probably a better all round batsman than Gilchrist, just not as destructive.

Posted by SpadeaSpade on (December 20, 2012, 19:08 GMT)

Wade is making a solid start to his test career, Unlike the batsmen Wade has Haddin and Don;t forget Paine breathing down his neck which makes it harder for wade but better for Australian cricket.

But Wade is right with one thing you can't miss chances behind the stumps, its only going back 20 years and it was common to always pick the best keeper, The batting aspect was not a critcal qualifcation for a keeper. You need 20 wickets to win a test and a great keeper comapred to a good keeper can be all the difference.

Posted by xylo on (December 20, 2012, 17:50 GMT)

I have always wondered how keepers have to concentrate on every single ball that is bowled. And Wade has had to keep against bowling geniuses like Mitchell Johnson!

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 20, 2012, 17:48 GMT)

Lanka had only one bright talent ever in their history-MURALI. After he is gone,Lankan cricket is doomed.I really started watching SL cricket nowadays especially to see them getting crushed even against inexperienced sides.Does rhis team deserve a Test status?

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 20, 2012, 17:28 GMT)

@Narbavi dont compare the talented Indian side with a side like SL whose test status is a big question mark. I strongly suspect if the current Lankan team can manage a win against sides like Afghan,Netherlands who are constantly improving and hungry for more.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 20, 2012, 17:23 GMT)

@Chris_P you are corrected here. In the last 5 encounters India has a 2-2 record against Lankans in SL. India is far better than SL.

Posted by Narbavi on (December 20, 2012, 16:54 GMT)

@Chris_P: We have won plenty of bilateral series in lanka which they haven't done in india, its true we have not won a test series in lanka in that mentioned period but we have drawn series, atleast won test matches over there, but lanka have never managed to win a single test on indian soil

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 20, 2012, 16:33 GMT)

@thebatsmansHoldingthebowlersWilley on (December 20 2012, 12:03 PM GMT) "To be fair to Wade he was probably in shock that Lyon actually managed to beat the bat". LOL. The worst spinner Australia have fielded since Brice Mcgain coupled with the worst keeper in world cricket, quite a match. I'll take the 'Spin Twins' along with the best keeper/batsman in world cricket thanks.

Posted by landl47 on (December 20, 2012, 16:23 GMT)

I hope that 'unlike the other fielders, who can get away with drifting off mentally every now and then' was the author's completely mistaken view of how test match fielders should perform and not Wade's. Can you imagine Michael Clarke tolerating for a moment a fielder who drifted off mentally?

Posted by Chris_P on (December 20, 2012, 14:42 GMT)

@gnanzcupid. I am not sure why this Sri lanka bashing you are on about, but correct me if I am wrong, but hasn't it been since 1996 since India hasn't beaten Sri Lanka over there? You want a team to play associate even though your guys can't beat them?

Posted by Narbavi on (December 20, 2012, 14:28 GMT)

@gnanzcupid: Same thoughts here!! For a team which won one out of their last 9 series do a lot of talking don't they? and they talk about india losing 0-4 in aus and england!!

Posted by azzaman333 on (December 20, 2012, 14:04 GMT)

He's a young keeper, technically everything's good, just needs to build the confidence and composure. That'll come with time. The majority of his critics have probably never kept in their life and don't understand how mentally and physically draining the job is, particularly when you're keeping up to the stumps for long periods of time.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 20, 2012, 13:17 GMT)

Heres is an interesting piece of stat on Lankan team's test playing abilities.This team has played 9 Test series from 2010 beginning.It has won ONE test series(which is equivalent to the number of test series wins Zimbabwe have). Wah...ICC reconsider the test status of the lagging Lankans to make test cricket competitive.Let SL play matches with the associate nations.If they do well atleast there,then ICC can think of upholding the test status. SL does not deserve a place here.

Posted by brusselslion on (December 20, 2012, 12:17 GMT)

I'm a little surprised that Jonesy hasn't been on here telling us that Wade is the best medium pacer in the world!

Posted by thebatsmansHoldingthebowlersWilley on (December 20, 2012, 12:03 GMT)

To be fair to Wade he was probably in shock that Lyon actually managed to beat the bat. Still, Wade is not test class as a batsman or keeper. He'll struggle in India keeping against so much 'spin', and he'll struggle in England against the swinging ball

Posted by Jaffa79 on (December 20, 2012, 11:49 GMT)

Wade is tolerated by many Aussies, like Cowan is, like Hughes is, like Johnson is because there really is nothing else. A decent batsman is Wade but not an international quality keeper. Those that think he is need their heads testing. The keeping talent along with the top order batting and spin bowling must be a major concern for this once proud country.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 20, 2012, 11:14 GMT)

SL fans would be talking of their rare Durban win and 5 time wc final LOSING memories till their child becomes a grandfather

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 20, 2012, 11:08 GMT)

Can anyone tell me when was SL's last series victory was?Have they won atleast 3 in the last 3 years?

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 20, 2012, 11:05 GMT)

Entering a final once and winning it is far far better than just entering 5 finals and losing....World will hail who the world champs are.No one cares who the losers are.Windies,Aussies,SA,India,England,Pak,Nz,Bang,Zim and Afghan are all far better than SL.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 20, 2012, 10:56 GMT)

SL is a team which is often lucky enough to enter the finals of few major events but not capable of beating the best ones.If the enter any finals it would be either due to Sanga or Mahela.

Posted by Tumbarumbar on (December 20, 2012, 10:56 GMT)

In my admittedly humble opinion Alan Knott was not only the best keeper of the last 40 years or so he was the best with some margin to the second best. He was also a highly capable, extremely innovative batsmen - how many batsmen in the history of test cricket have batted with three fly slips but kept successfully upper cutting the ball between them? I'm not sure if it means anything but Alan Knott has fingers like a concert pianist despite keeping on uncovered pitches for most of his career and despite keeping to Derek Underwood. Most other keepers have fingers like mutant bananas. He also kept Bob Taylor twiddling his thumbs in county cricket when Taylor was at the peak of his career and Taylor was a superb glove man.

Posted by RoJayao on (December 20, 2012, 10:55 GMT)

You care about a keepers average when you don't have a great all rounder and keeper is batting 7!

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 20, 2012, 10:53 GMT)

Dont know how long the lankan fans are gonna sit back and dream about the Durban win.Lankans must not forget that that it is a shame to lose to countries like nz and eng at home.Their cricketing future will be a big question mark after mahela and sanga.SL is an average one day and t20 team.Definitely not fit for tests. Also i wonder why some lankan fans try to act that they are neutral by adding names like"ENG" at the end of their name.Sounds really funny.Guys aren't you ppl proud of your nation.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 20, 2012, 10:25 GMT)

Below average keeper. Big shoes still unfilled since gilcrest and Healy

Posted by dan1234 on (December 20, 2012, 10:24 GMT)

@tinkertinker Front-Foot-Lunge comments on every article to do with Australia even though he is an English supporter. You can only conclude that the years of Australia's dominance over the Poms during the time of Warne, McGrath, Hayden etc. has left him an emotional wreck, deeply deeply scarred. What you now see is the bitterness that comes from an individual who watched his own team claim number 1 only to lose to Pakistan and meekly hand the title over after a short time.

Posted by Simoc on (December 20, 2012, 10:17 GMT)

Wade is doing great and looks to be a very good batsmen as well. Gilchrist was definetly the best, went for everything and took some fantastic catches. Healy was a great keeper and took everything that came to him in style. Never got dirty because he never went for 50/50s. That is the so called wicket keepers keeper. These are the guys that don't cut it anymore because you need to be a test batsman and I much prefer a keeper that has a go. Prior can't catch or stump but scores runs.

Posted by Front-Foot_lunge on (December 20, 2012, 9:51 GMT)

Australia has such a great pedigree of keepers, that its hardy surprising he's nervous facing teams like South Africa. That was a side who is at at the peak of their game, and coupled with the pressure of keeping the great australian keeping tradition going, its thoroughly understandable. I guess when facing England, those nerves wont be much of an issue.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2012, 9:46 GMT)

@FFL Are you just posting the exact same comment on every Australia story?

Posted by   on (December 20, 2012, 9:43 GMT)

i think australia would lose nothing by having chris hartley as the keeper

Posted by tinkertinker on (December 20, 2012, 9:17 GMT)

front-foot-lunge, i can only assume you didn't watch the eng series, prior made runs but he also missed at least 5 clear chances in the series.

using him of an example of a good keeper is ridiculous, wade is exactly the same as prior and that is runs first keeping second.

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (December 20, 2012, 9:16 GMT)

The most important thing is how young Wade comes back from these poor mistakes. Stuff batting, it's the keepers job to take the gloves. One missed chance can cost well over 70 runs. Who cares about a 'keepers batting average, really?

Posted by featurewriter on (December 20, 2012, 9:00 GMT)

Wade is a batsman-keeper. Two great glove-men plying their trade on the first-class circuit are Christ Hartley (easily the best glove-man in the country) and Tim Ludeman (extremely athletic keeper). As a former first grade club keeper, I'm well aware of the difference between guys like Wade and Hartley. I'd sooner have Hartley in my team. The challenge is that every Australian keeper now gets measured against Gilchrist - when they should be measured against Healy.

Posted by timmyw on (December 20, 2012, 8:52 GMT)

I would have to agree with you PFEL, Gilchrist was underrated as a keeper because of his crazy batting exploits and some of the errors he made in the very twilight of his career that stuck in peoples' minds. I think Tim Paine has what it takes to be a brilliant keeper, and I think he was pretty decent prior to his finger injury. I hope he makes it back one day.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2012, 8:31 GMT)

As a keeper myself in my playing days, Gilchrist was a good keeper - very good on occasion - but I wouldn't define him as excellent. Ian Healy, in my opinion, is the best keeper I've seen (a big call as I'm a huge Rod Marsh fan). Without any doubt, watching Healy keep to Warne and May are some of my fondest memories of watching Test cricket. He was superb standing up.

Posted by SamRoy on (December 20, 2012, 8:23 GMT)

@PFEL Prasanna, Rashid Latif, Moin Khan, Nayan Mongia, James Foster, Chris Read and Healy were far better close to the stumps compared to Gilly. Gilly was probably the best standing back as he was remarkably athletic.

Posted by disco_bob on (December 20, 2012, 8:13 GMT)

Don't forget the fumble off Warner in Perth as well. What has happened to Tim Paine, he's a better WK and batsman. It would be tough on Wade but Paine was the first choice till his injury which I thought was healed.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2012, 8:01 GMT)

ho @gnanzcupid the weakest team in world cricket now hold on a second bro we beat south Africa in Africa vola oz lost 0-1, we drag the game to the last few overs hats off for the Aussies and may i remind you that we are wc finalist in last 5 events bearing 2010 t20 . my team is not weak , your putting Bangladesh over us . last time i check we have best wining ration against oz in odi last 3 years . ha ha . gili is legend kuma is also but differentiated from gile because gilly was the best counter attacker you will ever see

Posted by lukecannon on (December 20, 2012, 7:38 GMT)

@gnanzcupid- Weakest team in the world? Sri lanka? Where was your team when SL made it to a WC FINAL THIS YEAR???????? Learn some respect boy. Just because they are going through a bad patch doesn't mean they are weak. Sri lankans have a tremendous amount of fight in them. I wont be surprised if they come back strongly in Melbourne and win. This happened last time in SA. The best team in the world was beaten by SL in SA after being thumped in the 1st test. Even the one they lost just now they dragged untill the last 10 overs on a deteriorating pitch. Hail Sri lanka.. 4 WC finals in 5 years. A feat no country has achieved. I'm not even Sri lankan btw. I m an Englishman who appreciates quality cricket teams. India just got thumped by my team in their own country. But do you see me going around posing hate comments?

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 20, 2012, 7:28 GMT)

An embarrassment as a keeper. What must Australia give for Matt Prior, the best wicket-keeper/batsman in the world, the unquestionable leader in international cricket for aggressive batting down the order. Which is just another reason why every England fan has a huge smile on their face this Christams. Turn on the TV and glance across down under where the 'Ultimate Battle of the Minnows' is taking place, dubbed by many as the 'Christmas Minnow Big Bash', and the terrible state Australia continues to remain in brings only more delight, laughter, and Christmas cheer.

Posted by PFEL on (December 20, 2012, 7:28 GMT)

Actually David, Gilchrist was an excellent keeper, who took some amazing catches that many other keepers wouldn't even get close to. His keeping up to the stumps was excellent, and there are no keepers in current international cricket who are close to his level. Guys like Boucher, Prior, Kamran, McCullum, Sangakkara made more errors than him. Currently, I would say Prasanna Jayawardene from SL and Dhoni seem to be quality keepers at the moment.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2012, 7:24 GMT)

I don't care if Matthew Wade is not perfect, I think he is a better player than Brad Haddin. He is certainly more charismatic, and has a personality.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2012, 7:09 GMT)

No disrepect to Adam Gilchrist, but this great player had a huge amound of howlers over the years especially diving (or not) across first slip and cost Australia dearly a few times, but that is part of the game and as long as Matt Wade improves then no problem. There are a couple of under 19 wicketkeepers I would be blodoing in 20/20 and ODI cricket right now and save Wade for the tests...

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 20, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

This is the best chance for Wade to get his concentration back.That too against the weakest team in world cricket now.Come on Wade.You can get a better opportunity

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
Tour Results
Australia v Sri Lanka at Melbourne - Jan 28, 2013
Sri Lanka won by 2 runs (D/L method)
Australia v Sri Lanka at Sydney - Jan 26, 2013
Sri Lanka won by 5 wickets (with 7 balls remaining)
Australia v Sri Lanka at Hobart - Jan 23, 2013
Australia won by 32 runs
Australia v Sri Lanka at Sydney - Jan 20, 2013
No result
Australia v Sri Lanka at Brisbane - Jan 18, 2013
Sri Lanka won by 4 wickets (with 180 balls remaining)
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