Australia v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Sydney

Wade set for promotion to No.6

Brydon Coverdale

December 31, 2012

Comments: 92 | Text size: A | A

Matthew Wade plays a pull, Australia v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Hobart, 2nd day, December 15, 2012
Matthew Wade says nothing will change in his approach if he moves up to No.6 © Getty Images
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Series/Tournaments: Sri Lanka tour of Australia
Teams: Australia

Matthew Wade is confident he can do the No.6 position justice in the Sydney Test after the captain Michael Clarke declared Wade would likely move up in the absence of Shane Watson. Usman Khawaja is on standby for Clarke, who is still carrying a hamstring niggle, but is not expected to replace the injured Watson, with the allrounder Glenn Maxwell more likely to take Watson's place.

Clarke said after the Melbourne Test that if Maxwell played he would most probably bat at No.7, with Wade to shift up to six and Clarke and the retiring Michael Hussey also moving up the list to Nos.4 and 5 respectively. That means extra responsibility for Wade, who has scored a hundred and two half-centuries during his eight-Test career, but he said his experience in the top six for Victoria would hold him in good stead.

"I'd be comfortable moving up to No.6 if that's what the team needed me to do to win a Test match," Wade said in Sydney on Monday. "I've been lucky enough to bat at six for Victoria for a couple of years now. In terms of impact on keeping, it doesn't make too much of a difference coming one up the order. I'm happy to bat at six if the team needs me, or stay at seven."

Traditionally, No.7 has been the position occupied by Australian wicketkeepers. Even the great Adam Gilchrist only batted at No.6 on 14 occasions in his Test career, while Wade's predecessor Brad Haddin filled the role seven times. Gilchrist had success in the No.6 spot, scoring 645 Test runs at 49.61 including two centuries, but Haddin managed only 126 runs at an average of 18.

But more often than not, Gilchrist had the luxury of coming in with plenty of runs already on the board. Australia's average four-down total when Gilchrist came to the crease as a Test No.6 was 223; for Haddin, the average was 110. Given the lack of experience in Australia's batting line-up, Wade shouldn't be surprised if he walks out with relatively few runs on the board, but he does not believe he will be under any extra pressure.

"My personal expectation if I'm at six or seven is to contribute runs to the team," Wade said. "Personally that doesn't change for me. Maybe outside expectation is that the No.6 needs to get a little bit more runs, but I'm trying to get runs every time I bat.

"I'll bat exactly the same. If I get the opportunity to bat at six, I'm guessing Pup will talk to me a couple of days out and he'll just want me to bat the same but in the No.6 position. I wouldn't be changing my game plan at all."

Wade, 25, has proven himself a consistent scorer at first-class level during a career spanning six seasons. After 92 first-class innings, Wade has scored 3055 runs at 40.19, very similar figures to those of Gilchrist at the same stage of his career. After 92 first-class innings, Gilchrist had made 3080 runs at 41.06, while Haddin had 2971 runs at 35.79.

Whether a move up the order could become permanent after Hussey's retirement remains to be seen, but if Watson chooses to give up bowling such a change would allow Australia to pick an extra bowling allrounder for each Test. Regardless of where he bats, Wade's role in the coming months is likely to include greater leadership, for the absence of Hussey and Ricky Ponting has left the Australian line-up lacking experience.

Over the past year, Wade has become a permanent presence in the Australian line-up in all three formats and only David Warner, who hasn't missed a match, has represented Australia more times in the past 12 months than Wade, who has played 46 of a possible 49 games. In that time, the only matches he didn't play were during last summer's Test series against India, when Haddin remained the first-choice gloveman.

Wade's heavy workload could mean he is asked by the selectors to rest during the upcoming ODIs or Twenty20 internationals against Sri Lanka or West Indies, especially with a big year coming up, including a four-Test tour of India and two Ashes series. Wade said he was not keen to take a break but would do so if the selectors insisted.

"I don't want to stop playing cricket for Australia, not at all," Wade said. "But I don't think that will be my decision, that will be a decision that will be made higher up, if I am going to rest any games. I want to play every game that I can for Australia, but I fully understand where the people are coming from above.

"Going forward with how much cricket we are playing, the rest of the fast bowlers and if I end up having a rest, it will be beneficial down the track. But at the time, no cricketer wants to rest. I'm not expecting it, but if it comes along I've got to be open to that discussion."

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

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Posted by David_Bofinger on (January 2, 2013, 0:08 GMT)

On Ffirst class averages Maxwell is as good a batsman as Watson. I'm not clear why Maxwell's batting at 7 but I don't think it's because he's bad at it. Australia is more likely to miss Watson's bowling than his batting.

Posted by LunwayRobson on (January 1, 2013, 15:47 GMT)

The phrase laughing stock was not aimed at the Aus team rather the frankly bizarre selections over the last 6 months... Wade @6 Maxwell!!!, Starc rested after a handful of games, Hastings!!!!!!!! Hughes reselection but not agasinst SA and the continuing bizarre selection of an incredibly average Ben Hilfenhaus. I think Aus have done very well considering these strange selections

Posted by Rooboy on (January 1, 2013, 12:38 GMT)

lol I know I shouldn't feed the trolls but really, front-foot-fool, the aim of trolling actually isn't to make oneself look idiotic, despite what you seem to think. England dominated one series v Aus, the last one. And Aus last held the Ashes until 2009. So ... ummm .... how can anyone with mathematical abilities beyond that of a five year old think that this equates to 'over five years dominating'? I know the trend now seems to be for everyone to go over the top and carry on with ridiculous comments, but even in that context, fff is truly a 'special' commenter ...

Posted by Rooboy on (January 1, 2013, 8:58 GMT)

@chicagoan76 - quite frankly, that's ridiculous. Do you have any evidence for your assertions? Of course not, I'm quite sure you cannot read minds so please don't present opinions as fact. The FACTS are that Khawaja HAS had chances, and he's failed to grasp them. That's not Ponting, Clarke, Inverarity, or anyone else's fault other than Khawaja's. As for the Hughes/Khawaja comparison ... one guy has several test tons and shown that, while there may have been technique issues, he can make big scores against top class bowlers in decent time. Khawaja has shown none of that at test level. And his fielding is not 'much better' than anyone. Why don't you just come out and call the selectors and Australian cricket's hierarchy racists, since that seems to be what you're angling at, without having the guts to say it outright.

Posted by disco_bob on (January 1, 2013, 7:07 GMT)

@ jkidst, you've got two excellent spinners, that made it easier for Cook, his captaincy had nothing to do with that. In the same way that Ponting was disparaged because he had McGrath and Warne to make it easy for him. What I'm getting at is that, OK, he's showing the way with the bat, that's a minimum but Clarke has shown that modern captaincy is more than that. But then again with a young squad Clarke needs to be innovative. Let's see how Cooke reacts when it's all going pear shaped.

Posted by disco_bob on (January 1, 2013, 6:56 GMT)

@CricketingStargazer on (January 01 2013, 00:33 AM GMT), no I don't call either of those serious pressure. In a sense he failed badly by not backing Panesar for the 1st Test. He just hasn't been in enough intricate home situations to be properly tested yet. This is why the upcoming b2b Ashes will be so fascinating. I'm not suggesting that Cook will fare badly, quite the opposite in fact and he did get the best out of KP when it mattered.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 1, 2013, 6:47 GMT)

Ross Hambling - I am a fan of Khawaja and pretty sure he will be playing test cricket in India (replacing Hussey). I think the selectors are checking there all-rounder options for India. I am just saying that he hasnt done everything possible to guarantee him a spot and those saying Hughes is a Clarke man well Hughes has performed better than Khawaja in shield cricket. However outside Hughes Im not sure there is anyone that deserves there place before Khawaja (Maxwell is just a check of the allround options).

Posted by jmcilhinney on (January 1, 2013, 6:08 GMT)

@featurewriter on (December 31 2012, 22:58 PM GMT), I'm guessing that Sangakarra's keeping has dropped off a bit lately because he's not been putting in the hours he was when doing the job full-time. That said, he would never have been the world's best keeper. I agree that many fans in particular, but also selectors to a degree, judge a keeper-batsman more on the batting aspect than the keeping. It's as though if two players can both keep at all and one is a better batsman then he's adjudged the best keeper-batsman. It's more prevalent now but this has been going on for quite some time. I remember when Wayne Phillips from SA getting the gloves for the Australia Test team over Ray Phillips from Qld even though the Queenslander was obviously the better keeper.

Posted by MenFromMarts on (January 1, 2013, 5:30 GMT)

Replacing Ponting and Hussey in the squad is important from a cultural and experience point of view. If the following three guys toured with the team in India and The Ashes they are very handy back ups to injury and would be geat dressing room soundboards. Marcus North, Cameron White and Brad Haddin. All captain's of their various states.I am not saying put them in the first X1 but have them around the younger blokes.

Posted by Peterincanada on (January 1, 2013, 5:15 GMT)

The selection of Maxwell makes no sense. They are replacing a #4 with a #7. Number 7 is a spot for a bowler or wicket keeper. But Maxwell is not a test bowler. Just another stupid selection of a bits and pieces player who is not good enough at either discipline.

Posted by Fleming_Mitch on (January 1, 2013, 4:51 GMT)

@Shaggy076 Khawaja was averaging 52 and leading the shield tally before his last shield game where he got a dubious lbw call that hit his thigh pad, i know because i was there. He has become more aggressive under boof, is among the leading shield scorers(2nd) and his fielding looks sharp(just look at the big bash games) so yes his continual non selection is not fair and it will continue to get responses as those on this site. @Chicagoan76 the continual ignormance of Khawaja cannot go on forever but i still don't think its due to his background. We are a country of immigrants and i hope he is not ignored for that reason but if the selectors don't reward performance soon then it will be percieved that way. I am very dissapointed that a T20 specialist in Maxwell has been plucked over him when he has been standby for Clarke. If maxwell could bowl then i could understand but he can't bowl

Posted by Chicagoan76 on (January 1, 2013, 4:30 GMT)

@Hyclass and others - both Clarke and Ponting were not happy with Khawaja. Clarke did not give him a chance. It was before Clarke consolidated his captaincy and it was the previous group of selectors that gave Khawaja a chance. Ponting was not happy that as his replacement, Khawaja pulled the very first ball he faced in Test cricket for 4, when all Aussie batsmen around him were collapsing. They hated that. Clarke is prejudiced, and so is Inverarity. Any other Aussie team and Khawaja is a guaranteed inclusion. Hughes did not just have technical issues, he also had character issues but he is chums with Clarke. The only way Aussies will learn is if the lose terribly to the English. But then it will be too late. Curious as to why in a country of immigrants, there have been no players with subcontinental origins. Something is not right mate. There is a different standard for Khawaja than for others. His fielding and running was much better than others who have been given chances. Shame!

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 4:13 GMT)

I guess it's an experiment that might or might not pay off, but it's only happening in a dead rubber that Australia look certain to win anyway (Sri Lanka without Sanga, down and beaten in Melbourne) so I'd rather it now than in a important Ashes test or a close game.

Posted by Shridharan.S on (January 1, 2013, 4:01 GMT)

David Warner should be groomed as a captain in all three formats of the game for future captaincy.

Posted by sam264 on (January 1, 2013, 3:11 GMT)

So Maxwell comes in. Surely no need for Lyon then? Play the extra quick it's the pace that's bothered the Sri Lankans. Maxwell is a better bat and doesn't have to do much to be more effective with the ball than Lyon

Posted by bonobo on (January 1, 2013, 2:29 GMT)

Wade is good enough to bat 6, especially on a decent pitch against the Sri Lankans. But I dont think that is the question. The reason for doingso is to accommodate an allrounder, which seems very important to the Aussie plans under Clarke, hence their determination to ensure Watson can always bowl . I am more convinced by Wade as a top 6 batsman than Maxwell as a front line spinner. If Maxwell is only there as a stock bowler, then I would say he needs to justify himself as a top 6 batsman. Otherwise Australia are just wasting a chance to try someone who can take Husseys place. I dont think there is a conspiracy against Khawaja, or he would not be in the squad at all, but it does not smack of confidence in him. The other logic which is not being discussed, is that Australia want 4 fast bowlers and it is that which is why Watson as an allrounder was so central to their plans...in which case, we could find that Lyon also misses out.

Posted by Wozza-CY on (January 1, 2013, 1:12 GMT)

The NSP don't seem to learn from their mistakes? (BTW....how did Hastings play in Perth when Bird was available??) Watson batting high in the order is disrupting the team immensely when he's perenially injured. They haven't learnt from the 'spinning' all rounder failures in the past i.e. White, North, Smith etc Moving Wade to 6 is not the answer. The success of Gilchrist came from staying at 7 and coming in after big scores were on the board. Wade probably won't have that luxury. But I suppose if you don't have guys that avg 40+ then fill the order with guys who avg mid thirties....huh?

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (January 1, 2013, 0:33 GMT)

@disco_bob You don't think that Cook was under pressure after the awful start in India? He was also under pressure in his first series as captain when Bangladesh refused to read the script and England had to dig deep to force a victory.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 1, 2013, 0:21 GMT)

Theres massive support for Khawaja anyone considered he has only made 431 at an average of 39 this shield season with one hundred. Its not cricket australia and Clarkes fault he is not a permanent member of the team. Yes he is talented but needs to do more to guarantee his spot.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 1, 2013, 0:02 GMT)

LunwayRobson - I'm not sure how Australia are becoming a laughing stock out of the last 20 tests, we have won 11 and lost 3. Not sure how those stats are considered a laughing stock. In the end it doesnt matter where batsman are ranked its about winning games of cricket. If that is as bad as AUstralia ever get I will be pretty happy.

Posted by hycIass on (January 1, 2013, 0:00 GMT)

@Joseph_Langford and Chicagoan76 i am a big fan of Khawaja andi would like to give Khawaja credit that he is not being deliberatly kept our. Keep in mind that it was under Clarke Khawaja made his debut and Clarke has always talked Khawaja up in the shield games when he was getting runs. So my thinking is that Maxwell is a one off for the SCG test and that Khawaja will get selected for the ashes and the Indian tour. SamuelH you can' keep a guy out becuase he is left handed, he is the next best batsman, close second ot getting Punter's spot and in the form of his life, get him in as we need him for the ashes.

Posted by jkidst on (December 31, 2012, 23:19 GMT)

@disco_bob

I'm sorry, hasn't Cook just captained England away in India? How many captains in Eng, Aus, SA are used to playing two spinners, whilst carrying extra weight in Bresnan, Broad, what about Finn being injured in India, what about no Tremlett for a year, what about no Broad for most of the Ashes 10/11, what about no KP for some of the Ashes 09? You make a fair judgement on dropped catches and injuries but it is a double edged sword, you can't just take a player out of an XI either, that's just daft

Posted by VivGilchrist on (December 31, 2012, 23:04 GMT)

Why does Wade move to 6? If Maxwell is Watsons replacement, shouldn't he bat 4? Watson gets shoved up and down the order depending on other players strengths and had to bat 4 to keep Clarke and Huss at 5 & 6, yet Maxwell comes in to his own gift rapt no7 posi forcing everyone else to move up one, a privilege Watto never had. If the want a batsman to bat 4 - Khawaja. If the want a spinner that can bat - OKeefe.

Posted by featurewriter on (December 31, 2012, 22:58 GMT)

jmcilhinney: And anyone who watched Sanga keep during the last Test could easily see that he is not a first-class keeper. His positioning behind the ball, glove-work and vision were all sub-standard. He's easily one of the greatest batsmen of his generation, but he's not an international-standard wicketkeeper (as much as I admire the guy). There's become a tendency over recent years - particularly in Australia - to assess keepers on the Gilchrist mold, when I believe we should be assessing them on the Healy mold. It's a specialist position - the value of which can be seen in catches. (To quote Bill Lawry, "Catches win matches.")

Posted by ozwriter on (December 31, 2012, 22:34 GMT)

i agree with joseph langford. the captain becoming a selector is the biggest mistake in Australian cricket history. clarke is now only choosing his 'mates' like davey, hughesy, wadey and underclass 'Ed'. with the last selection panel, khawaja was the next in line when ponting was injured in the ashes. but somehow before him we've had marsh, cowan, hughes return, quiney...and it looks like clarke will try everything before khajwa. since his debut, khwaja has only played 1-2 games as an injury replacement. even then he top scored in the record match winning chase of 300 against south africa!

Posted by disco_bob on (December 31, 2012, 22:10 GMT)

@LunwayRobson, I almost forgot we still have our secret weapon. Shane Warne is as agile with the keypad as he ever was. All it will take is one text from him to KP and presto, your top batter will be out of the series.

Posted by disco_bob on (December 31, 2012, 22:06 GMT)

@LunwayRobson, we can play this game all day. How about take Pietersen out of the India series and they would have lost the 2nd match too. Mind you Warne dropping Pietersen, or Mcgrath rolling his ankle, or even Faf, making one tiny error... All this shows that an entire series can hinge on the tiniest margin.

If Cooke comes a cropper you guys are in real trouble, and his captaincy under pressure has not really been tested yet. But maybe you know that you've only got another 7 months of hubristic boasting to go so I guess you may as well get your money's worth before you slide further down the greasy pole to Test oblivion.

Posted by SDHM on (December 31, 2012, 19:30 GMT)

@Beertjie - I'd go even further and say Oz have to find another right-hander from somewhere to replace Hussey. If Khawaja comes in, that's 5 out of the top 7 batting left-handed and if that happens, with the way Anderson & Swann bowl at left-handers, it's Ashes retained. Perhaps Doolan or Ferguson can come in, although if the selectors think Usman is the better batsman then of course they have to back him.

Posted by GoCric on (December 31, 2012, 19:10 GMT)

I think its time for Khwaja to look seriously to move to another country. Doesn't look like he is going to get in to the Aus test team. May be a move across the Tasman!!

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 31, 2012, 18:50 GMT)

@davidpk, asking jonesy2 to get a grip of the facts is like asking an Australian spinner to turn the ball, it's not going to happen I'm afraid to say. Happy New Year everyone!

Posted by LunwayRobson on (December 31, 2012, 18:36 GMT)

@disco_bob take Hussey out of the SA series and assume Clarke cannot continue scoring double hundreds every test and the rest of Aus batting line up looks very weak indeed, I would have thought you would be screaming for a proper no.6!!!!

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (December 31, 2012, 17:45 GMT)

It's time to give the gloves over to Paine. Wade can be used as an all-rounder... Clarke loves his [Wade's] bowling very, very much.

Posted by Chicagoan76 on (December 31, 2012, 17:12 GMT)

Totally agree with Joseph Langford. Clarke will go to any length to keep Khawaja out. Its not even funny. I think Clarke is playing favorites and Khawaja for some reason is not on his list.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 31, 2012, 16:40 GMT)

@Munkeymomo on (December 31 2012, 15:30 PM GMT), the reason that Sangakarra's name hasn't come up is that he is no longer a wicket-keeper. He gave up the gloves specifically so that he could concentrate on batting. While he may well have been the best keeper-batsman, even he doesn't think that he would have become the batsman he is if he was still keeping full-time. That's an issue I'm sure that most SA fans would relate to.

Posted by bford1921 on (December 31, 2012, 16:36 GMT)

Sangakarra doesn't keep in tests anymore, and when he did keep he averaged less than Prior! old discussion anyway, Prior is top dog for the moment, but not exactly out of sight as Gilchrist was.

Posted by Munkeymomo on (December 31, 2012, 15:30 GMT)

Matt Prior is good guys but there is this guy called Kumar Sangakarra, he is really good and already has over 10000 test runs. Excellent keeper too. It's funny, I have a feeling he is playing in this series as well, wonder why his name hasn't come up as the best keeper-batsman around? Sanga, Prior next best, ABDV and Dhoni next (good batsmen but suspect glovesmen), Wade probably next alongside Mushfiqur Rahim, Kamran Akmal and Denesh Ramdin.

Posted by disco_bob on (December 31, 2012, 15:21 GMT)

@LunwayRobson I understand that statistics can be an indication of sorts but surely a better indication is that SA demolished you in all your home Tests whereas they had a tough fight over here. Rain saved them in the first, Faf played phenomenally to draw the second and we did get hammered in the final. So what did your higher ranked batsmen do for you?

Posted by SirViv1973 on (December 31, 2012, 15:14 GMT)

@hiclass, if usman bats 4 & Watson 6 in ind would u play a left arm spinner along side Lyon ie beer or doherty or would u play 3 frontline seamers & Watson?

Posted by SirViv1973 on (December 31, 2012, 15:08 GMT)

Didn't aus, try this during the last ashes series wen haddin was promoted to 6 & smith batted at 7? It didn't work then & it won't work now with maxwell. I predict a tough time for oz in ind were I suspect this will be tried for the first 2 or 3 tests before they finally realise they need a 2nd specialist spinner & replace Maxwell with khawlja or Dave hussey & beer for one of their 3 seamers

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 13:58 GMT)

Oh look ..... a Clarke-man gets a promotion (see my comments "Warner and Cowan in line to lead"). Clarke is doing everything possible to keep Khawaja out of the team. Can somebody please tell me again why Quiney was selected to play South Africa??? Was it really to protect Hughes allowing him to come into the team after Ponting retired and did somebody really fear that Khawaja would score runs and prevent the return of Hughes??

Posted by steve19191 on (December 31, 2012, 13:38 GMT)

Well that confirms what we were all thinking, the cupboard is well and truely bare. Kiss the ashes goodbye for another 4 years.

Posted by LunwayRobson on (December 31, 2012, 13:37 GMT)

Australia are becoming a laughing stock..I woukd have thought with the ICC rankings stating 1 Clarke 25 Warner 38 Watson 45 Cowan 53 Hughes 59 Wade that adding an extra batsmen would be the way to go rather than promoting an average keeper to no. 6 and playing Maxwell!!!! just out of interest Englands batting line up is 5 Cook 11 Pietersen 15 Trott 16 Prior17 Bell...... roll on Wed Jul 10@Trent Bridge

Posted by landl47 on (December 31, 2012, 13:28 GMT)

The issue isn't whether Wade can bat at #6 in Aus against SL. It's that Aus is saying that Maxwell isn't good enough to bat in the top 6. Since he certainly isn't a test class specialist bowler, he's being picked because although he isn't a good enough batsman or bowler to play tests, he can do a bit of both. It's a poor policy, as England has all too often proved.

As for Johnson being considered an allrounder, he's played 49 tests and averages 22, with 1 century and 7 fifties. His average is only that high because he has a bigger percentage of not outs than even a great #6 (say, Mike Hussey). Broad has played 52 tests, average 26, 1 hundred and 9 50s. Do you think he's an allrounder? No, neither do I. Johnson's a useful lower order batsman, but if he comes in above #8 Aus is in serious trouble.

Posted by bumsonseats on (December 31, 2012, 13:20 GMT)

joneys2 get a grip best in world, best you have got but its the season of goodwill but even so, you are a funny guy.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (December 31, 2012, 13:04 GMT)

I doubt if in any other era would Glen Maxwell have qualified as an allrounder in an Aussie Test XI. Maxwell is neither a Test level batsman or a bowler. It will be better to give Usman Khwaja a Test before the India series.

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (December 31, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

@Moppa, Beerjie and Fazlebad are all spot on getting Khawaja in for Hussey's spot, but something else to think about. After the number 1 test batsmen (our captain) our next best batter on the ICC rankings is number 39: Shane Watson. With Hussey gone, we are left with a hold for the ashes series in 2013 and we need to fill it with our next best young batsman and that is Khawaja. I ask one simple question for everyone, if our top order woes continue and we are 3 down for not much who do you want coming in for you in the ashes, Khawaja or Maxwell, i know who has scored runs on some absolute green decks in shield this year and its not Maxwell. Khawaja must be the man to replace Hussey.

Posted by handyandy on (December 31, 2012, 12:08 GMT)

Australia has allrounders to burn at the moment ... you could go with 5 ... even 4 specialist batsman and still have batting going all the way down to 11. Maxwell, McDonald, O'keefe, Henriques, Cutting, Christian, Mitchell Marsh and others.

Posted by voma on (December 31, 2012, 11:56 GMT)

Gosh James Anderson must be shaking in his boots , after hearing that ! . What did someone write yesterday , Englands medium pacers Bresnan and Broad !! . Will be hammered all around the park , hmm lets wait and see on that one . If Australia are beaten in India , they will be humbled in England . For sure

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (December 31, 2012, 11:51 GMT)

@Bertjie and Mitcher make a good point that if you want a geniune number 6 then you take Khawaja over Maxwell any day. Maxwell got 1/100 against the Sri Lankans in the warm up game and his off spinners won't make a difference. @Moppa and Mukesh i also think that Khawaja will be a crucial player for the Indian series and hopefully the SCG game move to include Wade at 6 is a one off move. For those folks saying Clarke is biased against Khawaja, keep in mind that Clarke was the first captain under which a sub continent player played under(i.e Khawaja) so all this crap about Clarke being biased against Khawaja is all false comments. Clarke and Arthur will reward Khawaja.

Posted by gyanesh_don on (December 31, 2012, 11:21 GMT)

With all respect to Sri Lanka.. aus is able to make such experiments since they perhaps take SL easy than few other oppositions...

Posted by Shaggy076 on (December 31, 2012, 11:20 GMT)

I dont agree with Jonesy2 that Wade is the best keeper batsman around and yes probably Dhoni, Devilliers and Prior are all in front of him but he is not that bad. Wicket keeper averaging 38 is very good in a year when Clarke has averaged over 100 and Hussey 55. More often than not coming into bat when the score is above 300. I personally prefer him at no 7 but have enough confidence in him to do a job against the Sri Lankan attack. ALso his keeping in the last match was really good and improving with time. Given time to settle he will be as good as the others.

Posted by Tumbarumbar on (December 31, 2012, 11:06 GMT)

Gee Milhouse79 I guess they just don't make instant test keepers like they used to. Remember how the selectors used to open the box, remove the plastic and put the new keeper out there and he'd never make an error? I believe they used to get them from Acme keepers and spinners incorporated, a now defunct company whose former employees are all as rich as Bill Gates thanks to their last two production models, the Gilchrist Keeper/Batsmen and the Warne Spinner/Texter. Until Acme comes back on line I guess we'll have to enjoy watching our keeper learning, developing and even making the odd mistake as he goes along.

Posted by Mary_786 on (December 31, 2012, 11:06 GMT)

@Fazlebad, Mitcher and Moppa the point you make on the number 6 spot being a specialist player is very important. Sure Wade can bat at number 6 against a weak Sri Lankan attack and get runs but in the ashes we wil need him at 7 and 6 specialist batsman hence Khawaja is a key player to include. Every great player has been dropped including Ponting, Lehmann, Hayden, Langer. Hughes and Khawaja (in that order) are the two most talented and best batsmen in Australia under the age of 30 (possibly excluding Warner). They need to be the mainstays of Clarke's batting lineup for the next half-dozen years. Any other selection would constitute gross incompetence on the part of the NSP.

Posted by hhillbumper on (December 31, 2012, 11:00 GMT)

jonesey 2. I get the impression that to be Australian is to be the worlds best at everything.We have very much noticed this in recent sporting contests.Indeed we saw how well the Ashes have gone and the recent olympics as well.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 31, 2012, 10:55 GMT)

Ok there have several laughable announcements from the Aussie camp in the past few days and this is another one. ROFl, wade batting at 6!!!

Posted by Okakaboka on (December 31, 2012, 10:52 GMT)

If Wade is to move to 6, then the risky launches to the deep have to cease. His new mentallity has to be that of worm killer; not seagull killer.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (December 31, 2012, 10:48 GMT)

This is an interesting experiment by Australia, but is coming against overpowered opposition who are already 2-0 down and who need a miracle to avoid a series whitewash. As such it isn't obvious that, even if promotion proves to be a rip-roaring success, it would work next summer in England, or in India or against Pakistan in the UAE. Matt Wade has made a good start to his career, but as 5 of his first 8 Tests have been against weak opposition it is far too early to make big claims about him: yes, he did get a 50 against South Africa, but in a losing cause and his other 4 innings in the series prodced just 53 runs. Certainly England fans will watch his progress with interest, but there is certainly a suggestion in his career so far that his glovework is more Wayne Phillips than Adam Gillchrist so far.

Posted by Fleming_Mitch on (December 31, 2012, 10:29 GMT)

@Moppa I agree with you that for the Indian series they will put in Khawaja at 6 or at 4 depending on what's best for the team. As Hyclass pointed out Khawaja showed last night in the Big Bash the form he is in and also has been one of the more consistent players in shield. He is covering for Clarke and selectors must reward him for his performances. The more opportunities he receives at the highest level, the more such performances will occur.

Posted by Beertjie on (December 31, 2012, 10:20 GMT)

@Gauri-Shankar Guha on (December 31 2012, 07:07 AM GMT) Agree and diagree Clarke must move up also to break up the string of lefties. However it's definitely too early for Cummins who needs another year at least before getting back (Perth next year?). Holland is your "Real Spinner," but won't make the Indian tour, so O'Keefe needs to go. Don't weaken the batting, as others have pointed out. Leave Maxwell out now and get Khawaja in. Justify it by referring to 'blood' his replacement now before India.

Posted by Beertjie on (December 31, 2012, 10:04 GMT)

Pickin an EXTRA all rounder for Hussy would weaken the batting too much. Watto should only bowla few overs when we're tryin to break stubborn partnerships, and if he can't score enough runs he should make way for someone who can do that job better than he. David Hussey looks like a like for like replacement even if he's 4 years older. Taking O'Keefe to India would enable both he and Lyon to play on a rank turner like the one we played on in 2004 when Clarke took 6/9! Otherwise one of them should play with 3 quicks and the part-time partnership breaker/economical filler-in which Warner might not yet offer.

Posted by Jaffa79 on (December 31, 2012, 9:52 GMT)

Wade is a good batsman but not one of the best keeper-batsman in the world. Infact I doubt very much if he is the best keeper in his own family. His glovework is an embarrassment at the moment and needs a lot of work to be anywhere near Test standard.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 31, 2012, 9:44 GMT)

The latest in a series of news stories coming out of Australian cricket in the last few days that I can scarcely believe I'm reading: Australia's Cupboard, let's call it a 'Minnow Larder', is so bare that Wade is being moved up to a specialist batting slot when he's never shown any talent with the bat! - Swann bats better than Wade. And shall I even mention the name...Matt...Prior.......Too painful for some Aussie fans. And it's not difficult to see why, when the 'Old Enemy' Posses the Best Keeper/Batsman on the planet, the guy that put run a ball 50's and 100's past them time and again. What joyous days these are for an England fan watching certain sections unable to say the name of Matt Prior if only because it draws a stark comparison to their own keeper, not to mention a batting line up full of Anderson's bunnies.

Posted by ozziespirit on (December 31, 2012, 9:39 GMT)

@jonesy2, No mention of Matt Prior? Maybe you forgot him, you surely wouldn't suggest he out -bats and out-keeps Prior? Don't give us Aussie fans a bad name by being so obviously affected by the previous few Ashes. Prior batted brilliantly, caused us great hurt and has proved himself through performance. Show some maturity in your opinions.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 31, 2012, 9:35 GMT)

@jonesy2, " to be honest though i really dont think it makes a difference where people bat"

Clearly you've never played the game my friend. If you had, you'd know that putting a number 8, and a mediocre one at that, into a position any higher, the nature of the innings he would be required to play would change. No wonder you're so uninformed jonesy2, you do know that Warnie has left and that England have spent over five years dominating Australia don't you? The shock...

Posted by FazleAbed on (December 31, 2012, 9:01 GMT)

Before tour in India, Australia A team should visit in India or Bangladesh to play spin. Only Spin. Before tour in England Australia A should visit New Zealand or England. I hope Australia will not follow West Indies. It is a possibility. I also Hope to see marsh Brothers takes their responsibility and play for Australia. Also like to see Tim Paine, Moses, and Cullumn Ferguson in the A team. Surely the under 19 team of last two world cup were good and one day inshallah we will forget how great the team was and only talk about how great the team is.

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

With Hussey's impending retirement it seems even more important that Khawaja plays in this match to get him right back in the mix before upcoming tours. Pretending Wade is a genuine no. 6 at this stage of his career and that maxwell is a genuine all rounder looks pretty desperate on the part of the selectors. Sure, having a world class all rounder is great, but if there isn't one around then forcing the issue can only be counterproductive.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 8:08 GMT)

@mukesh_LOVE.cricket I think you may have it right Watson can not carry the workload as is proven again and again. So bring in Usman or Dolan or whoever lets get shane into ODI and T20 only and get some stability into the batting lineup. Bowling looking very deep in the fast department with about 10 with a ligit claim to the next year just need a second spinner with a touch of class to take to india

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 8:03 GMT)

Khawaja should play in the top 4 that gives more stability to batting,if maxwell is to debut then dropping lyon isnt a deal,coz lyon is a consistent bowler but not a regular wickettaker like Macgill or Warne.

Posted by RoJayao on (December 31, 2012, 7:59 GMT)

Well losing Huss is a body blow but as Pup says, it means everyone needs to give more, especially senior guys left and there aren't many. So this means Watson's nonsense about not bowling anymore is effectively doing the opposite. Why won't everyone accept that he is NOT A BATSMAN!! His record is soooooo not good enough to be picked as batsman only, it's really no better than Ferguson. He gets injured batting as much as bloody bowling so he probably won't play any more frequently as a batsman only. Make him bowl, tell him to grow some stones or just tell him thanks but no thanks. Cutting would make a better all rounder at this point.

Posted by TopC on (December 31, 2012, 7:50 GMT)

@ jonesy2.. agree with RaadQ. Wade=8 tests, 36.3 ave, 27 dismissals; Prior=2 tests, 43,2 ave, 186 dismissals. What about MS Dhoni=73 tests, 38.1 ave, 240 dismissals; or AB deVilliers(as keeper)=9 tests, 39.2 ave, 29 dismissals; or even Kamran Akmal=53 tests, 30.8 ave, 206 dismissals. Wade has obvious potential, but "the worlds best keeper batsman"...hardly!!

Posted by mukesh_LOVE.cricket on (December 31, 2012, 7:40 GMT)

as for wade it doesn't matter if its 6 or 7 , he will do okay in both , if they can keep their fast bowlers fit Australia will be back to the top very soon

Posted by mukesh_LOVE.cricket on (December 31, 2012, 7:38 GMT)

I think Watson should concentrate on ODI and T20 , his body cant handle test bowling workload and he does not make enough big scores to play as a specialist batsman , middle order batsmen in test should be capable of accumulating big hundreds which watson is unable to do , bring in Khawaja for tests , its obvious !

Posted by Micky.Panda on (December 31, 2012, 7:38 GMT)

@Brumby. The figures do not support Maxwell as a better bat than Wade, on current form this season. Maxwell will need to perform at test level to earn a promotion. Wade already has some critical performances.

Posted by sosba on (December 31, 2012, 7:35 GMT)

mitchell johnson to bat above wade and maybe siddle 7, starc 9 then wade

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (December 31, 2012, 7:32 GMT)

Don't we need batsmen? Shouldn't we then be giving a batsman a go at 6? We already have an off spinner, why do we need another one that bowls darts? As for Watson, it's bowling that injures him. He should ignore 50 and 20 over games and just get himself fit for tests.

Posted by Micky.Panda on (December 31, 2012, 7:31 GMT)

@webba84. Forget Johnson as a batting all-rounder. He has no history of consistency. Just check his long term results.O.K. against a very weak attack. Even Cutting has a better batting average than Johnson this 1st class season (38 verses 27). Australia needs 5 bowlers or 4 plus an all rounder or 2 who can bowl usefully. Worry about the batting lineup after the bowlers are set. Bowlers win matches. Great is Johnson can prove me wrong, but one man of the match is not enough evidence just yet. He has a hugely disappointing history. Johnson is really just a wayward bowler who makes runs sometimes. As to those who want a specialist batsman at No. 6. That only works if the all rounder bats higher than 6, e.g. Watto. Watto will always be needed to bowl.

Posted by hotcric01 on (December 31, 2012, 7:12 GMT)

How is that johnson at No.06?I don't think it is too bad.However wade is a talented batsman,he showed it in west indies.Consistency ,what he should improve as a test batsman.Anyway aussy top 3 seem to be still not ready enough to take the responsibility.

Posted by Moppa on (December 31, 2012, 7:09 GMT)

I'm pretty sure Khawaja will play ahead of Maxwell in India (of course, they both might play if Watson is still injured). Replacing Mr Cricket permanently with Glenn Maxwell would be, frankly, insulting to the great man (as well as a poor decision). You'd be replacing a guy who racked up 13,000 first-class runs before his debut with a guy with less than 1000! I think selecting Maxwell is a mistake for the SCG too, and I was hoping that the selectors would consider including Khawaja ahead of Maxwell on the back of Hussey's retirement, to give him a game at home against Herath on the SCG as some sort of warm up for India (as suggested by @Lewis_of_Macksville) - unfortunately, Inverarity's all-rounder obsession means that idea doesn't seem to even have been considered!

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 7:07 GMT)

The best batsman in a side traditionally bats at #3 or #4. So even after Watson returns and Hussey retires, Clarke should make the #4 spot his own. 1 Warner, 2 Cowan, 3 Hughes, 4 Clarke 5. Watson 6 Wade 7 Johnson, 8 Starc, 9 Cummins, 10 Bird, 11 Real Spinner. Looks like a very good squad.

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (December 31, 2012, 7:01 GMT)

@Hyclass and MaccaMat relax guys, why does everyone jump the gun for just one test, Wade is only taking this spot for the SCG test and I am sure that once Watto is back the NSP will put Khawaja in as he is the next best batsman as he is currently on standby for our best batsman in Clarke. I think persoanlly they will take both Maxwell and Khawaja on the Indian tour and find out that Maxwell's bowling doesn't hold at the top level and Khawaja will win out the battle. Put your faith in Clarke and Arthur, they have done a good job this summer and will reward the guys who are performing and Khawaja will be first off the list.

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (December 31, 2012, 6:55 GMT)

@DavidBrumby i don't think Maxwell will stand up well at 6. He needs to get more shield runs before getting that spot.@Hyclass and Lewis feel sorry for Khawaja who througout his career has always come in as a injury cover or standby, hoping that Wade's move to 6 is is just a move for the SCG test as they need to give Khawaja a proper run such as that given to Hughes or Cowan. He is 26 and ready to go, so lets get him in and i would like to think that Arthur and Clarke will make the right move for the Indian series and get him in. Like Hughes he has improved alot this year under Boof and woud have been a close second for Punter's spot, lets reward the youngster.

Posted by RaadQ on (December 31, 2012, 6:42 GMT)

@jonesy2 you think he's the best WK batsman? He averages 36.27, with 8 out of his 14 innings played at home. I'm sure you haven't heard of Matt Prior... You will see good Wade really is during the Ashes

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (December 31, 2012, 6:27 GMT)

@Fazleabed and Macca guys you are spot on Khwaaja, I think this is a move for the SCG test only but they will take Khawaja as the number 6 for the Indian series as he is backing up Clarke at the moment. Maxwell is a future prospect but at the moment neither his batting and espeically is bowling is good enough for the ashes against quality sides. For the number six spot we need a specialist batsman in his own right not an untried allrounder who hasn't established his credentials as either a batsman or as a bowler at Test level. The current batting lineup is fragile enough as it is and to play England with only five specialist batsmen would be to invite certain defeat. A smart selection move in the light of Hussey's retirement will be to play Khawaja as a specialist batsman for the next Test against Sri Lanka to prepare him and especially in the Indian series. We got the Hughes move right to replace Punter but now we need Khawaja in at 6 as both these guys are future batsman for us.

Posted by Mary_786 on (December 31, 2012, 6:04 GMT)

I hope this is a short term move for the SCG only. Khawaja should come into the team ahead of Maxwell. Put Khawaja at 4 allowing Watson to bat at 6 be a true all rounder. Khawaja has rebounded from the disappointment of last summer to force his way back into Test reckoning with solid form for Queensland improving on those things that were asked of him(i.e fielding, aggression, running). Having been nominated as stand-by for Clarke, he should get first crack at replacing Hussey. Maxwell he is a good prospect but his batting at pressent is not strong enough to command a place as a specialist batsman and his off-spin lacks the potency to play as a front bowler. I am sure for the Indian tour selectors will linclude Khawaja as a direct replacement for Hussey.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 6:03 GMT)

Jonesy2,

Heard of a guy called Matt Prior? Wade is good, but he isn't better than Prior.

Posted by hycIass on (December 31, 2012, 5:58 GMT)

Satish619chandar is correct, that would be a very brittle batting lineup, we need Khawaja in the order. For the Indian series Khawaja should come in at 4 as this will allow Watson to bat at 6 and bowl more overs, we need Watson both batting and bowling.Keep Wade at 7 as he is best suited to that position as keeper batsman. Khawaja just showed us in a T20 game what he's capable of. When all but one other batsman could score no more than 20, Khawaja scored a stylish 66 not out. The more opportunities he receives at the highest level, the more such performances will occur with greater frequency.Come on selectors. Do you need some rank amateur such as myself, to point out the bleeding obvious to you. Select Khawaja

Posted by Webba84 on (December 31, 2012, 5:58 GMT)

Id put Usman in for Hussey, with Hussey as his personal trainer to make sure he doesn't slack off and get Johnson working on his batting so he can take Watsons place when Watson is injured (ie most of the time) and bat at no7. Johnson as the 5th bowling option solves the bowler rotation selection problems. If he is in the team as an all rounder (as he has the ability to be)then the pressure on him is less and if his bowling is off then Clarke has the 4 full time bowlers to turn to.

Whatever the selection may be I hope the whole squad is taking it to the next level in training. India followed by two ashes is going to be the defining period of all their careers.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 5:55 GMT)

Another ludicrous decison from the Aussies. Maxwell is a better bat than Wade is. Maxwell is nothing but a poor bowler so he would only be playing as a batsman. If they want a second spinner then they should have picked Steve Smith (who is being wasted).

Posted by satish619chandar on (December 31, 2012, 5:43 GMT)

Now that would be a very brittle batting line up.. If SL can get the things right and push the match in a balanced stage into the fourth day, they can get a sniff at the much awaited victory in Aussie soil. Bring in Thirimanne, Thissera and play Chandimal as keeper and No.4 batter. Dilshan, Karunaratne, Thirimanne, Chandimal, Mahela, Samaraweera, Mathews, Thissera, Herath and two seamers from Eranga Lakmal and Pradeep. This would be my tarting 11 to maintain balance in both batting as well as bowling.. SL has problem in batting than in bowling and they need a extra cushion there..

Posted by jonesy2 on (December 31, 2012, 5:37 GMT)

but i do think its a great credit to wade that he has come in and become basically the worlds best keeper batsman so quickly and he still can improve a lot of course

Posted by jonesy2 on (December 31, 2012, 5:35 GMT)

seems that maxwell is a perfect number 6 though. i would have him slot in there and keep wade at 7. to be honest though i really dont think it makes a difference where people bat

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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.
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