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Healy slams Wade over glovework

Brydon Coverdale

January 11, 2013

Comments: 150 | Text size: A | A

Matthew Wade fails to stump Graeme Smith, Australia v South Africa, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 2nd day, November 23, 2012
Matthew Wade missed a number of opportunities during the Test summer © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Ian Healy | Matthew Wade
Series/Tournaments: Sri Lanka tour of Australia
Teams: Australia

Ian Healy has slammed Matthew Wade's wicketkeeping during the Test summer and said Australia needed to choose their best gloveman for the upcoming tours of India and England. Healy, who watched from the commentary box as Wade kept wicket for his first home summer, was disappointed not only with the way Wade missed opportunities for stumpings and catches, but also what he perceived as a lack of discipline in getting the basics right.

"He's not happy at all. He didn't have a good summer with the gloves at all," Healy told Radio Sport National on Friday. "Even some of the basic stuff that he's not tidying up, he's not getting to the stumps, he's not taking returns well, he's not sharpening up the fielding effort. Even those basic disciplines weren't being created, let alone missed dismissals.

"Nathan Lyon wouldn't have been that happy, there were four or five chances missed from his bowling. He's getting criticised for not taking wickets. These are all the little internal conflicts of an under-achieving wicketkeeper. Matthew Wade says he's still young and he wants to keep improving, but I don't think he's that young. He's 25.

"If he is keeping for Australia, these sort of things have to be done, and they have to be done better. We're playing against Sri Lanka, it's not as if we're playing against South Africa or England for five Tests [where] we need everything taken. He needs to really get a look at what Brad Haddin is doing and try to find a way to get it done himself."

Healy's strong words came as Wade was at home resting from the first two one-day internationals against Sri Lanka, having played more matches for Australia over the past year in all formats than anyone except David Warner. John Inverarity's selection panel is so keen on Wade as a Test player that he even batted at No.6 during the third Test against Sri Lanka in Sydney, and scored an unbeaten century.

That was a position that not even the great Adam Gilchrist occupied on a regular basis during his days in the Test side. Healy is widely regarded as the best of Australia's modern glovemen, while his replacement Gilchrist performed adequately behind the stumps and was brilliant with the bat. Healy said during Gilchrist's time, when Australia had bowlers like Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, they could afford to play a wicketkeeper whose batting was his stronger suit, but not anymore.

"What Adam Gilchrist had was a relevance to his team," Healy said. "He was appropriate to the team. He had a team with a great bowling attack that created more chances than you needed. We haven't got an attack like that now. We've got an attack that if you need 20 wickets in a Test, they might create 18 and you'd better take a half-chance here or there or a great run-out and you might get over the line.

"That's where you don't need a wicketkeeper missing stuff. Right now Australian cricket in the Test form initially needs the best wicketkeeper. We need to find out who that is, and someone who is not making mistakes."

Healy said he could not understand why the selectors had chosen Wade ahead of Brad Haddin at the start of this summer. However, he also said that he believed Queensland's Chris Hartley, 30, was the best pure gloveman in the country but that he was unlikely to earn an opportunity at international level with Wade, Haddin and Tim Paine all ahead of him in the queue.

"I don't understand why they dropped [Haddin] and it's never been explained to me or the public after the West Indies," Healy said. "He wasn't in great form [and] he had to go home and look after his ill daughter. Then when he gets that right and he's ready to play again, he's not picked. I thought that was a bit harsh.

"Tim Paine can emerge without being picked for Australia. Chris Hartley must be sitting in Queensland thinking I'm gone here, even though he's probably the best keeper of the lot. You talk to the players and they say that all the time. He's missed out I'd say. He's 30 and there's three being talked before him."

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

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Posted by The_Cube on (January 14, 2013, 2:25 GMT)

I agree with Healy's comments about Wade, but also think Healy is the most over-rated gloveman in recent years. He was never even the best in Qld while he was playing. Peter Anderson was better in Healy's early years and Healy only got a run when Anderson broke a finger. Then Wade Seccombe was far superior to Healy.

Posted by farkin on (January 14, 2013, 1:16 GMT)

@ Posted by Meety on (January 13 2013, 08:25 AM GMT) what you say maybe true but why did he not just go and help instead of firing off ?

Posted by BananaBoy15 on (January 13, 2013, 23:49 GMT)

Yes - thankyou Heals for saying what most of us are thinking! Surely now that the best keeper we have ever seen has spoken, the selectors may listen? It's not rocket science - pick the best keeper in the country - which is Haddin. If age is an issue, go to the next best which is Hartley. Wade isn't even the best keeper for his state!

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (January 13, 2013, 13:50 GMT)

I know Healy; cricket lovers from all over the world have been questioning this for ages. Why drop a 'sort-of' keeper, for a 'sort-of' batsman that wears his shoes on his hands for gloves? Is the cupboard that truely bare?

Posted by Meety on (January 13, 2013, 8:25 GMT)

@ farkin on (January 13 2013, 07:45 AM GMT) - on TV today, it was claimed the comments were out of context. It was also revealed that Healy will be doing a session with Wade in a few days - the extent of which depends on Rixon & Arthurs.

Posted by farkin on (January 13, 2013, 7:45 GMT)

Healy slams Wade over glovework . you have to ask if healy seen that did he get off his commentator bot bot to help Wade or just open fire at him

Posted by QingdaoXI on (January 13, 2013, 6:56 GMT)

Sorry but Haddin has past his prime and if Australia wants to take two wk on tours on India and England it should be Matthew Wade and Tim Paine.

Posted by ygkd on (January 13, 2013, 6:14 GMT)

The game is the better when specialists play, whether openers, keepers, spinners or quicks. There has recently been talk of developing a rapport between a spinner (Lyon) and a keeper (Wade). A symbiotic relationship between a spinner and a wickie is valuable, but spin hasn't been seen much from Victoria at Shield level lately. This season is no different - leading bowlers are Pattinson & Hastings (22 wickets each), Herrick & Siddle (11 each), McKay (8) and Maxwell (7). Now, irrespective of whether or not one calls Maxwell a spinner or a slow-bowler, it is hard to see, in the absence of Holland (who has no wickets from just 10 overs), where such a rapport comes from. So how many stumpings do Wade and Handscomb have to their credit so far this Shield year? The answer is none. So who has a Shield stumping this season? Hartley, Ludeman & Haddin have 1 each. I'm not too sure that is what we want to see - blank or paltry stumping columns. Our keepers need more opportunities with spin.

Posted by RoJayao on (January 13, 2013, 2:12 GMT)

Way to support him Heals! Seems to be a lot of commentators really batting hard for Haddin and others, clearly with their own agendas in place. Healy has declared his in nominating Hartley, coincidentally from Queensland. Failing him its gotta be 35 year old Haddin eh Heals? Tell me Heals, would Haddin have even got near that catch in Melbourne?? No. Haddin PROVED over 12 months his team value and dependability had diminished significantly. Paine was next in line but was injured so Wade was next and has earned a good go. BTW Heals, how'd you go in your first season for Australia? You were called Teflon, among other unflattering names because you weren't that good. You improved so why can't Wade? Funny thing too, you were the same age as Wade is now!

Posted by dean67 on (January 13, 2013, 1:28 GMT)

I agree that Wade is not currently a test 'keeper, but it is interesting to recall Healy's history. Whilst he became a wonderful gloveman, he was a very average and inexperienced 'keeper when selected for Australia. The standout at the time was Peter Anderson who, together with Alan Knott & Jack Russell is the best I have ever seen. That he never played for Australia was a cruel travesty but is always the risk for 'keepers. Who knows how good he could have become with international cricket?

Posted by SirViv1973 on (January 13, 2013, 1:00 GMT)

@Lillian Thompson, I agree that I think oz younger batsman may well struggle against spin in Ind. I would also put Warner in that crowd as well as he hasn't really played any test cricket on turning pitches nor I doubt he's faced much in his short FC career either.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (January 13, 2013, 0:55 GMT)

@Front Foot Lunge, Jonesy actually posted that he thought Wade was the best keeper/batsman in the world a couple of weeks ago. Unsurprisingly none agreed with him. quite a few people pointed out he clearly isn't including plenty some oz fans. At the moment he could be picked as a Batsman due to Oz lack of resources in that department. I suspect Haddin may be back in the squad for the Ind tour I wouldn't be surprised to see him back behind the stumps by the time the ashes start.

Posted by Meety on (January 13, 2013, 0:38 GMT)

@Chris_P on (January 11 2013, 22:44 PM GMT) - ahhh Bronko, that's a name I haven't heard in ages. I wonder whether he regrets that? re: Haddin - that catch he took, was as good as it gets. He fluffed up a fair bit last summer, but those that bag him for that, (barring the post by Claydo) seem to forget the underlying issues he had at the time. I believe he was more than capable at Test level previously.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (January 12, 2013, 23:43 GMT)

Ian Healy is not qualified to make such statements, given that for at least 5 years he was the worst international wicket keeper in the world and the worst domestic wicket keeper in Australia. Sure he improved, but he was never better than Tim Zoehrer or Wade Seccombe, let alone Adam Gilchrist. Matthew Wade in domestic cricket has consistently been either the best or second best behind Chris Hartley in terms of keeping, and, more recently, has got to equal with Brad Haddin in terms of his batting - something that Ian Healy never figured how to do. Wade is a significantly superior wicket keeper to Haddin. While Haddin is in some kind of batting form of late, and could be considered for ODIs and T20s, he is a distance behind Wade. Ian Healy holds the record for most tests as wicket keeper - but only because they couldn't decide between Zoehrer and Dyer for who was the best. Healy wasn't. He isn't qualified to make these comments and needs to be ignored.

Posted by   on (January 12, 2013, 23:10 GMT)

When Prior was picked as a Keeper for England aged 25 he was truly a mediocre County standard keeper at best , yet now is is easily good enough to be considered a quality Test keeper.No reason that Wade can't improve.

Posted by Claydo78 on (January 12, 2013, 22:08 GMT)

Haddin got dropped because he couldn't hit the ball if the square pure and simple! He hadn't got runs in 18 months and the brain explosion he had in South Africa dancing down the wicket when we were 6 for nothing warranted dropping then and there! I wouldn't wish the family issues he has had on anyone but that it's why he got dropped, I'm glad Haddin is scoring runs again in shield cricket but the bloke is under no pressure now to perform, when he is under pressure unfortunately we get the incidents that happened in South Africa which just isn't good enough in international cricket! Personally I think Paine should be our keeper but he misses the bus playing meaningless t20 cricket and got injuried, wade is our keeper and as long as he scores runs in happy with that!

Posted by whoster on (January 12, 2013, 21:21 GMT)

Ian Healy's right - you have to pick the best keeper. There's no doubt that Wade can bat, but he's cancelled out his runs with missed opportunities. I think the Aussie selectors should swallow their pride and return to Brad Haddin. I know he's knocking on a bit, but he's a proven performer - and the Aussie team needs all the experience it can get. The team is full of young and unproven players - the last thing they need is a dodgy keeper.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 12, 2013, 16:51 GMT)

A terrible Keeper is Wade, and even Australia's staunchest supporters like Randy and Jonesy examples are saying how poor he is. Let's not start comparisons with English keeper Matty Prior, the two players are so ridiculously far apart, and besides Australia could do with being saved the pain.

Posted by qaiserjaan on (January 12, 2013, 12:15 GMT)

Mr. Healy…He is right bz who can forget the Missed stumping of Inzamam ul Haq of Shane Warne by Healy for the historic win of PK in late ninties…So he is more concerned for wicket keeping rather than batting.

Posted by Tassieyes on (January 12, 2013, 11:26 GMT)

It has bemused me for some time as to why Healy and is commentary mates are so reluctant to criticise Haddin.If Rod Marsh was iron gloves then Haddin is flat feet ho many times have we seen feet apart flat on the ground watching balls pass between himself and first slip. As Taylor noted last night he alsostands a cople of megtres deeper than most keeprs taking the ballon the down rather than the peak of its bounce leading to an increased number of catches falling short of the slips. Haddin is agood keeper and can bat although 10 of 13 balls at the death is hardly a great achievement. Wade needs to be given the opportunity to develop particularly keeping to Lyon (unless Tim Paine finds his best from again).

Posted by Dr.Qwert on (January 12, 2013, 9:32 GMT)

The team now lacking Hussey and Ponting needs a quality bat in if it can find one. Watson saying he'll focus on his batting may mean the team needs to insert an alrounder as well. Regardless, Haddin's keeping isn't that much better, he made plenty of frustrating mistakes. Wade's keeping to the fast bowlers was good, although he struggled to Lyon. It's a confidence thing, iron out a technical flaw and he's good to go.

Gilchrist's keeping was very good, much better than Haddin's has ever been. A Healy style player will never play in a post Gilchrist team. A keeper should be able to make runs in the modern game, the other teams have followed suit, AB de Villiers, Prior, Dhoni.

Posted by Fareen on (January 12, 2013, 9:24 GMT)

I agree with Healy that Haddin should have been Australia's test keeper. Paine should play all the T20's & even keep in the ODI's as Wade batting at No. 6/7 is not appropriate because he's not the right batsman to accelerate. Haddin won't be playing long so Wade will get his opportunities but bringing in Paine for the one-dayers is a necessity for Australia.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (January 12, 2013, 9:04 GMT)

Healy may not agree with the selectors decision to drop Haddin but surely he understands it. Haddin had made his own share of mistakes with the gloves and was in dire form with the bat. While it's happened in the past that a keeper has been selected more on his batting than his keeping, e.g. Wayne Phillips over Ray Phillips, Adam Gilchrist has changed people's perception of what a keeper should be, probably forever. As Healy says, Gilchrist was lucky in that he played with great bowlers. If Gilchrist came on the scene now then he may have still made the Australia team but the selectors' expectations of a keeper's glovework may have been too high for his obvious batting talent to overcome.

Posted by   on (January 12, 2013, 7:21 GMT)

Haddin nor Wade are the best keepers in Australia, I'd say they are 3 and 4 at best, but Haddin is leaps and bounds ahead of Wade at the moment, but as pure keepers I wouldn't pick either.

Posted by Okakaboka on (January 12, 2013, 7:02 GMT)

These are ridiculous comments by Healy. Wade has won us two test matches with his batting. Okay, there are flaws in his keeping BUT he hasn't dropped simple clangers like Haddin has over the last 2 years. All catches were high end difficult including the one off Hilfenhauss.... he took a punt standing up.... almost created a chance. The stumpings are the concern (a big concern) but guidance by a Darren Berry and not blattant biassed criticism from an ex keeper with a giant chip on his shoulder is what is required. Yeah, Hartley is the best keeper in the land but given we have a flaky batting line up.... Wade WILL get better because he wants to play for Australia. He does need a rest and I would have Paine or Haddin wicket keeping in the ODIs.

Posted by Nerk on (January 12, 2013, 6:57 GMT)

This is the question: Would you rather a keeper who can score on average 30-40 runs a game, or one who is more reliable with the gloves, and can take the dazzling catch that batsmen-keepers cannot? Gilly was, of course, brilliant in both aspects of the game, and people on the pages badmouthing Healy obviously never watched him keep. He may have dropped the odd chance and missed the odd stumping, but they were exceptions rather than the rule, whilst Wade is very eccentric with his glovework. Wade is the incumbent, and has done little wrong overall, but he has made a few blunders, and these little blunders could be the difference between Australian victory in India and England.

Posted by   on (January 12, 2013, 6:35 GMT)

Its Pretty clear that Wade has Major Technical problems keeping, Just look at the Story Picture and its plain to see for every one Wade doesnt Watch the Ball but rather gets caught up and watches the shot,lets face it he already has dropped more Balls than Gilly and Healy together in their careers. if you where to ask Clarke would he take Chandimal if he was an Australian, would say thats a no Braine.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (January 12, 2013, 4:17 GMT)

@LillianThomson: Come the Ashes, your precious Nate Lyon will be competing with world class spinners like Swann and Panesar. Then you will realise Lyon would have been better off trimming the grass at the Adelaide Oval instead of pretending to be a spinner LOL.

Posted by Ehlers on (January 12, 2013, 0:52 GMT)

Healy is right, the best keeper should be selected. A third string fast bowler is never chosen to lead an attack, just because he is the best number ten in the world with the bat and can be relied upon to get a few extra runs. The best pace bowlers are always chosen and so should the best keeper.

I also notice, in the shorter game at least, that some keepers are keeping without pads, no doubt for greater flexibility. However, all top keepers seem to wear newish gloves when on the field - so much for the flexibility argument. The brilliant Englishman Bob Taylor would never have his gloves refaced, or broken stitching repaired in case his ability to glove a ball cleanly was impaired. A message here for current keepers wanting to improve their performance, while at the same time wanting to promote a particular sponsor's product.

Posted by Micgyver on (January 12, 2013, 0:51 GMT)

I agree with some of Healys comments.Wade hasnt been great behind the stumps but at least see how his keeping stands up in India.In any case, Tim Paine should go to India as well.

Posted by MenFromMarts on (January 11, 2013, 23:59 GMT)

I have been saying for two years now TOM TRIFFITT is the best keeper in Australia and an incredible long term investment. I have watched Wade away from the stumps. If a good return comes in - there is no acknowledgement. He does not get to the stumps quickly for an impending run out. He is not reading the spin for stumpings and unconventional nicks. All basic stuff. An athletic diving catch does not equal the total sum of an allround wicketkeeper. Chandimal was better than him the third test.

Posted by azzaman333 on (January 11, 2013, 23:43 GMT)

@Stephen Groat; How exactly are the selectors showing loyalty to the players if they drop Wade? And no, Haddin did not excel. He took one good diving catch (where he had nothing to lose), but fumbled a fair few others that he simply should've been cleaner to. Don't let one spectacular act blind you to the overall mediocre performance, because that attitude is the same one that kept Marcus North in the side despite consistent failure with a rare 100 thrown in. What it comes down to is that Haddin can't get any better, but Wade has heaps of upside, despite being at a similar standard already.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 11, 2013, 23:24 GMT)

@Winsome, I agree, Tim Paine should be in the team instead of Wade, you might as well give the gloves to Cowan if you don't have Paine in the team. The irony there is that Australia have had five long years of 'Paine' watching England sail above them in the rankings and best them every time they meet, whether it be Ashes thrashings or ODI whitewashes (2012).

Posted by ygkd on (January 11, 2013, 22:52 GMT)

I agree with previous comment that Brad Haddin doesn't anticipate well, but would say the worst at anticipation I have ever seen is the present Test encumbent. The photo above does nothing to dispel such thinking. Unfortunately, one could surely find tv replays which show more of the same. Matty Wade might do some hard things but the hardest thing I reckon he's ever done is making Geraint Jones' keeping look like quality work! Come to think of it, Jones is an ex-Queenslander. I wonder if he's available for the next Ashes? Jones' FC stumping aggregate & percentage-of-dismissals is far superior and so is his anticipation and movement towards the path of the ball.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 11, 2013, 22:44 GMT)

@Meety. Fair enough re:Berry. When selected for Australia, Healy was nowhere near the best keeper in Australia, he wasn't even the best in his age group as a guy called Bronko D'Jura was always picked ahead of him, but decided to go with Rugby League (South Sydney) as it was more lucrative (probably a bad decision in hindsight given he had a serious career ending injury 3 or so years after his career in first grade started). Haddin's performance last night was top shelf, anyone who thinks he is hopeless obviously has no idea. I am also really looking forward to seeing how Paine's injury pulled up as I have yet to see him in a live match.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 11, 2013, 22:28 GMT)

Wade's batting against South Africa was not good enough to be a specialist batsman. He needs to be wicket keeper if he plays. However, he is still young and the keepers before him all were average when they started.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 21:58 GMT)

Totally agree with Ian Healey's comments (best Australian Wicketkeeper in the last 30+ years). Brad Haddin should be keeping wickets for Australia (teach Wade how to field and play him as Test number 6). The selectors need to demonstrate some loyalty to their players (if they expect some in return).

It was obvious in last night's one-dayer that given the lack of experience in the Australian team that an old head like Haddin is just the tonic they need (and didn't he excel in that role).

The Ashes are on the line here and Haddin is required (as the number 1 keeper)when they travel to England if we want them back.

Posted by Gowza on (January 11, 2013, 21:36 GMT)

reckon it's a bit harsh, haddin had to work hard on his keeping to get it up to scratch, haddin definitely made a lot of keeping mistakes in his time as test wicky so i don't know why healy thinks he's so much better than wade, all in all wade and haddin have pretty similar ability in both batting and keeping just wade is younger with more potential to grow. now in regards to gilchrist he was a quality keeper so again, very harsh for healy to just say gilchrist was relevant. healy might very well have been australia's best pure gloveman but gilchrist wasn't far behind and was far superior with the bat.

Posted by fear_warner on (January 11, 2013, 21:34 GMT)

Haddin looked good yesterday behind the stumps taking a brilliant catch that left me wondering if Wade would have taken. However I have watched plenty of dissapointing performances from Haddin for Aus with both the gloves and the bat. Hads can be v good but he is not brilliant. He does however bring needed experience to the young Oz team but I am not sure how good his cricket mind is. Wade certainly needs to improve his glovework quicktime though. Oz clearly need at this time a v good gloveman who can also contribute in the batting dept. for this young Oz team.

Posted by spills on (January 11, 2013, 19:50 GMT)

I also don't know why Coverdale tires to perpetuate the myth Healy was a great gloveman, superior to Gilchrist. Just look at their records from any perspective: wickets per test, stumpings as a percentage of overall dismissals and you see that Gilchrist was a far superior keeper. And I don't seem to remember Gilchrist losing a series by having a stumping chance off a spinner go through his legs. At least someone is mentioning the lack of support behind the stumps that Lyon received in the test series, and that includes from Clarke as well who dropped a straight forward catch off Sangakara. Come to think of it, I would like to see Healy back to keeping, or somewhere away from the commentary team. His inane, contradictory and incessant babble is probably better suited to behind the stumps than on television, and maybe he could take Taylor with him.

Posted by Winsome on (January 11, 2013, 19:48 GMT)

Tim Paine is a far better keeper than Haddin or Wade up to the stumps. Haddin is rubbish if he's close in.

Posted by Markus971 on (January 11, 2013, 19:25 GMT)

I agree with the selectors! Stick with M.Wade!! - I.Healy dropped catches & missed stumpings, many actually !! I watched I.Healy make Rookie mistakes on & off all through His career. - B.Haddin doesn't anticipate well ... U can c that repeatedly bya lack of movement of the Feet, He's always throwing himself out at wide ones to the pace bowlers!! - A.Gilchrist did have a few "off days" as well, though overal...l He was definitely as good a keeper as I.Healy

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 19:23 GMT)

Healy is right in his criticisms of Wade's glovework but does he really think Haddin deserved to start this summer? Really?! After he had been putting substandard performances in for SO long with the bat AND the gloves and Wade had just won us a test match against the WI?

Posted by anurade on (January 11, 2013, 19:11 GMT)

Also, Just look at this picture in the article, he is already looking at where the ball should have gone and his hands are tucked in at the body. even if the ball had hit the gloves, it would not have stuck as he has no room for the ride. It also clearly shows that he expected the ball to be hit and not missed.

Posted by Webba84 on (January 11, 2013, 19:10 GMT)

Not really understanding the Healy bashing here. He is 100% right about Wades keeping so who gives a fart how good he was compared to Gilchrist or if you like him or not. Hope Wade or someone steps up behind the stumps, Haddin certainly looked pretty impressive yesterday.

Posted by anurade on (January 11, 2013, 18:59 GMT)

this will help. Anyway it is good to see Hadding back as he is the best available in Australia although he is also not upto Healey or Marshs standard yet. Wade also needs to practice keeping up to the wickets to medium pacers which will drastically improve and help his technique standing upto spinners.If you cannot read your spinners which is a big part you can always have secret signal (you need to change it often to avoid other teams catching on to them) between you too until you feel you can read them without any help. This will relieve part of your time to read it and process while the ball is in flight. One good thing for Wade is that he should not be discouraged as australian WK's do not get the same exposure as sub continent WK's where they would have 50 overs of spin in every game they play.

Posted by anurade on (January 11, 2013, 18:47 GMT)

This proves my earlier comment when there was a doubt who will keep for australia this summer. I mentioned, both are very good batsmen who can be in the XI with their batting alone and I did suggest that Wade should bat at 6 and Hadding at 7. I agree with Healey completely on Wades wicket keeping as it is clear he has a concentration problem and he is not expecting every ball to come to him. It is as simple as that. As a WK you have to expect and want to think that you will get every ball. If you can do that 85% of the job is done. The rest will have to be the technique and fitness. As Healy mentions not getting up to the wicket to take returns happens when you are not fully fit and fatigue has set in. On his technique, he needs to have the gloves in front of the eyes so that you have room to ride the take and follow the ball. He also needs to work on his footwork moving to the legside as you han clearly see whenever he does he is hoping the ball would stick rather than seeing it. Hope

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 18:09 GMT)

Tim Paine is immense. Saw him standing up to Jackson Bird in the Australia A tour in England at Old Trafford and he was immaculate. If he hadn't had all the unfortunate injuries he'd be getting towards a 50 cap now...

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 16:50 GMT)

Why is Peter Neville never mentioned?

Posted by tfjones1978 on (January 11, 2013, 16:10 GMT)

I think Healy has been upset for the last 13 years because a younger better Wicky called Gilly was to replace him. Gilly is considered by many to be the best wicky-batsmen Australia has ever had. Its kinda hard for Haddin or Wade or any others to compete with that. To state that Gilly was not the wicky that Healy was or that Wade isnt good enough to be our wicky is showing disrespect for other players. Healy was our wicky when we didnt have much standard, and he cost us a series, lets never forget that Pak won because he missed a simple take!

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 15:49 GMT)

With Hussey leaving a void in the middle order and Wade's keen interest in bowling part time, why don't the Australian selectors consider selecting him as a specialist no. 6 batsman and running a better gloveman at 7?

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 15:19 GMT)

@ Jonathon_E Andy Flower seems to have escaped your list. 12 test centuries and average of 50+ should just about get him on the list. You are right about Healy being fairly average in terms of wicketkeepers batting efforts. Not so sure he was such a great gloveman, two missed stumpings off Shane Warne would have changed one series outcome in India and they were relatively easy ones at that.

Posted by swamistyle on (January 11, 2013, 15:12 GMT)

While Wade made some mistakes he will get better, just like Gilchrist & even Healy himself who were both average keepers when they started their careers for Australia. Or has Healy forgotten? Wade this summer is a massive improvement on what Haddit dished up last summer with the gloves & bat. I cannot believe Haddit was re-called for the ODIs & is probably odds on to tour India & England! Tim Paine should have been picked. I don't know about Hartley, he could be one of Healy's mates? The cricketing media in Australia is dominated by NSW bias (e.g. Channel 9, Fox Sports, etc). Their incessant cheerleading of Haddit all summer & magnifying of every Wade error has finally worn down the selectors into recalling Haddit. & it helps when the captain of Australia is also 1 of your best mates & has a voice on the selection table!

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 14:41 GMT)

I agree with Healy with wades glove work as the keepers number 1 job is to keep tidily. Scoring runs is important but you need the batsmen to score the runs. Too many of the top 3 were scoring nice 50,60,70 s etc but not going on frequently enough to get the 100. This problem placed pressure on Clarke, Hussey and wade to score big runs. Haddin or Hartley should be given the gloves and give wade a chance to play as a batsmen. Australia is trying to find another gilchrist but I don't think there is one out there at the moment. They should deal with what they've got and not what they haven't got.

Posted by reddawn1975 on (January 11, 2013, 14:33 GMT)

Australia are blooding the future 1 man is ready for the job had the job did the job Tim Paine his class in the big bash has been on display for all to see and he is a much better player at both test and 50 overs.I feel for Haddin but they should have left him out harsh but hey Mike Hussey was dropped due to looking towards the future

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 13:46 GMT)

@ Jonathon_E Andy Flower seems to have escaped your list. 12 test centuries and average of 50+ should just about get him on the list. You are right about Healy being fairly average in terms of wicketkeepers batting efforts. Not so sure he was such a great gloveman, two missed stumpings off Shane Warne would have changed one series outcome in India and they were relatively easy ones at that.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 13:10 GMT)

@LillianThomson, that is one of the worst teams I've seen suggested in recent times. You say a horses-for-courses team, yet pick Watson who isn't a great player of spin. Tim Paine? He averages 15 this year and throughout his whole career has only ever hit 1 century. ONE. How does that get him a spot in the side? And you drop Hughes, one of our most inform batsman? He's not even a good player of spin...keep the same side IMO, but with Khawaja/D.Huss coming in for M.Huss.

As for Healy, yeah great wicketkeeper in his day. But a terrible commentator now. With the runs Wade's making now he'll be the best keeper/batsman in the world in a couple of years if he works hard on his keeping (and all reports out of the Aussie camp say he's a hard worker). There's no one worth dropping him for, Haddin's too old, Paine can't hit a run as with Hartley. Nevill is his biggest threat but still needs another year or so of scoring consistent runs.

Posted by RaadQ on (January 11, 2013, 13:00 GMT)

I think people over estimate Wade's batting. It was short of spectacular against the South Africans, and he did manage to get runs against a dismal Srilankan attack with no pressure and usually an old ball. I'm willing to wager he will struggle against Indian spin and the Ashes in England. On top, his wicket keeping/fielding isn't that great. Australia's weakness in the wicket keeping department will soon be exposed.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 12:54 GMT)

Surprised Healy is criticising an aussie. He is the most biased commentator ever. He is right here though. Wade making a ton last test wont see him going soon. Interesting times

Posted by azzaman333 on (January 11, 2013, 12:49 GMT)

Haddin showed tonight that he is not the solution. Keeping up to the stumps to the darts of Doherty, Maxwell and Hussey, he made a few fumbles, and had a moment where he bizarrely tried to avoid the ball when there was an edge that ballooned over him. Luckily for Haddin, none of the fumbles came when there was an edge, and the one that ballooned over him was nothing more than a half chance at best, so they were glossed over. Wade's just been terribly unlucky in that the few fumbles he's made always seem to be when there's a wicket up for grabs. What it comes down to is that Wade has enormous potential, both as batsman and keeper, but he needs time in the middle in international conditions to eradicate those few lapses in concentration. No other keeper in the country can play the sort of fighting, dominant innings Wade can like the 3rd tests of both the Sri Lanka and West Indies series.

Posted by CarloL on (January 11, 2013, 12:35 GMT)

Not sue what Heals is on at the moment, on 6-Jan in the SMH he was saying Wade was becoming one of Australia's great wicketkeeper-batsmen, and while he acknowledged some missed catches/stumpings, he still believes Wade will iron out any keeping deficiencies with time as is on his side. Now he's saying he can't understand why the selectors had chosen Wade ahead of Brad Haddin at the start of this summer? Needless to say, I completely agree with the sentiment that you need a keeper first and foremost, and if he's handy with the bat then that's a bonus.

SMH article:

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 11, 2013, 12:29 GMT)

Oh Randy and Jonesy, where are you when The Great Ian Healy kicks your opinions of Wade into the gutter and tells everyone else that they were right all along? Golden. What a humiliation for Wade, without doubt the worst keeper in world cricket. Shall I start a comparison with English keeper Matty Prior? I'll be nice and save Aussie fans the pain..:)

Posted by Jonathan_E on (January 11, 2013, 12:08 GMT)

Healy's batting was definitely not sub-par by the standards of his time: his average dropped near the end of his career to finish on 27, but he spent most of his career averaging either side of 30, and hit 4 centuries and a lot of useful fifties.

By comparison with those around him:

AJ Stewart - avg 40, 15 centuries, but played half his career as a pure batsman where his average was higher. As keeper, he averaged mid-30s at best. RC Russell - avg 27, 2 centuries. ID Smith - avg 25, 2 centuries AC Parore - avg 26, 2 centuries MV Boucher - avg 30, 5 centuries. DJ Richardson - avg 25, 1 century PJ Dujon - avg 31, 5 centuries JR Murray - avg 22, 1 century RD Jacobs - avg 28, 3 centuries KS More - avg 25, 0 centuries NR Mongia - avg 24, 1 century S Yousuf - avg 27, 0 centuries M Khan - avg 28, 4 centuries R Latif - avg 28, 1 century RS Kaluwitharana - avg 26, 3 centuries

It can be seen that keepers averaging 30+ were the exception in Healy's day.

Posted by dwblurb on (January 11, 2013, 11:57 GMT)

From some of the comments on here one might be excused for believing Bard Haddin to be a wicketkeeper of high quality. Clearly some people have short memories.

Posted by dwblurb on (January 11, 2013, 11:54 GMT)

Those who keep saying that Haddin is such a fine player of spin don't seem to have examined his record in India too closely. In 2008 he seemed to think he could continually bash them back over their heads as he does on hard Australian wickets. Sadly, he usually ended up being caught at mid-off or on the boundary. Unless he has had a patience transplant since then, there's little reason to suggest he would do any better next time around.

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (January 11, 2013, 11:54 GMT)

Andrew-schulz, you know what you're talking about. I remember vividly the 1997 Butcher stumping. Everyone talks about S. Waughs hundred in each innings but that stumping when England were cruising triggered a collapse and put Australia in a dominant position. No other 'keeper I've seen since could have made that stumping. Get rid of this idea about 'keeper/batsman and pick the best gloveman, please.

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (January 11, 2013, 11:49 GMT)

I agree about the best gloveman being given the job. Graham Manou missed out because Haddin was a better batsman. Now we see the situation where a 'keeper knows he will never get picked unless he averages over 40, glovework comes second. A missed stumping chance against someone like Tendulkar would cost more than 40 runs.

Posted by ozziespirit on (January 11, 2013, 11:49 GMT)

A damning indictment of Wade and all those who continue to support him, whether it be through blind support of country or general cricket blindness. Wade is one of the worst keepers Australia have ever fielded, but in the words of RandyOz, 'He's the best we've got'. Says it all really.

Posted by bobbo2 on (January 11, 2013, 11:47 GMT)

Haddin is no star behind the stumps and he has shown time and again that he throws his wicket away. Wade is a far superior batsman and i would have him in the team. Agreed he hasn't been the best behind the stumps but Haddin wasn't any better.

Posted by ozziespirit on (January 11, 2013, 11:47 GMT)

Oh Randy and Jonesy, where are you on this one? Who do you think should replace the worst keeper Australia have ever fielded? Brice Mcgain?

Posted by meursault on (January 11, 2013, 11:31 GMT)

I agree that the test side should include the country's best wicketkeeper and that Australia's best wicketkeeper is clearly not Wade. I'd take Haddin or Paine over him for the next two test series -- he can work on his glovework in the short form game for a couple of years. However, people need to calm down about how good Healy was as a keeper himself. One of my enduring memories of players individually losing matches was his missed stumping of Inzamum in 1994 that handed Pakistan four winning leg byes to win by one wicket - match 63654, check it out. Even this tends to reinforce Healy's point - choose the best keeper because it's important to minimise mistakes. Having made one like this himself, he understands this.

Posted by popcorn on (January 11, 2013, 11:26 GMT)

I entirely agree with Ian Healy that Mathew Wade's wicket -keeping is very poor. A classic example of his poor glovework and anticipation was in the Adelaide Test against South Africa. He had no business to stand close to the stumps to fast bowler Ben Hilfenhaus, because of which he dropped Faf du Plessis,and South Africa were able to draw the match - Australia would have won that match,and gone one up in the series. That win would have deflated South Africa. Instead, Australia were drained out, and lost the WACA Test - and with it the Number one Test Ranking.Mathew Wade could be a Number 6 batsman ALONe. we should take Brad Haddin to India and The Ashes gfor his wicket -keeping ALONE. Those who saw the horizontal catch he took to dismiss Dinesh Chandimal today at the MCGwould bear me out that he is a far better wicket-keeper than Mathew Wade.Sri Lanka takes two wicket keepers,Sangakara and Prasanna Jayawardene. the latter is the first chice wicket keeper now, Sangakara is the batsman.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 11:25 GMT)

To be real who would you pick first Healy gilly Paine haddin or wade. Gilly would be first always. If you go on who is closest to gilly now you would have to say haddin.

Posted by wellrounded87 on (January 11, 2013, 11:16 GMT)

@Gilly4ever are you serious? 3 missed stumpings and two dropped (easy) catches is hardly doing everything right, and he is hardly a better keeper than Ian Healy.

Ian Healy is widely regarded as one of the best gloveman ever. His batting was sub par but his work behind the stumps was phenomenal particularly with Warnie bowling. That is why he kept his spot on the team, he took wickets and saved runs and he also put in a decent score now and then.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 10:56 GMT)

@Brendan Carter do the statistics include # opportunities created? I didn't think so which is the point Heals was making. Wade's keeping hasn't been up to par, but he did come in due to Haddin's poor form and Paine's injury - and has done well with the bat. In any case, I think Paine deserves the spot ahead of the two incumbents.

Posted by Meety on (January 11, 2013, 10:49 GMT)

@straight_drive4 on (January 11 2013, 10:20 AM GMT) - only a West-Ozzy could say that Zoeherer was a better keeper than Healy - LOL! @ygkd on (January 11 2013, 09:16 AM GMT) - yes, I think there was truth & a bit of parochial BS too! Dunno. @Gordo85 on (January 11 2013, 07:51 AM GMT) - I've always thought on pure keeping, Hartley was easily the best in Oz. In regards his batting, if you looked at the back half of his FC career his average is (from memory), around 40. So his career record could be considered a bit misleading. I think two summers ago he led the QLD run-scoring?

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 10:37 GMT)

matthew wade is the kamaran akmal of Australia

Posted by andrew-schulz on (January 11, 2013, 10:35 GMT)

I cannot believe the ignorance of most in this forum in assessing wicketkeepers. Brendon Carter, Healy had a stumping every 4.3 Tests, Gilchrist every 5.2, so I don't know where you get your figures from. It proves nothing though. Healy was simply far superior up at the stumps. In fact, he was notably the best keeper to spin than anyone in the 43 years I have watched Test cricket, going back to Brian Taber. By a mile. Stumpings of Thorpe in Perth in 1995, Haynes in Adelaide in 1993, and Butcher at a vital time in the Ashes of 1997 at Old Trafford were dismissals none of his contemporaries were capable of. Some of you have very poor memories.

Posted by straight_drive4 on (January 11, 2013, 10:20 GMT)

@gilly4ever - ha ha... Are you trying to be the next Andy zaltman? Say stupid things just to get a response? I reckon Stuart McGill (without gloves) could keep better than wade at the moment... Honestly.

Posted by andrew-schulz on (January 11, 2013, 10:16 GMT)

Wade a better keeper than Healy? You are out of your depth, Gilly4ever. And who on earth chooses the featured comments?

Posted by ygkd on (January 11, 2013, 10:04 GMT)

Looking back to Gilchrist last decade and across to de Villiers in SA in order to justify the current tenure is pointless. One just has to be honest about this. Wade cannot bat like them. Unfortunately, he doesn't keep as well as them either! ... And yes, @meaty, Warne was reported as saying that Berry was the best gloveman he played with. I think it may have been Saker who used to say you didn't need a first slip with him behind the stumps. And now Berry reportedly said that Ludeman is the best in the country. Now, parochialism/mateship may have come in to play there (Warne/Saker & a Vic mate, Berry the coach & his SA team-member), but both statements may still not be entirely wrong.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (January 11, 2013, 9:39 GMT)

Ian Healy was *NOT* the best keeper at the time that he was playing test cricket. Initially, the best keeper was Tim Zoehrer but later Zoehrer was overtaken by Adam Gilchrist. Healy only got in because the Australian selectors were sick of chopping and changing keepers. Matthew Wade, in comparison, is either the best or second best keeper, probably alongside Hartley. Brad Haddin was never close to the best, nor was Tim Paine, nor was that other guy whose name escapes me. Ian Healy's opinion very much can be dismissed. Wade has done absolutely everything right and is one hell of a better keeper than Healy ever was.

Posted by azzaman333 on (January 11, 2013, 9:35 GMT)

Healy just wants his buddy Haddin back in the team. He's looking solely at the negatives of the other theoretical candidates, and ignoring the clear deficiencies that Haddin has. He also conveniently ignores how terrible Haddin's form was before he went home from the West Indies, and how he was extremely lucky not to have been dropped before he left for personal reasons.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 9:35 GMT)

Check Gilly`s statistics, compared too Healy`s, statistics don`t tell everything, but they don`t lie either. Statistically speaking, Gilly, was a far better keeper, than Healy, and Gilly` was in real life, Healy was average keeping up to the stumps. Compare Stumpings, per number of Test Matches, between both, and remember, Healy had 2 top class spinners he kept to, Gilly only had 1.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 9:32 GMT)

Healy might be right about Wade but he clearly has no idea what makes a good keeper.If he think Haddin is a good keeper then he should get his eyes checked. He is worse than Wade!!!. Paine is far better then both.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 9:21 GMT)

Actually, Healy` has a really high opinion, of his own ability, Gilly` was a better keeper up to the stumps. Haddin` had 2 years of horrible glove-work`, against both spin, and pace, and his batting was just terrible. What Healy, is not saying, is that Nathan Lyon, is a tall, upright off-spinner, who extracts amazing bounce, and variable bounce, any keeper, no matter what grade they play, will tell you an Off-Spinner who extracts, extravagant bounce, is the toughest spinner too keep to. Chris Hartley, is from Queensland, Healy`s home state, and he is not any better, than other State keepers, most biased, pathetic article. Healy has cracked the shit`s, because Wade, has asked Gilly, for assistance, and Wade is working closely with Gilly, trying too improve.

Posted by ygkd on (January 11, 2013, 9:16 GMT)

I don't understand how Wade is supposed to improve sufficiently. Rixon has a fine record as a player & team coach, but I still can't see how years of poor technique will be sorted quickly if at all. Therefore, to leave Wade in till he gets the hang of it is ridiculous. Australia has a problem with spin. It cannot be truly fixed without a quality gloveman. Wade is fine as a backup on a tour, who'd probably get to play as a batsman, but as a Victorian I've been unimpressed with his glovework for years and my opinion hasn't changed because his keeping to spin has hardly changed (except now he doesn't stick his right foot out as much as he used to, which is a step in the right direction, but only one step on a long journey). Ludeman, who is the same age, left Victoria & his improvement has been marked. Wade's improvement during the same period is minimal. It is time to move on. He has taken quite a few dismissals, but his best was a footy mark, so let him field out there, at full-forward!

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 9:06 GMT)

I agree with this article, give me a keeper who averages 25-30 and takes his chances behind the stumps. We would've beaten SAf in Adelaide if Wade hadn't dropped Du Plessis, and it's also true Lyon would have more wickets and be riding higher in confidence. If a keeper averages 20 runs less but takes 1 more chance each game then we're miles ahead!!

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 11, 2013, 9:00 GMT)

A damniung indictment of Wade and all those who continue to support him, whether it be through blind support of country of general cricket blindness. Wade is one of the worst keepers Australia have ever fielded, but in the words of RandyOz, 'He's the best we've got'. Says it all really.

Posted by 200ondebut on (January 11, 2013, 8:36 GMT)

I'm not sure Aus need a good keeper - just a stopper. They don't have any quality spinners and the seam attack rarely beat the bat. So in essence all they need is someone to catch the ball when it is thrown back from the boundary. Healy is right about Wade - he didn't get the nickname "cymbals" for nothing. (then again Healy wasn't called Sealy for no reason either)

Posted by Meety on (January 11, 2013, 8:28 GMT)

@Chris_P on (January 11 2013, 07:23 AM GMT) - well I am probably the last person to comment on Darren Berry as I thought he was a bit overrated. Warney seemed to think he was the man to take over from Healy though! What I do remember is that Healy took over from Zoeherer who was a better batsmen & inferior keeper! I'll pass on any further comment on Berry though (& for that matter as Nielsens coaching stint is still too raw, I won't comment on him either!!!)! re: Rixon - I really highly rate his cricket brain & would assume he would be pretty good at helping a keeper too, but you could say (forgetting about personal issues), even Haddin slumped in keeping form during Rixon's time - DESPITE an overall upward trend in general fielding since Rixon has been involved. Dissappointing & a fair bit confusing too!

Posted by righthandbat on (January 11, 2013, 8:14 GMT)

I know Gilchrist changed 'things' with the expectation of a WK to score runs. Any day I would rather pick the keeper with the best keeping ability, even if they have an average under 10. If their batting isn't that great - bat them at 8 - Healy did many times. Encourage a second-line bowler as an all-rounder at 7. Or let them grow as a batsman over time.

Wade wasn't impressive by any means with the gloves and with players like Khawaja, Bailey or D. Hussey to take the number 6 spot - it wouldn't be sensible to choose him as a batsman alone.

Posted by Gordo85 on (January 11, 2013, 7:51 GMT)

The funny thing is though that Haddin isn't the best state gloveman at all. I agree with mattboosa about Hartley he is the best on in Australian state cricket. The good thing about Hartley was he won Queensland The Sheffield Shield scoring handy runs in a hard fought game. Sure sometimes he does fail but you need to take the good with the bad. You know what I would say it basicly should be Wade and Hartley and the third should be Paine. Hartley is the oldest one so why not let him play matches until he is too old but play Wade and or Paine in the ODI's or Twenty/20 teams? I mean Hartley isn't the best in the shorter formats but he is at his best at the longest format. Come on Healy if you are serious start pumping up Hartley. But keep in mind Hartley isn't as old as Haddin is.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 7:42 GMT)

As ordinary as Wade's glovework was a times in the series against Sri Lanka, I don't think it helps anyone at all to start pretending Haddin was ever that much better. Haddin is really very similar to Wade - they both rely on their ability with the bat to encourage selectors to look past their deficiencies behind the stumps.

One of the sad things about Paine's injury woes is he really is an excellent keeper and potentially better with the bat than either Wade or Haddin. Here's hoping he can stay fit and take his chances.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 7:32 GMT)

While Heals says that Gilly was of relevance to his team, I can't help thinking that the memory of Gilchrist replacing him due to his amazing batting talents might be informing these comments somewhat.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 11, 2013, 7:23 GMT)

@Meety, correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Darren Barry the best gloveman around when they selected Healy for his batting? Add Nielson into that mix as well. And agree, with Rixon, I was expecting an improvement over Wade.

Posted by Big-Dog on (January 11, 2013, 7:20 GMT)

@Mattboosa. You are wrong. Tim Paine is the best gloveman in Australia & has always been better than Wade & Haddin. He should have been selected as Wade's stand in instead of the aging Haddin.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 7:19 GMT)

This is insane. On January 6th, after Wade scored a ton but did drop a couple of chances, Ian Healy came out and said Wade could be one of Australia's greatest wicketkeeper-batsmen. What's more, he also said "'It's a hard road. He's the right age and he's got all the skills and the ability so he'll get there."

And yes, Wade did drop another chance in the second innings, but other than that, there was no change between when he said that and what he's said now. I'm not necessarily saying that Healy's comments today are completely untrue, I'm just trying to point out that Healy may have a tendency to play things up to suit the mood. My thoughts are that Wade needs to improve his up to the stumps keeping. When he's back for the pace bowlers, he does a very solid job and lets few byes through. Plus, anyone remember the catch on boxing day?

Here's the article I'm talking about.

Posted by Tyson_1960 on (January 11, 2013, 7:09 GMT)

Ian Healy - the older he gets, the better he was! Healy was hardly the best gloveman in the country when he got the gig, and if the selectors had pulled the plug on him when they should have we might have got two more Gilchrist years. Any credibility he may have offered was shot to pieces when he described Gilchrist as adequate! Using Healy's theory Iron Gloves would have been dropped after one season also.

Posted by Tova on (January 11, 2013, 6:49 GMT)

Ian Healy has a very short memory... When he was selected in the late 80's he was hardly the best keeper in Australia and his glovework wasn't great. Nor did he make many runs. He was persevered with and came out as a legend. His argument that the current Aus team can't carry Wade smacks of hypocrisy as that Australian team he started in couldn't afford to carry a keeper who dropped a few either, yet they kept him in the side and showed faith...

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 6:49 GMT)

Last year Healy heavily criticised Haddin, he of course was unaware of Haddin's daughter's illness, once he got aware of Haddin's predicament he wants to undo the wrong he thinks he might have done to have criticised Haddin in the first place, Haddin is a wonderful player of spin and only other player apart from skipper Clarke to to use his feet against the spinners, he could well play as a specialist batsman in the side for the tour of India.

Posted by crow_eater on (January 11, 2013, 6:48 GMT)

I'd have to agree with most people here, Heals has a bad memory not to remember Haddins last 2 seasons behind the stumps, woeful. But I do agree that poor Nathan Lyon has had a raw deal, bagged for not taking wickets but with Wade & Clarke both missing repeated chances doesn't help his cause. Now to put my Ian Healy jingoistic state hat on I have just 1 name for our next keeper. LUDES!!!!!!!!!!!! There I've put it out there, feel better for it already.

Posted by Wefinishthis on (January 11, 2013, 6:46 GMT)

Haddin is an average gloveman and a very average batsman. I remember him dropping a sitter off Pattinson in one of his last games and when you add to the fact that he hadn't been contributing with the bat and is one of the oldest members of the team, Haddin can't complain about not getting a fair go. Wade's almost scored more centuries at a higher average than Haddin already having played only roughly a quarter of the games. His first century was a critical innings as well. I'm more disappointed that Nevill never gets his due as he's a good keeper, still in his mid-late 20's unlike Hartley and unlike everyone else but Wade, averages 43 and can actually bat. Paine and Triffit aren't test batsmen. Wade and Nevill are. Hartley is a handy batsman though. The world has changed though, keepers must be able to bat now and if one had to choose between Gilchrist and Healy as a no.7, you'd take Gilchrist every time.

Posted by ruggeds on (January 11, 2013, 6:45 GMT)

While a quality keeper is always a test priority, Australia are desperate for someone who can score runs. With Cowen, Hughes and Watson all yet to prove they have what it takes to be top order test players their is no way in the world they can afford to drop a keeper who is scoring runs

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 11, 2013, 6:42 GMT)

Fair enough comment, he dropped 3 of lyon in Sydney. I can recall a couple of howlers inthe SOuth African series. Due to his keeping we were unable to close out a victory against South Africa and Lyon has had to put up with pressure on his performance. Saying that I would stick with him but he has to improve and in a hurry.

Posted by pulkit10 on (January 11, 2013, 6:24 GMT)

Why not give Haddin a chance? I don't know but it could have something to with things like him throwing his wicket away, not really being that much better than Wade at keeping, being on the wrong side of the 30s and most importantly, having a big mouth that he often used to harass sides for no real reason. I'm glad he is gone - let this be a lesson to all.

Wade is a fine batsman as well - he puts a value on his wicket and is willing to learn and put the hard work in. Sure, he isn't the finest keeper around but as long as he is doing an adequate job, I don't see an issue especially since he IS still a relatively inexperienced player. Give him his course for he has earned it.

Posted by DylanBrah on (January 11, 2013, 6:17 GMT)

Haddin was absolutely woeful last summer. I think Tim Paine should be the WK, but it seems impossible to drop Wade after scoring a century. There is no place for him as a specialist batsmen either.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 6:15 GMT)

I like the fact that Healy made a point of stating that Lyon has been dudded by having Wade behind the stumps this summer. Everyone's crying out for Lyon to be dropped, but if Wade takes those chances off his bowling - some of which would have been game-turners - then all of a sudden his average is better, he has more wickets and he's potentially bowled us to victory in a test or two.

Posted by shane_sauvarin on (January 11, 2013, 6:06 GMT)

Really poor comments from Heals. I am so sick of this idea that somehow Haddin was unlucky to be dropped from the team. His form for almost 2 years was terrible. Moreso, he placed zero value on his wicket with some riduclous shots, and his glovework was no better than Wade's current form.

The best test playing nation South Africa plays a gun batsmen (AB) who can keep well enough, so if it works for them, then it is good enough for us.

Sure Wade needs to tighten things up, but he is the man for our test team, and the sooner people get a clear memory of the form Haddin was in, the sooner these kinds of arguements will disappear.

Posted by hannibal_king on (January 11, 2013, 5:51 GMT)

healy himself was the one who criticized haddin for his glovework the season before

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 5:51 GMT)

Haddin was terrible in his last 18 months in the team. His glove work had fallen away and his batting was prone to brain explosions. At 35 you can forget him. If there is to be a discussion over Wade's place, it must only be with Paine.

Posted by Meety on (January 11, 2013, 5:50 GMT)

IMO - part of the reason Haddin was dropped was because of the bagging he got from Healy! C'mon Healy, offer some training before you stick the boot in. That said, with Rixon on the coaching staff, I have found it dissappointing that Wade's keeping has seemed to regress!

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 5:48 GMT)

Healy is one to put the boot into keepers at any opportunity, and this is another case. He did it to Gilchrist, he did it to Haddin and Paine as well. This is his mantra.

He is probably the worst commentator going and anyone who puts any value in his opinion needs to have a good hard look at themselves.

Wade has done a sound job, Paine is still not back to his best post injury, Haddin has run his course and Hartley looks like he will unfortunately be passed over.

My Ashes keepers would be Wade and Hartley, but they will take Wade and Paine, I feel.

Posted by bobbo2 on (January 11, 2013, 5:47 GMT)

Haddin also struggled, had a big mouth and threw his wicket away all the time. Wade is a better batsman who can apply himself. No doubt Wade's keeping hasn't been perfect, but Haddin was no better. Wade deserves to keep his spot. No doubt he will improve and let's not forget even Gilly sued to spill a few.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 5:46 GMT)

I agree with Ian Healy.Bowlers in test matches particularly in Australia work so hard to get edges.It's vital to have a keeper who can take catches,so disappointing for the bowlers to watch a catch go to ground,also bad for team morale.Wade needs to keep his mouth closed and let the gloves do the talking

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 5:41 GMT)

Healy has lost the plot. Wade has missed 1-2 chances and took some amazing catches at the same time. Haddin's keeping last summer and also in the Big Bash has been deplorable. Hartley? Get real Healy. Healy is trying to make himself relevant considering ch 9 will drop him from the commentary team

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 5:37 GMT)

Haddin is hardly a brilliant gloveman. He's batsman-wicketkeeper in the gilchrist mould

Posted by handyandy on (January 11, 2013, 5:37 GMT)

I think that with Australia's current batting stocks Wade could fill in as a specialist batsman.

Having watched him struggle behind the stumps all season I think the selectors should take a punt on bringing someone like Hartley into the team and have Wade bat at 6.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 5:35 GMT)

Did Healy see Haddin against India? Well, yeah, he did because he commentated the series but apparently he wasn't watching as Haddin constantly dropped and fumbled everything that he was lucky enough to get his hands to. I think Wade is a good keeper - I've noticed that every fumble he's had has come when he's standing right up to the stumps. I think he's used to keeping further back for Victoria and is being pressured into it by a weird team culture that over-rates standing up to the stumps to a ridiculous degree.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 5:34 GMT)

paine is the best man for the job!!!

Posted by Dashgar on (January 11, 2013, 5:29 GMT)

Haddin wasn't a good keeper anyway. If they're gonna pick another keeper purely for glovework it has to be a new player, and I doubt they'll do that. Wade needs some work, but blindly criticising him won't help. Healy should be offering his services to Wade to help improve him.

Posted by zadeja on (January 11, 2013, 5:24 GMT)

Agreed Serious_Awesomeness: Healy even *said so*

I don't disagree Wade has been a problem; but there's a broader problem in that he is the third keeper in a row in the test side who has had superior keepers playing in Sheffield Shield cricket.

Posted by Kolpak1989 on (January 11, 2013, 5:21 GMT)

Haddin had an ordinary summer last year but prior to that he was always pretty good for Australia and has been in fantastic nick for nsw and the sixers this year. I would have thought Hads was Australia's first choice keeper. Wade needs to improve his glovework if he wants to stay in the test team. It's a shame Peter Nevill doesn't get to keep in shield cricket. When I've seen him he has always been a gun. Don't know much about Hartley.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 5:13 GMT)

Matthew Wade is young at 25 when compared to Haddin at 35. He's now in better batting form than Haddin as well. If you're going to replace Wade, do so with a promising youngster even if he doesn't perform as well with the bat.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 5:10 GMT)

I am sorry that Ian Healy has such a poor memoery.Haddins past 2 tours have been woefull Could not take tha ball and played terrible shots to be dismissed.Even Wade was better than Healys last tour He held on too long Gilchrist should have been in the side much sooner

Posted by SlipsGlance on (January 11, 2013, 5:08 GMT)

Gilly a bit better than 'adequate' behind the stumps, I think.

Posted by I-Like-Cricket on (January 11, 2013, 5:01 GMT)

I don't see why we can't play Matty Wade at 6 and a specialist keeper at 7 (I know Haddin's been in good touch this season in Shield cricket but he's too old), that being said Wade should be given the tour of India to prove himself as a batsman or a wicketkeeper

Posted by featurewriter on (January 11, 2013, 4:55 GMT)

Wade is doing enough with the bat, but I completely agree with Heals, he is nowhere good enough to keep at Test level. Hartley is arguably one of the best keepers in the world. I also highly rate Ludeman.

Posted by davidlen on (January 11, 2013, 4:51 GMT)

Paine can not only keep wickets with expertise, he scores runs. Should be there now. Typical Aussie Cricket Board competing with NZ Cricket to prove which one is worst administrator.

Posted by tmd1 on (January 11, 2013, 4:49 GMT)

Wade had trouble standing up to the stumps,this is due to the fact that he has not had much chance to learn in sheild cricket as it is mainly seamers.He at least took everything standing back unlike Haddin the previous summer who was terriable to the quicks.Paine is just stiff, without the injuries he has had he could have been well established in the test team and remember he made a 90 odd in a test in India and can bat in those conditions.Haddin is past it bring on the next generation.Hartley is going to be another Law ,Siddons and Hodge,good enough but just unlucky.PS Heals you were pretty crap when you started and you turned out a champ.

Posted by Ramsespd on (January 11, 2013, 4:44 GMT)

Gilchrist was an average keeper when he was picked for Australia who became a very good keeper when he finished. Haddin was an average keeper when picked for Australia and a woeful one when he finished. I'm happy for Wade to be picked as a batsman only (especially with his very impressive bowling in the test the other week) and should be replaced by a better keeper. Paine, Hartley, Ludeman or Nevill are all better keepers and generally solid batsmen. I will say in Wade's defence he seems to have main issues in keeping to spinners. I'm not surprised, early days playing for Victoria they had a dominant pace battery in Nannes, Harwood, Wright, McKay and the Pattos. Generally the spinners weren't given much of a bowl in McGain or Holland. Rather than criticize and join the past players looking after your mate squad (see Taylor, Slater, Lee etc) put your hand up and offer to coach the keepers in the country. Gilly improved after he was picked and he was past 30, give the boy a go.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 4:43 GMT)

healy ur jealous.....wade is next big thing in australian cricket gloveswise after gilchrist!!

Posted by nzcricket174 on (January 11, 2013, 4:37 GMT)

Tim Paine is the best keeper, then Chris Hartley.

Posted by ygkd on (January 11, 2013, 4:29 GMT)

The issue here is not comparative youth. There is a far better keeper in another state who is also 25 years of age. It is increasingly the modern way in Australia, though, to select keepers almost entirely for their batting. In that respect, I think Ian Healy is out-of-touch. And maybe if Healy, himself, hadn't so keenly joined the Haddin bandwagon, especially when it came to Haddin's batting, that wagon wouldn't have careered so far out-of-control. Haddin was on a hiding-to-nothing living up to all the expectations lumbered upon him. He was a reasonable bat & serviceable keeper. And he still is, but that doesn't make him the best choice now. Hartley has experience. Paine has a presence. Ludeman has a future. They are, I believe, the best 3. Wade isn't amongst that number, yet it is not entirely his fault. He should not have been placed in a position where he had to keep to spin because he does not have the technique for it & I doubt he ever really will, no matter what he's been told.

Posted by Louey on (January 11, 2013, 4:28 GMT)

About time someone came out and actually said how bad Wade was, instead of waffling on about "more time and opportunity" - but then he goes and spoils it by supporting the Queenslander, of course. Tim Paine was the keeper in waiting, and did nothing wrong when he played for Australia in England and INDIA !!, so the same could be said for him - that he should go straight back in now he's recovered from his injury. If we are looking to the future, then wasn't he being groomed as the best possibility for our next captain?? Wade has been terrible and should go - the 191 runs he made do not make up for the amount of runs Sri Lanka made after all his costly mistakes. It was nightmare stuff to watch.

Posted by scottyg on (January 11, 2013, 4:27 GMT)

If Haddin can't be dropped for bad form, what can he be dropped for- it's time Australia looked to the future- Haddin will not be round the test team in 2 years, and if he plays in the Ashes, Anderson and co. will be waiting ready to expose his weak technique against swing bowling. Healy seems to have been influenced by his NSW friends in the commentary box...

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 4:27 GMT)

I like wade, but Tim Paine should be the no. 1 keeper, i think wade hasnt scored more runs in his test career than runs he's given up in costly errors. I think maybe Wade should be no. 6 to replace the retiring hussey, and utilise his talented bowling ability, and bring in tim paine as the gloveman, he has started finding his form since returning from injury, and has shown he has what it takes at test level already.

Posted by Jenga94 on (January 11, 2013, 4:10 GMT)

Hahaha Heals this must be a joke. Brad Haddin should never be spoken of again in the test team. And now he throws in Hartley's name. I have honestly never seen him but he can't be much better than Paine surely, and Paine is younger.

Posted by spartan329 on (January 11, 2013, 4:10 GMT)

Haddin may have been harshly treated, but I don't think it's a big secret why Wade has retained the keeper's gloves. His batting is too important; after Wade's impressive debut hundred on a turning track in a series where not a single Australian top 6 batsmen made a century, and then the other impressive scores culminating with his century in Melbourne, he is far too valuable as an in-form batsman in what is now a vulnerable, young middle order. Ian Healy should shuttup and coach him to improve the inconsistent glovework.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 4:07 GMT)

@Serious_Awesomeness: Couldn't agree more. He was all over the shop behind the stumps and irresponsible, borderline brainless with the bat. If we had to pick a gloveman purely on their keeping skills, it would have to be Hartley with Paine a close second. Surely Hartley at least deserves one chance before he's over the hill?

Posted by rossco74 on (January 11, 2013, 3:58 GMT)

Healy calling for Hartley's inclusion was ridiculously predictable - I was reading this saying to myself, he's going to mention Hartley soon!! Loves a Queenslander. Wade will improve and if he doesn't, Paine is surely next in line. Haddin past it.

Posted by jazzaaaaaaaa on (January 11, 2013, 3:56 GMT)

I think Healy is forgetting how terrible Haddin was last Summer. He dropped some easy catches off the quicks, like when Gambhir was dropped off Pattinson's bowling in the Sydney Test. While Wade hasn't been good, he certainly hasn't been worse then what Haddin was last Summer. The only difference is the Indian batsman didn't take advantage of Haddin's mistakes where as South Africa did take advantage of Wade's, therefore magnifying his mistakes even more.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 3:56 GMT)

Have to agree with Heals on this one. Watching Wade keep was cringeworthy at times. He is a good batsmen, and that has to be the only thing keeping him in the side at the moment. Hartley would be good, but would probably have as much of a go as Manou did, and wouldn't be as effective with the bat as either Paine or Wade. Paine probably has about 6-8 years left and I would be looking at him for the spot.

Posted by RobTay14 on (January 11, 2013, 3:50 GMT)

I agree, Wade was pretty average behind the stumps. So many opportunities lost, the only thing saving him is his alright batting.

Posted by msg90 on (January 11, 2013, 3:43 GMT)

Go Heals! Bring on Hartley for the Ashes! He's a great gloveman and a gritty batsman, or at least he has been this season.

Posted by SamRoy on (January 11, 2013, 3:42 GMT)

It will be great if Australia picks Hartley (if he is better than Paine) as keeper for India and England. Wade can go as specialist batsman. It will improve Australia's chances of winning those series.

Posted by Serious_Awesomeness on (January 11, 2013, 3:42 GMT)

Classic revisionism. Haddin was woeful last summer, absolutely woeful, and deserved to be dropped from the test team. His batting was poor, and his glovework was even worse, and was certainly worse than Wade's was this summer. At pushing 35, it was time to move on. Yet now we have Haddin's cronies baying for his return, on the basis of his glovework?!? give me a break!

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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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