Australia in South Africa 2011-12 September 29, 2011

Paine's loss is Wade's gain


Matthew Wade is looking forward to making the most of his big break, he just wishes it hadn't arrived because of the wrong kind of break for his good mate Tim Paine. When Paine was ruled out of Australia's upcoming Twenty20s in South Africa due to a fractured finger, Wade, 23, was the logical choice to take the gloves.

As Victoria's wicketkeeper over the past four seasons, Wade has made impressive progress in both his glovework and his batting, and was second on the Ryobi Cup run tally last summer. He had moved to Melbourne from Hobart when he realised that sneaking past Paine into the Tasmania side would be a very difficult task.

Wade knew from personal experience just how good Paine was. The pair had known each other from their childhood days, when they competed in games of backyard cricket that became so serious that the loser had to go and buy fish and chips for everyone.

"Tim and I grew up together, so I'm disappointed for him to have to go and get another operation on his finger," Wade told ESPNcricinfo. "It's devastating for him. But I'm really happy to take the opportunity. I know that he's happy for me - I got a text from him and I know that he's happy I got the opportunity."

By winning an international call-up, Wade has already beaten the odds. It has been notoriously difficult for glovemen to force their way into Australia's team over the past couple of decades, with Ian Healy, Adam Gilchrist and Brad Haddin each monopolising the position during their respective eras.

In the past 20 years, only nine specialist wicketkeepers have taken the gloves for Australia in any format, plus a few non-specialists like David Boon, Justin Langer and Jimmy Maher. During the same period, more than 50 fast bowlers, 40 batsmen and 20 spinners have played for Australia.

"I'm really happy to get the chance to play for Australia," Wade said. "It's everyone's dream. A lot of hard work goes into getting there. I'm just stoked that I've got my opportunity. Hopefully I can take it and things can go further from here."

A muscular left-hand batsman and a good keeper whose glovework has improved dramatically over the past four years, Wade is likely to slot in down the order for Australia. However, the highest score in his 27-match Twenty20 career - which included some IPL games for Delhi Daredevils this year - was 80 opening for Australia A.

"I haven't played a lot of Twenty20, it's the least amount of games I've played out of the three forms," Wade said. "But I feel like I'm getting better. I know my game very well now. I'm happy to get an opportunity in whatever form it is, and T20 I feel comfortable playing it and hopefully I can do the job."

There will be plenty of familiar Victorian faces in the Twenty20 side with Wade, including the captain - and selector - Cameron White, the batsmen Aaron Finch and David Hussey, and the fast bowler James Pattinson. The two Twenty20s in Cape Town and Johannesburg on October 13 and 16 will be followed by three ODIs and two Tests.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Meety on October 2, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    @Adrian Meridith - Don't mind you history lesson, but I'm sorry I don't believe that either Wade or Paine are superior to Hartley as a keeper. They WILL be selected primarily because they do a PAR job or better as a keeper, & will be a good 7th batsmen. @GoodGrief - not a bad comment (September 30 2011, 04:07 AM GMT), but I think you have your blinkers on regarding Intgernational quality. Hartley is International standard, (I accept that all things added up Paine & Wade are ahead), Lynn, Burns, Cutting & Feldman are players that would do well if given a chance, (admit Burn is just a rookie). @Andrew Watson - most people advocating Hartley, are mainly saying that he is the BEST KEEPER in the land, not the best keeper/batsmen. Although as with the S MArsh fan club, the overall career stats are not great, but are improving. I Concede age plays a part. @AidanFX - Healy was a good batsmen, his average spans a different era, he scored good runs in difficult situations, quickly.

  • Meety on October 2, 2011, 10:36 GMT

    @Ben1989 - what you'll find is that Jo McGahan & Mervo were saying is the BEST keeper is Hartley. You can dig up any stats regarding batting, (Hartley has improved but is not as good a batsmen as Wade & Paine, maybe Neville too). @Okakaboka - small calrification, Wade is ARGUABLY the best Keeper/batsmen. Keeping-wise, Wade is on apar roughly with Paine, slightly ahead of Haddin, but not better than Hartley. @camcove - my sentiments exactly. @GoodGrief/Zashton - don't forget that Gilly was actually a NSWelshmen! @stickman75 - probably right, unfortunately another great QLD w/k, (Seccombe), never got a chance as his career was at the wrong time. Same will be for Hartley, if Dunk is half as good as those two, Oz will be better off! @ozziefan08 - Hartley has actually been the leading runscorer for QLD in recent seasons, so as per S Marsh, statisticsa are not always "pretty easy". I do agree that Wade & Paine do have better batting credentials.

  • Winsome on October 2, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    hyclass, what is traditional about Aus wicket-keepers scoring fast or opening in odi's? Gilly did it, but that hardly makes it traditional. Healy had an sr of 49 in test cricket and Tim Zoehrer was even less. Rod Marsh could whack it but he never opened in ODI's that I am aware of. I just want the best gloveman there who can help out with the bat and I think Haddin is poor against slow bowlers. It's not neccessarily his fault, he's never had to keep to a really fine spin bowler, but he is sloppy against them.

  • hyclass on October 2, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    @andrew-schulz..Symonds averaged 30 or under in 6 of his 9 Test series.Hayden,despite averaging below 40 in more than half of his 35 series,6 of those below 20,played 103 Tests and 160 ODI and had a glittering career.There are many QLD players who didnt get the opportunities that their records suggest,but these two were treated fairly,to the point of Symonds blowing his own career up when he was still very much a required player.Paine has nothing in his record that suggests he should be given preferential treatment.His S/R in all forms of cricket is slow & his average in 20/20 plummets when his S/R lifts.His overall averages are modest and exceeded by others.If he is to be considered for Australia,it could only be for Tests.Even there,his S/R is 43.Australian keepers have traditionally be fast scorers,able to take the game away in Tests when opposition bowlers tire,or open in ODIs.Haddin averaged 45 in the Ashes with 1x 100 and 3x 50s and 55 in the WC.He deserves his place.So does Wade

  • sumscorer on September 30, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    I would like to see an Eleven from Australia for T20 that looks like this. I only wish. I don't know if this will ever happen. But this to me is the most explosive batsmen in Australia for the future. I choose to have Michael Klinger as captain because, he has some great success in this form of the game. Don't get me wrong, I think he's a brilliant tactician. I have chosen to push him down the order, just in case of a collapse. My XI Matthew Wade (WK) Philip Hughes Daniel Harris (Spinner) Aiden Blizzard David Warner Shane Watson Michael Klinger (Capt) Moises Henriques or Brett Lee Daniel Christian or Dirk Nannes Steve O'Keefe Doug Bollinger Bench: Brett Lee Dirk Nannes Cameron Borgas Tom Cooper Nathan Lyon

  • andrew-schulz on September 30, 2011, 11:49 GMT

    Line and length, why do you mention Hayden and Symonds? Both were very poorly treated by the selectors and should have played many more games for Australia. Andrew Watson, the first choice of the three should be, and is (barring injury) Paine, who is at least the equal of Wade as a keeper, and has done admirably as a batsman in his first few Tests, performing brilliantly in India.

  • AidanFX on September 30, 2011, 6:32 GMT

    About the time Gilchrist retired he was starting to become a liability as a gloveman. Prior to that whilst falling short of Healy's standards (who was at best ok with the bat) you could say he held his won well enough. The best teams in the world have very good Keeper, which Haddin is not. For a guy in the 30 yr mark to still be putting his gloves near or past the stumps to the spinners is just not good enough for international standards (regardless which format we speak of). I can see Paine getting his shot about the same time Gilchrist got his shot.

  • dummy4fb on September 30, 2011, 4:59 GMT

    Christ Hartley averages: FC 31.53. One day: 25.83. T20: 18.7 Matthew Wade averages: FC 37.87. One day: 41.87. T20: 19.38 Tim Paine Averages: FC: 31.62. One day: 34.67. T20: 17.22

    There is also an age difference of 6 years between Wade and Harley. Wade is only 23 and already has 4 years of FC cricket under his belt. I'm sorry to all you Queensland supporters but Wade is being picked because he is superior and younger. Out of the three Wade should be frist choice NOT Hartley. Hartley is not even first choice as a keeper for Queensland. Can't blame the selectors for making the right choice!

  • GoodGrief on September 30, 2011, 4:07 GMT

    @Joseph Mcgahan I don't disagree that overall players from NSW don't have to work as hard as players from other states to get national recognition. If I was unclear in my post my specific points were 1. I have not seen any state bias specifically in relation to the selection of wicket keeper in recent years, and 2. despite their reasonable results as a team I do not believe that there are any international grade individuals in the current QLD squad.

  • AidanFX on September 30, 2011, 3:15 GMT

    Victorian's say their players get overlooked for NSW players, people outside Vic and NSW say their players are overlooked. Meanwhile many protest a NSW player in SNJ O'Keefe is unlucky to get a game as front-line spinner but there are too many NSW players in Aus team. Complex world we live in.

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