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Australia to take two keepers to West Indies

Brydon Coverdale

January 30, 2012

Comments: 27 | Text size: A | A

Matthew Wade behind the stumps, Victoria v Tasmania, Pura Cup, Melbourne, November 10, 2007
Matthew Wade has a strong chance of being included on the Test tour of the West Indies © Getty Images
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Matthew Wade is expected to earn a Test call-up for the tour of the West Indies in April after the national selector John Inverarity expressed his desire to have two wicketkeepers in the squad. Wade has been named in Australia's side for the first three ODIs of the upcoming tri-series while Brad Haddin rests following a long period of cricket.

Strong performances from Wade in those matches could build pressure on Haddin, 34, who has had a difficult few months with the bat and behind the stumps. The coach Mickey Arthur wants Haddin to still be around for the 2013 Ashes but Wade, 24, is also viewed as a potential Test player and averages 40.16 in first-class cricket.

Last time the Australians played Tests in the West Indies they were forced to fly Luke Ronchi in mid-tour as a standby player for Haddin, who in his debut Test series broke a finger, but battled on and played all three Tests. Inverarity said a backup gloveman was desirable for this year's Caribbean trip, which included three Tests in April.

"The West Indies is a pretty difficult place to get to from Australia, so at this stage and it will depend on the budget, but we're keen to have two keepers there throughout the West Indies tour," Inverarity said. "If a keeper breaks his hand it would probably be five days to a week before a replacement could get organised, get there, recover from jetlag and be ready to play.

"If you've got one wicketkeeper in the West Indies and two days before a Test he breaks his hand and cannot keep, what do you do?"

With Tim Paine still out due to a long-term finger injury, Wade is the logical choice as the next in line behind Haddin, although Peter Nevill of New South Wales is also pushing his case. Wade might even open the batting in the ODIs in February, as no obvious opening partner for David Warner was named in the squad with Shane Watson still injured and Shaun Marsh dropped.

Inverarity said it remained to be seen whether Haddin would return for the later stages of the one-day series against Sri Lanka and India or whether he would be better off taking a longer break. He said it was up to Haddin, who will captain the Prime Minister's XI against Sri Lanka this Friday, whether he would play any Sheffield Shield cricket in the meantime, after a lean few months with the bat in Test cricket.

"That's up to Brad. He won't be playing the next Shield match because being a Canberra lad he's captaining the side for the Prime Minister's XI," Inverarity said. "The Shield match starts the next day. I think that's a good opportunity for Brad to be able to put his feet up for a bit. I think an essential part of preparation is refreshment and the opportunity to take it easy for a time and get mentally refreshed.

"It provides a terrific opportunity for Matthew Wade. We hope Matthew Wade keeps and bats brilliantly and then we have two keepers at the level, because you never know when a wicketkeeper is going to break down. We're all for developing Matthew Wade and Brad Haddin both together."

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

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Posted by mcj.cricinfo on (February 1, 2012, 22:05 GMT)

It's a good move to rest Haddin for a few games and give Wade a chance to show his stuff. Haddin has under performed for the last four series, his keeping has lacked consistancy, and his batting averages in those last four series have been poor: 18 (Sri Lanka), 19 (South Africa), 33 (NZ) & 28 (India). Aus has two big series next year against SA and England, it's time to groom a new keeper to be ready for those matches. Wade's 72 & man of match performance last night a good showing.

Posted by   on (February 1, 2012, 16:47 GMT)

Australia has got back to what they do best....be absolutely ruthless in team selection...while they need to cut some slack (and not too much as India is realising) for the legends...this is the way it works for Australia and cricket needs a benchmark...It could have been England/India/Sri Lanka/Pakistan....It could always be South Africa....But Australia is where Talent meets process and thats the reason why its always the most logical spot where it would gravitate to.

Posted by   on (February 1, 2012, 16:21 GMT)

I find this very Strange!! Yes I understand that West Indies is probably the hardest place to get 2 from Australian shores in International cricket but still that goes both ways & I dont recall us bringing 2 wicket keepers on any of our tours down under & our players get injured more often than most. Why wont CA just state the obvious that they are not confident in Haddin's ability as a keeper/batsman improving enough for him to play out the whole series & perform creditably! & also that they are dithering on the decision whether to drop Haddin or not. sometimes indecision can be just as costly as making a flawed decision.

Posted by Meety on (February 1, 2012, 0:13 GMT)

@Sriraj G.S - where's your sense of humour????

Posted by RandyOZ on (January 31, 2012, 20:49 GMT)

I am so frustrated that it has taken this long. Haddin is a protected species and hacks like Arthur are allowing him to continue playing

Posted by Suna12 on (January 31, 2012, 9:46 GMT)

Hahahaha, "if the keeper breaks his hands......, then it would take five days to organise another keeper". i do not understand why he is saying that, it sounds he knows everything.it is like the story where a man is hitting his son, when the poor child wants to know the reason, the man says in case you break the jar. I think Haddin is the most stylish batsman in the Australian line-up.Therefore, i do not think they cab omit him easily.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2012, 6:45 GMT)

@Lozzanova: Have a closer look at that picture!The ball is not heading towards Wade but is instead flying square of the wicket because the batsman presumably cut a wide ball towards point. Wade's hands have moved to that position to cover the widish ball and is facing the other way to keep his eyes on the ball flying square! Your view could do with some adjustment! ;)

Posted by Andross on (January 31, 2012, 2:49 GMT)

@ Lozzanova - I'd say the ball has just been cut, given the relative positions of the stumps, gloves and the ball.

Good luck to Wade, I hope he does well, Haddin is really going to need to answer some questions if he has a bad tour of WI, and it's good that they're grooming Wade to take over.

Posted by dsig3 on (January 30, 2012, 23:58 GMT)

A brilliant way of putting Haddin on notice without appearing to do so.

Posted by Meety on (January 30, 2012, 23:57 GMT)

@Gilly4ever on (January 30 2012, 07:13 AM GMT) - "Wade should have been Gilchrist's replacement" - that is FAR & AWAY the dumbest comment you have made on this site EVER! Wade had not even played a full season of Shield cricket - in fact he had been playing shield for about 3 mths, by the time Gilly retired. Haddin was in the middle of a great run of form where for about four or five years in a row he averaged around 60 with the bat. @Lozzanova - LOL!

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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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