Wade's Test destiny in his own hands
Brad Haddin could be squeezed out of Australia's Test side if Matthew Wade has an outstanding limited-overs campaign in the West Indies next month, according to the national selector John Inverarity. However, Inverarity said for the time being Haddin remained Australia's first-choice Test wicketkeeper after an encouraging finish to the recent series against India.
Wade and Haddin have both been named in the squad for Australia's five ODIs in the Caribbean and they will both be part of the group that stays on for the three Tests that follow, although that squad is yet to be confirmed. Wade has overtaken Haddin as Australia's preferred one-day gloveman thanks to his impressive form in the tri-series and he is also the incumbent in T20s.
That gives Wade seven matches in the West Indies, where Haddin will be the backup one-day wicketkeeper, before the longer version begins. Australia's first Test begins in Barbados on April 7 and Inverarity did not rule out the possibility that Wade could have jumped ahead of Haddin in all forms of the game by then.
"There's the possibility there," Inverarity said. "At the moment Brad Haddin played in the last Test and we beat India 4-0. Brad had slight fluctuations of form but finished on a high note. At this moment Brad is our Test wicketkeeper. If Matthew does extraordinarily well, of course he comes in to contention there. There's rivalry in any touring party … there's nothing new there."
Inverarity said he had been pleased with Haddin's glovework during his recent Sheffield Shield appearance for New South Wales against Western Australia in Perth, although he made a pair with the bat. And although Wade has become the No.1 in the 50-over format, Inverarity said Haddin was clearly second in line and was needed in the one-day squad in the Caribbean due to the difficulty of sending a replacement from Australia if Wade was injured.
"If Matthew Wade had broken a finger, say in ODI four [in the Commonwealth Bank Series], Brad Haddin would have come back into the side," Inverarity said. "I think they're both looking forward to and we're looking forward to it. In competitive sport friendly rivalry pushes each other to greater heights. I think they'll do that in the West Indies and I think they're both looking forward to working together."
Wade, 24, said he was looking forward to using the tour to learn from Haddin, who made his international debut 11 years ago. He said there was no reason for either man to feel uncomfortable at the prospect of competing for a spot, and he had enjoyed the opportunities he had already had to ask Haddin about keeping at international level.
"I think we can definitely work well together," Wade said. "I know Brad reasonably well. I spoke to him at the AB Medal at length and he gave me a call when I got picked for the one-dayers. He's been really giving. Hopefully we can both work well together. I can't see there being any problem. I'm just starting international cricket and he's been playing a long time. I'm just going to be looking to learn off him. I'd be stupid not to.
"At the moment I'm keeping in the one-dayers and the Twenty20s so most of my attention is going towards that. I haven't really even thought that far down the track [the West Indies Test series]. I'm involved in a pretty big series here at the moment so I haven't thought too far down the track. Every time I go out on the cricket pitch I'm looking to play my best."
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here