West Indies v Australia, 3rd Test, Roseau, 2nd day April 25, 2012

Wade untroubled by Clarke's backing of Haddin


Matthew Wade has refused to lobby for the No. 1 Australia wicketkeeper's spot, even after his match-turning century against West Indies in Dominica made a compelling case for his retention at the start of the next home summer. Captain Michael Clarke has made it patently clear that he wants Brad Haddin back in the Australia Test team as soon as he is able to return - Haddin had withdrawn from this tour due to a serious family issue - and Wade showed no inclination to dispute the order of seniority following his 106 at Windsor Park.

While many observers at the ground were left to wonder how Haddin could take the gloves back against South Africa at the Gabba later this year, given how capably Wade batted with the Australia tail, the man himself said he was quite happy to cede the position come November.

"Hadds was supposed to play this tour and I've come in and taken his spot in an unfortunate situation - personal reasons back home that Hadds has. So that's as far as I'm looking," Wade said. "I know it's cliché, but that's as far as I'm looking. We're playing these games then we've got a pretty big gap in Test cricket. Hopefully I can hold my spot in the one-dayers and take things from there.

"I don't think it [the century] changes [anything], my mindset definitely hasn't changed. There's a lot of one-day and Twenty20 cricket in between, a lot of water under the bridge before the first Test against South Africa at the Gabba, so I'll do my job and see how it goes. Pup [Clarke] said that Haddin's No. 1 in Test cricket and that sits fine with me, I'm happy to fill the void for a while and go and play some one-day cricket."

Having fought and scrapped early on in his knock, as he had done in most of his innings so far on this tour, Wade accelerated in stunning fashion around the fall of Mitchell Starc's wicket. Unperturbed by the fact he was batting with the bowlers, Wade said that while his advance to a century had been dramatic, it was in keeping with the sort of back-end rhythm that typified most of his better innings.

"In first-class cricket that's generally the way I play," he said. "I know that if I can get myself in for long enough that I can make it [the scoring-rate] up towards the end if I'm batting with the tail. I think a lot of my innings at times are like that. It takes me a little bit of time to get going but I can make it up towards the end. Maybe not make it up like I did today, but that's generally my game plan. I'm not too worried about scoreboard pressure as such. I try and build an innings and try, and catch up at the back end.

"Towards the end I knew Hilfy [Ben Hilfenhaus] and Lyono [Nathan Lyon] had been batting well, so I wasn't too concerned. I didn't change my game too much. I backed them because I knew they would stick around for me. If I happened to be not out at the end then I was not out, that's how I looked at it. There was definitely no intent to go out and try and slog sweep or get the run-rate up, I just batted the way I thought I should have batted in that situation and backed the bloke at the other end."

Wade struggled noticeably early in the tour, in conditions completely foreign to him as both wicketkeeper and batsman. But he has learned over time, adding the sweep shot to his game against the slow bowlers, and in Dominica was able to contribute a critical innings when his team was in most desperate need.

"I don't think I had any doubt I could play Test cricket. It's been a massive tour for me, I've learned so much right from the first game we played, the one-dayers where the conditions were just so different from what I'm used to," he said. "I felt every game that I was getting a lot better, we've been working on things every day to get better in these conditions - we've got subcontinent conditions coming up at the Twenty20 World Cup and that kind of stuff.

"It was about more improvement to get better. I felt I was good enough to play at this level if I could just get things to go right for me. It was about improving the little things, the conditions were a massive thing and I brought out my sweep halfway through the one-day series, I decided I'd use the sweep a lot more and I've brought that with me into the Tests. It's going to be a massive shot for me going forward in subcontinent conditions."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Roo on April 28, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    It would be silly for Clarke to continue this line of standing up for his mates above the national teams need for the best available players in the squad... Haddin nearing 35 & past his best while Wade is 24 & learning quickly how to adapt to different OS pitches... Surely any sensible approach is to look for the future of where we want to be in 2-3 years from now & that clearly doesn't include Haddin, Ponting or Hussey - dropping them 1 at a time would be much better than the large exodus that has happened in recent times... Time for the regeneration that the Argus report so clearly outlined... Haddin has to be the first to go as his replacement has already shown his better skill-set...

  • Andrew on April 26, 2012, 0:03 GMT

    @Greg Ranger/Randy Oz - no problems with an opinion on why Wade should be the incumbent keeper, however, in light of the things we know about why Haddin left the tour, I really feel it is in poor tatse to have a crack at him. During the Ashes he was just about the only player other than Hussey that walked away with reputation enhanced. @MisterObvious - I think you're right. Besides, I severly doubt that Wade would want to get his Baggy Green in theses circumstances, (not denying that Wadehas certainly done the hard yards), the position ultimately fell to him in difficult circumstances & IF the Ozzy team is as close knit as made out to be, none of them would want Haddin's career to end this way. == == == Anyways - i have been a long time Haddin fan, think he has done a great job stepping into a Legend's shoes, (it's taken about a dozen spinners to step into Warne's) but his time is over. Thanks Brad for the good memories!

  • Sharon on April 25, 2012, 16:54 GMT

    Yes - definitely agree that Haddin was great big void in Australia team. He had to be replaced. Clarke is good player. Now, what to do about filling the other 9 void in Australia team.....?

  • Gordon on April 25, 2012, 16:13 GMT

    I honestly think this wicket keeping side of things should be left to Matthew Wade,Tim Paine and also Chris Hartley. All three deserve a chances to play for Australia. Hartley showed alot of character in that Shefield Shield final he played in and showed lots of experience. I would proberly say Hartley is also the best behind the stumps that is what Ian Healy has said for years. So if it was me I would focus on those three only and then rotate them so it all gets shared as in one plays Tests the other plays ODI and the last one plays Twenty/20. I really don't want to see cricket Australia stuff up another persons carrer like they did with Darren Berry. And I would hate to see Chris Hartley be the new Darren Berry who never plays for Australia at all. Wade should be in the team against South Africa but if he isn't it should be between the other two. I might go to watch a Test and I couldn't stand it seeing a person who hasn't performed for a long time get a place.

  • Sean on April 25, 2012, 15:50 GMT

    Making runs on a road against the West Indies wont mean a thing once Jimmy, Bressers, Stewy & Swannyboy get hold of him

  • Ali on April 25, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    and the good news is that Wade is 24, so he can fill in the voids for Haddin and take over when Haddin retires ...

    he won't get a raw deal as Riddley Jacobs did for the WI .... Jacobs got his 1st Test at age 32 ......

    and he won't get the raw deal McGill got, when Warne eventually retired.....

    McGill had only 1 or 2 years left in him by the time Warney hung up his boots...

  • Tim on April 25, 2012, 14:22 GMT

    Wade is happy to fill Haddin's void, is Haddin even good enough to fill Wade's void when he comes back in?

  • Dummy4 on April 25, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    I'm not at all sure why Clarke HAS to say something like that? Quite how he can declare that Haddin is still no.1 is beyond me. Yes he is Captain and a selector, but just one of five selectors to the best of my knowledge. Is he really qualified to speak for all of them? This is one area where Clarke needs to improve on, he's continual public backing of older non-performers is counter productive, I think. At any rate, Wade is now leading the Aussie run chart for the test series, has played the most influential innings of the series and hasn't made a mistake behind the stumps. I don't think Haddin would have achieved any of those three things. Wade is a 'keeper'!

  • Dummy4 on April 25, 2012, 13:07 GMT

    just a coincidence the three w/keepers to score a century in the windies are left handed Phillips,Gilchrist an now Wade

  • Godfrey on April 25, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    Wade came to the WI with a reputation of not being able to play spin well. He has made a century on a spinners paradise. Great character strength.

  • No featured comments at the moment.