Australia's wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade had been going through a lean patch across formats in the last three months. Since his last international half-century, a 52 against South Africa in October, he played all but one of his nine innings at home against different oppositions but could not get a big score. On Friday, with his team struggling at 5 for 78 on a tricky Gabba surface, he scored a match-saving and maiden ODI hundred, off the last ball of the innings, to set up a 92-run win in the first ODI of the five-match series.
"I feel I've been hitting the ball really well for a period of time now," Wade said after the match. "I certainly haven't been going out there and just nicking off, I've been getting myself out more times than not. There's been plenty of work and [I've been] working on a few things and it's [about giving yourself] time in the middle, giving yourself a chance and I did that today which was nice.
"Happy to contribute with some runs and more importantly to get a win to go 1-0 up. It's very important in a five-match series so nice to be able to contribute. It's funny how cricket works, [the century] coming off the last ball, I don't know how that all winds up but it was good fun."
Australia had faced only 16.3 overs when Wade joined No. 6 Glenn Maxwell and the duo turned the tide of the innings with a partnership of 82 runs from 14.4 overs. Maxwell did most of the scoring in the stand, scoring 51 runs before falling for a 56-ball 60 that featured seven fours. While Maxwell had scored some runs in domestic cricket recently across formats, he was playing an international match after over four months, since last playing a T20I in Sri Lanka.
"Batting with Maxi is always great, you don't have to do too much," Wade said. "You can just try to keep it in the gap and get down the other end and watch the show go. That was the plan when I was there with him, we were trying to build a partnership and take it as deep as we could. Whenever you bat with Max, the scoreboard is always ticking so it makes it a lot easier on me, I can just get down the other end. He batted really well tonight."
Both Wade and Maxwell will be in line for selection for the four-match Test series in India after Australia finish the ongoing series, three ODIs in New Zealand and three home T20Is against Sri Lanka. The last match against Sri Lanka, on February 22, will force Australian selectors to pick vastly different squads since the first Test against India starts only a day later. Irrespective, Wade was not worried about his selection for the Test squad that will be picked on Sunday.
"I'm not nervous about selection, I'd be nervous if we lost four Test matches in a row but we're winning games," he said. "The team's going really well, the younger guys are playing well and I feel like we're in a really good spot. So nah, the team will get picked and hopefully I'm in it but I don't feel nervous when the team's winning the way it is.
"He (Maxwell) plays spin really well and he's right-arm offspin so he'll definitely be in the mix I'd have thought."