Wade siezes his chance

Matthew Wade lofts one during his unbeaten half-century Getty Images

Much has been talked about the pressure on Australia's regular wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, and the opportunity the limited-overs games against India provide Victoria's gloveman Matthew Wade to upstage him. With another contender for the post, Tim Paine, injured indefinitely, Wade was picked for the Twenty20s and first three ODIs of the tri-series that followed. He is also expected to earn a Test call-up for Australia's tour of the West Indies in April, after national selector John Inverarity expressed his desire to have two wicketkeepers in the squad. That adds up to a lot of pressure to perform, and perform Matthew Wade did at Stadium Australia in Sydney.

He produced a punishing 72, opening the innings alongside David Warner after being inserted by MS Dhoni on a cloudy evening. In what is essentially a five-match audition for that permanent berth behind the stumps in place of Haddin, Wade did his cause no harm with his innings of poise, power and some invention. His knock helped push Australia to 4 for 171, a steep target on a tacky pitch that proved too much for India in the end.

Up until David Warner and No. 3 Travis Birt were in, Wade played neatly for 36 from 25 balls, but his next 34 were thrashed from only 14. Twice he cleared the fence, and each blow added intrigue to his battle with Haddin for the Australia wicketkeeper's spot. In the end, it was seemingly the elements that did him in. Soon after a brief rain delay, rhythm interrupted, Wade was out bowled while trying to cut Suresh Raina.