Hobart, Feb 8 (IANS) Veteran wicketkeeper-batter Matthew Wade sees room for himself and Josh Inglis to feature in Australia’s playing eleven for the T20I series against the West Indies, starting on Friday.
The three-game series sees Australia and West Indies switch into preparation mode for the Men’s T20 World Cup, to be held in the USA and West Indies from June 1-29. Both Wade and Inglis are wicketkeeper-batters, with the former excelling in a finishing role and latter being flexible in batting anywhere in the line-up.
“I’ve been batting seven when I’ve been playing in a specialist role. I’m obviously a left-hander as well, (which) towards the back end (of the innings) is something that we’re quite happy with. Myself, (Tim) David and (Marcus) Stoinis have been through that middle-order over the last few years so we’re pretty confident and happy with how we line up there.
“But I think ‘Ingo’s’ pushing hard for spot, he’s batted terrifically well in every game he’s played in white-ball cricket as well and he was good in India. So whether that be the top of the order or he finds a spot through the middle, he’s definitely there putting his hand up to get picked in the first XI as a batter,” said Wade to reporters.
On the verge of playing his first international match at his home ground since 2014, Wade had missed a few matches for Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League due to back stiffness, but he said that he’s now fine to take up keeping gloves for the next six months.
“I’m ready to go in what is a big run of cricket for me in the next six months. Not playing Shield cricket and being able to get some continuity in what I’m doing off the ground has certainly helped that.
“In the next six months there won’t be as much first-class cricket; there’s still a little bit that I’m excited about playing but it was probably the shock to the system and keeping for the first time for a long time in that format (that contributed to the back issue).”
Australia also have a problem of plenty in the batting department, as they have plenty of batters in David Warner, Travis Head, Steve Smith, and captain Mitchell Marsh, with Matt Short out due to hamstring injury and Cameron Green being made to focus on red-ball format.
“It’s a good thing for Australian cricket to have a little bit of a logjam there with opening batters. We’ve got Davey (Warner) who’s arguably our best T20 opening batter, Mitchell Marsh has done it, ‘Greeny’s’ (Cameron Green) done it, ‘Ingo’ could find himself doing it as well, he batted three in India. There’s plenty of people that are pushing for that opening spot,” concluded Wade.