Matthew Wade’s Twenty20 axing does not spell the end of his international career, according to chairman of selectors Rod Marsh.
Wade’s omission from the 15-man squad that will head to India in March for the T20 World Cup was one of the big calls made by Marsh’s panel on Tuesday.
Wade had been Australia’s T20 and ODI keeper since Brad Haddin’s retirement, with Melbourne Renegades teammate Peter Nevill preferred behind the stumps in Tests.
Nevill couldn’t get a game for the Renegades this season when both glovemen were available for the Big Bash League franchise.
The Test wicketkeeper now has a golden chance to stake a claim for a berth in all three formats.
However, reports of Wade’s international career being over have been greatly exaggerated.
“I can’t tell you anything at the moment but there’s absolutely no reason why he shouldn’t be playing one-day cricket,” Marsh said, when asked about Wade’s ODI future.
“His keeping was pretty good, during this series here certainly.
“He needs to get runs. He had a couple of really good opportunities, last night and the game in Wellington.
“He batted nicely in Auckland.”
The logic behind the promotion of Nevill is simple.
Marsh, who kept wicket in 96 Tests for Australia, wants the best gloveman available.
“We feel our batting depth in this squad is sufficient enough that we can have a specialist wicketkeeper in the squad,” the 68-year-old said.
“We consider Peter Nevill to be the best in the country right now.
“In T20 cricket if your top five or six don’t get them then you’re not going to win the game anyway usually. It’s different from 50-over cricket in that regard.”
Steve Smith, appointed skipper of the T20 side during Tuesday’s announcement in Auckland, didn’t attempt to hide Wade’s reaction to the verdict.
“He’s disappointed. He’s been the short-form keeper for a little while now,” Smith said.
However, Smith backed the panel’s decision.
“It’s really important we have our best gloveman on call in India,” he said.
“It’s a tough place to keep, particularly when you’re getting wickets that are spinning in the back end of the tournament.
“The selectors have done a good job.”
Smith wouldn’t weigh into the debate over who should keep during Australia’s next ODI assignment, a tri-series in the West Indies during June.
“Rod just made it quite clear Matthew Wade’s still the one-day keeper. He said he needs some runs,” Smith said.
“But I think Peter Nevill is a quality keeper and if he continues to do well I’m sure he’ll continue to put his name up there and put some pressure on.”
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