Added drama in bitter Wade snub revealed
TASMANIA has responded after Australian selectors once again overlooked Matthew Wade for a spot in the Test team for the upcoming two-match series against Sri Lanka.
Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said the Tigers wicketkeeper-batsman wasn't included in the squad because he was batting too far down the order at No. 6 for his state.
"He's playing as a wicketkeeper-batsman for Tasmania and it just so happens we have a wicketkeeper-batsman in our Test side who is the captain," Hohns said.
"If Matthew wants to be considered as a straight-out batsman, it would be nice to see him batting a little higher up for Tasmania.
"That conversation has been had."
However, Tasmania coach Adam Griffith said nobody at Cricket Australia had ever told him the 31-year-old needed to be promoted in the batting line-up to be considered for national selection.
"I've never been told by Cricket Australia that he has to bat in the top four," Griffith told The Mercury.
"I had a conversation with (coach) Justin (Langer) a couple of days ago where he did say one of the reasons we haven't picked him is because he bats at six.
"But before that there wasn't a directive from CA that he has to bat in the top four otherwise we can't pick him."
Wade has been the top run-scorer in the Sheffield Shield this season, amassing 571 runs from six matches at an average of 63.44 batting in the middle order.
He's carried on his impressive form from last season and in the past two summers has racked up 1225 runs while averaging 51.04. But despite Australia crying out for established batsmen, a recall to the Test side hasn't been forthcoming.
Opening up about being left on the sideline once again, Wade said it was disappointing his weight of runs hasn't come into calculations and questioned coach Justin Langer's assertion performances would dictate selection.
"Justin Langer shot me an email just before the start of the last Test (against India in Sydney) just saying well done on my performances and at the moment I'm probably not going to get a look-in any time soon," Wade told Fox Sports News this week.
"I feel like my form is as good as anyone in the country. When Justin took over he said weight of runs would be the leverage to get selected and I feel like I've put the runs on the board over a long period of time now.
"I'd like the opportunity if it comes, I understand it's probably not going to come as a keeper, my Test career is probably done as a wicketkeeper, but I feel like my weight of runs as a batsman should be looked at."
Wade said although he was batting at six, he was accustomed to coming in early in innings in domestic cricket on the toughest batting wicket in the country. He also said he feels like a Test No. 5 or 6 and hoped selectors were keen to consider him as a specialist batting option in those positions, rather than viewing him solely as a wicketkeeper.
"I'm hoping they're not just looking at me as a specialist keeper, I hope they are looking at me as a batsman as well," Wade said. "If I have to prove that in Shield cricket, I will.
"I'll come up the order and take off the gloves. Hopefully the communication keeps coming."
Of the lack of opportunity in the baggy green despite his fantastic form, Wade added: "It's pretty frustrating.
"It was a blessing in disguise that I got to play just as a batter with Tim (Paine) in the (Tasmania) team, so it probably showed the selectors that I can play as a specialist batsman.
"I'm not batting in the top four of five at the moment for Tasmania, but at the moment in the Test team I feel like number five or six, that role would suit me perfectly, so hopefully they come knocking soon.
"I'm arguably batting on the worst wicket in the country. Granted it is at six, but I feel like I'm in pretty early in most innings. They might want me to come up the order, maybe that's something that I can look at.
"I understand, as a keeper it's probably not going to come there … my Test career is probably done as a wicketkeeper but I feel like my weight of runs as a batsman should be looked at."
Wade played the last of his 22 Tests against Bangladesh in 2017 and has scored two tons and four half-centuries while on international duty in the whites.