International Cricket: Can Matthew Wade play for the Australian National Cricket Team again after a strong 2018-19 Domestic Season with the bat?

by Sports Benches

Matthew Wade may not have played for the Australian Test side for over a year now after Tim Paine replaced him.

But Wade has since responded to his axing nicely with a pile of runs for his state teams Tasmania & Hobart Hurricanes.

Though, how long Wade will continue to back up his hard-hitting work?

That’s where the Australian selectors will have the final say whether or not if Wade should get another chance in Test Cricket.

First-Class & One-Day Cricket performances

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He kicked off his Domestic Australian 2018/19 well with a first match century on 117 v Victoria during the One-Day Cup four months back.

Wade may have a couple of up and down scores here & there over the next six games including one semi-final & final.

But more importantly, his first-class performances with the bat has reignited debate about his possible recall.

Out of his six 2018-19 Sheffield Shield appearances, Wade scored five 50s & one century in a total of 439:

  • 72* & 51 during Round 1 v Queensland in Brisbane
  • 66* & 50 during Round 2 v Western Australia in Perth
  • 137 in the 3rd Innings during Round 4 v Victoria in Hobart
  • 63 in the 1st innings during Round 6 v Queensland in Hobart

He averages 39.57 in four-day cricket with a strike rate of 49.81.

That’s a steady improvement compared to his Test career up to late 2017 with an average of 28.58 & strike rate of 47.91.

Plus he’s the leading scorer of 571 so far in the 2018/19 Sheffield Shield Season as this tourney took a mid-season break for the Big Bash League.

Twenty20 Cricket form

Wade may have started slowly on five during the rain-delayed Round 1 clash v the Brisbane Heat.

But he scored back to back half-tons during Round 2 & 3 of the Big Bash League at home for the Hobart Hurricanes:

  • 52 v Melbourne Stars on December 24
  • 85 v Sydney Thunder on December 28

So far, Wade scored 166 runs in this tournament as he’s fourth highest run scorer behind:

  • Jordan Silk in 3rd with 184 runs for the Sydney Sixers
  • D’Arcy Short in 2nd of 193 runs for the Hobart Hurricanes
  • Jos Buttler leads with 195 runs for the Sydney Thunder

Don’t forget he averages 23.50 as his strike rate in the three-hour format is 125.66.

It conveys that Matthew Wade’s worked very hard to back up performances through merit to give the selectors a headache.

His batting style of play

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He keeps it calm & straightforward when Wade maintained his head position as he waited for the ball to come to him before freeing his arms with soft hands.

It’s the same style that Justin Langer & Marcus Harris classicly used in the crease.

That way it helped Wade unleash some huge or straight bat shots downtown which helped maintain his form consistently.

Plus he’s able to use the space of the crease a lot, so Wade can rotate the shot selection to frustrate the bowlers both fast pace & spin.

Wade isn’t following these few factors that didn’t hold his natural game back such as:

  • Lunging or jumping by defending the bat far from the front pad which does increase chances of an LBW or getting caught & bowled.
  • Reaching out early & scoring runs off the good balls by not moving his feet & half-whacking without an open bat face.

That’s why the mistakes he learned over the last year helped him cashed in with confidence by regularly backing up the 50s & 100s.

Can Matthew Wade return to the Baggy Green fold?

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Yes, it’s still possible.

Wade brings that use of calm & relaxed intent with no hesitation which should be suitable for him to succeed in all formats.

If Wade was to wear the Baggy Green again, then he will only bat in the middle-order as usually done for Tasmania.

Justin Langer once criticized Wade’s work ethic back in mid-2016 regarding his glove work & at training.

I do agree with Langer’s criticism of Wade.

Balancing the two roles can at times be difficult for Wade to try & finish off a few catches and stumping.

Then he has to some runs on the board which is a requirement for all wicket-keepers to succeed in cricket.

Hence, Wade couldn’t execute those two strict roles together to perfect his natural game which did see him dropped before the 2017/18 Ashes Series.

Identifying mistakes does help Matthew Wade improve his game

Since Paine regularly kept wicket for the Australian Test team, Wade has toughened his training methods plus put full effort towards batting which did help possibly find another door back at Test Match level.

I’m sure that Langer will look after Wade seriously as do other players in the Australian Test Team.

Looking at constructive criticism and then get better with the bat did re-ignite Wade’s best self.

Langer will continue to look at the pros and cons so Wade can regularly get the 50s & 100s before he can play Test Cricket for a long time.

For now, we’ll wait and see how will the other Australian batsmen go in the Sydney Test v India from tomorrow.

If one of them doesn’t perform well & Wade keeps his Domestic form alight, then Langer should pick him for the 1st Test v Sri Lanka later this month.

And before we wrap up this post, let’s see Wade’s best impression of giving Nathan Lyon some encouragement when he calls out “Nice Garry.”

Everyone would love to see this connection come up again.

Though, this time Wade would be fielding in the slips or far from where Lyon’s bowling.

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