Matthew Wade’s selection in the Test squad affected by his batting position

Wade hasn't played for Australia in whites since 2017.

Matthew Wade of Australia
Matthew Wade. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

The Australian squad for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka was announced on Wednesday, having witnessed some new faces from the humiliating series defeat to India at home. Among the many returning faces, Matthew Wade’s omission from the squad has created an uproar as he struck purple patch in Sheffield Shield cricket this season.

Cricket Australia’s surprising decision to not pick Wade came on the back of his batting position. The Tasmanian has not featured for Australia in red-ball cricket since 2017, however, chief selector Trevor Hohns made a statement that Wade needs to bat higher than no. 6 to be considered as a specialist batsman in the line-up.

The 31-year old has made 571 runs in six matches at an average of 63.44 along with keeping wickets for his state Tasmania. Wade’s coach at Tasmania Adam Griffith had a word with the national team’s coach Justin Langer but denied CA issuing any command involving Wade to bat at number four to get a Test cap.

“I’ve never been told by Cricket Australia that he has to bat in the top four. I had a conversation with Justin a couple of days ago where he did say one of the reasons that we haven’t picked him because he bats at six. But during the Shield season there was no directive that he has to bat at top four otherwise we can’t pick him.” Griffith said as quoted by Fox Sports.

Wade’s scores in numbers while batting at top four

In an eye-opening revelation, the gloveman has batted in a position less than six in eight innings out of the 12 this season. In those eight innings, Matthew Wade averages an astonishing 55.5, having scores of 51, 60*, 43, 63, and 40. The veteran has also rescued the team from precarious positions while batting early in the innings.

When interviewed Wade, he opened up by saying that he is ready to bat early in the innings but the number six position is well suited for him. “I’m not batting in the top four or top five at the moment for Tasmania, but at the moment in the Test team I feel like a number five or number six, that role would suit me perfectly, so hopefully they come knocking soon.” he said.

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