Michael Clarke has always said he’s just one voice of five on Australia’s selection panel and he’ll have to raise that voice when it comes to the Test wicketkeeper position.
The Australia captain reiterated his stance that Brad Haddin remain’s the nation’s No.1 gloveman last week despite Matthew Wade’s solid job filling in for the 34-year-old during the tour of the Caribbean.
But it appears Wade shouldn’t give up hope of winning a selection battle with Haddin, particularly after his maiden Test hundred during this week’s clash with the West Indies in Dominica.
“Wadey stood up brilliantly and I’m just so happy because it’s creating depth for us in so many positions,” coach and selector Mickey Arthur said.
“There is a lot of water to go under the bridge before our next Test match against South Africa at the Gabba. That situation will unfold.
“Wadey will be in England with us in the one-day squad. He’ll be in Sri Lanka against Pakistan with us and he’ll be in the Twenty20 World Cup.
“So he’s going to have ample opportunity to really shine and really show us what he’s got and I think Hadds will probably have two Shield games before we have to go out and pick the team for that first Test.
“For us to comment now is probably too early. I just think that will all unfold in the wash.”
While Arthur doesn’t yet know how the wicketkeeping position debate will play out, what he is certain of is how the team have developed through a Caribbean tour against a resilient and competitive Windies outfit.
The South African believes those members of the side who haven’t toured overseas before such as Wade, openers Ed Cowan and David Warner or pace bowler Mitchell Starc can only benefit from the lessons they’ve learnt while away from home.
“I look at Matty Wade and how his batting has developed over the last six weeks. It’s been amazing,” Arthur said.
“He’s nowhere near the player that arrived in St Vincent.
“To see him embrace a slight change to his technique and embrace what we were trying to get through to him in terms of playing in these conditions … to see him ultimately succeed is really nice.
“Ed Cowan has been exactly the same. Those guys hadn’t come up against spin bowling in these conditions before and they’ve come through brilliantly.”