Wade’s Test ton sends message

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    Matthew Wade denies it was a message motivated by skipper Michael Clarke’s words of support for Brad Haddin but his maiden Test century gives Australia’s selectors plenty to think about.

    At age 24 and playing just his third Test, Wade became the youngest Australian wicketkeeper to score a Test hundred when he hit 106 to right Australia’s shaky first innings in the third Test against the West Indies in Dominica.

    In an innings that might spell the end of 34-year-old Haddin’s Test career, Wade eclipsed selector and former keeper Rod Marsh’s maiden century age mark set as a 25-year-old in 1975 – with Marsh watching on from the stands.

    Clarke said before the third Test that absent Haddin remains his No.1 choice as wicketkeeper despite Wade’s solid performances in the first two games in the Caribbean.

    Wade insists those words had no effect on his century performance but it will give Clarke, Marsh and fellow selectors much extra food for thought in the long interval before Australia’s next Test assignment against South Africa in the home summer.

    “No one’s comments are going to make me try any harder to play Test cricket,” Wade said. “It didn’t play a factor at all.

    “My mindset definitely hasn’t changed. There’s a lot of one-day and T20 cricket in between, a lot of water under the bridge before the first Test against South Africa at the Gabba.

    “I’ll do my job and see how it goes.

    “Pup said that Hadds is No.1 in Test cricket and that sits fine with me. I’m happy to fill the void for a while and go and play some one-day cricket.”

    Wade came in with the side struggling and marshalled tail-enders Mitchell Starc and Ben Hilfenhaus to lift Australia from 7-169 to 328 on day two on Tuesday. The Windies resume on day three at 8-165, still trailing by 163 runs.

    But the most impressive factor was the way Wade changed through the gears in his innings, recovering from a near miss when he was dropped by Windies quick Kemar Roach on 22 to go from 50 to 100 in just 32 balls.

    On the way, he hit three sixes, spending just one ball in the 80s as he hit back-to-back maximums, before creaming his 10th boundary of the innings to bring up his 100.

    “I don’t think I had any doubt I could play Test cricket,” he said.

    “It’s been a massive tour for me. I’ve learned so much from the first game we played, the one-dayers where the conditions were just so different from what I’m used to.

    “I felt I was good enough to play at this level if I could just get things to go right for me.

    “It was about improving the little things. The conditions were a massive thing … halfway through the one-day series, I decided I’d use the sweep a lot more and I’ve brought that with me into the Tests.

    “It’s going to be a massive shot for me going forward in subcontinent conditions.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (4)

    • April 26th 2012 @ 7:02am
      Pat Rodgers said | April 26th 2012 @ 7:02am | ! Report

      Wade responds to some critics who aren’t sure about his readiness for Test cricket. Three others whose spots in the team have been heavily questioned have also hit back on this Test now. Nathan Lyon has continued his good form with the ball after his crucial 5 wicket haul in the 2nd Test with 4 for in this one . Geoff Lawson had been very critical of him and it’s great to see a spinner who has only played about 20 first class games improving and justifying the selectors’ faith on him.
      Pointing and Cowan have scored half centuries in the second innings when many seem to be calling for their heads. The next Test isn’t until November so I can’t see what the fuss is about. Give these guys a break. They are too good to write off but so many critics are very quick to put a pen through their names. The conditions have made it very difficult for batsmen and their scores have not reflected how hard they have had to battle.

      • April 26th 2012 @ 9:45am
        jameswm said | April 26th 2012 @ 9:45am | ! Report

        Yeah Cowan’s been pretty lean though, and it’s only one 50. Hard to see how he can be replaced between now and November with very little cricket.

    • April 26th 2012 @ 8:22am
      Blitz75 said | April 26th 2012 @ 8:22am | ! Report

      Clarke should concentrate on being captain and not be in the business of selection. To sayHaddin is his preferred keeper does nothing for the confidence of Wade. Kudos to him though in coming through with a century. No way Haddin should come in now, thanks for your service but time to look forward Selectors select, Coaches coach, captains captain and players play lets not change that!

    • April 26th 2012 @ 1:15pm
      dc said | April 26th 2012 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

      If Wade cracks another ton in November, he is equal to Watson.

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