What would an Australian wicketkeepers XI look like?

Will Cuckson Roar Rookie

By Will Cuckson, Will Cuckson is a Roar Rookie

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    Matthew Wade of the Tigers looks on during day three of the Sheffield Shield match between Western Australia and Tasmania at the WACA on October 28, 2017 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

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    In the lead-up to the summer of cricket, everyone is mulling over who will bat No.6 and who will keep wicket for Australia at the Gabba.

    Speculating over this myself, I wondered what an Australian team full of wicketkeepers would look like.

    Here is what an Australian all wicketkeepers XI would shape out to be, including the bowlers and who would actually take the gloves.

    Batting order
    Picking the batting order is tough, since most of the ‘keepers have a generally similar batting ability.

    This is how I would set the batting order, to suit all three formats of the game.

    Sam Whiteman
    Whitman burst onto the domestic scene in 2012 as a batsman, and has since made a name for himself as both a batsman and a gloveman. In 2014, he scored 174 against a strong India A team in Brisbane.

    He injured his finger during the BBL|06 final, and has since become in doubt to play this summer due to complications with his injury.

    Cam Bancroft
    Bancroft recently carried the bat for Gloucestershire in County Cricket, amassing an unbeaten 206. He also shot into contention for the Aussie ‘keeper role when he carried the bat for an unbeaten 187-ball 76 against a star-studded NSW bowling attack.

    Alex Carey
    Widely considered one of the frontrunners for the Test ‘keeper role, Carey last season broke the all time record for the most dismissals in a Shield Season. To go with his record breaking 59-dismissal season, he also notched 549 Shield runs at 32.29.

    Peter Handscomb
    Handscomb considers himself a batsman before a ‘keeper, but he has the ability to take the gloves when required, as he did in Matthew Wade’s absence against Pakistan.

    He is the best batsman of this XI, but also more than capable behind the stumps.

    Ben Dunk
    Dunk’s most memorable innings came in 2014 when he blasted 229 not out at North Sydney Oval against Queensland in the Matador Cup. Dunk has scored over 1300 runs in all formats of the game, and has been a consistent contributor for Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield and JLT Cup formats.

    Jimmy Peirson
    Following the retirement of Queensland ‘s Chris Hartley, Peirson stepped up to the main wicketkeeper role for the Bulls. He can play aggressively when required, but also shows great temperament at times.

    Matt Wade (c)
    Wade has been a prolific run-scorer at domestic level, and has also scored runs at international level. Last Summer, he scored his maiden ODI ton against Pakistan, and has also scored two Test 100s. Wade’s vast cricketing experience of 112 First Class and 162 List A matches gives him the nod for captain.

    Matthew Wade

    (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

    Tim Paine
    Paine was once touted as Australia’s next-in-line gloveman, representing Australia between 2009-2011 before suffering a finger injury that unfortunately resulted in continued time on the sidelines.

    He has recently played a few T20 matches for Australia, and is reportedly Tasmania’s first-choice gloveman. He is also highly rated as a batsman, scoring 111 for Australia in England in 2009.

    Peter Nevill (WK)
    Nevill was dropped from the Test side in the aftermath of the Hobart Test in 2016, following a somewhat poor Test batting record. While he boasts a mediocre average of 22.28 at Test match level, his first-class record is incredible.

    His 2016-17 Sheffield Shield season boasted 625 Runs at 52.74, and his overall first-class average is 40.03. These numbers are a strong indication as to why selectors are looking to him to re-obtain the Test ‘keeping role.

    Tim Ludeman
    Ludeman has not represented South Australia since early 2016, but has been a damaging batsman in the BBL. He has scored two 100s and 14 fifties across domestic level. He amassed 167 for South Australia XI against South Africa in 2016.

    Sam Harper
    Harper is a young-gun wicketkeeper who made his first-class debut last year. Harper has not really impressed with the bat as yet, but has been tidy behind the stumps, ‘keeping for the Melbourne Stars for most of last year’s Big Bash season.

    Hypothetically, any player in this team could bowl, but it’s a matter of skill. According to ESPN Cricinfo, only five of the listed players in this team have bowled at domestic level.

    Matthew Wade bowled one infamous over in a Test against Sri Lanka, while Tim Paine, Ben Dunk, Cam Bancroft and Peter Nevill have all bowled in a domestic game. Alex Carey is documented to bowl right arm medium-fast. Out of these six Wade, Dunk and Bancroft are the only players to have taken a wicket, while Dunk has taken multiple.

    The ‘Keeper
    Peter Nevill is the most highly rated ‘keeper in this squad, and it’s easy to see why. His 87-match strong first class career has produced 264 catches and 15 stumpings, while his List A career has seen him record 104 catches and nine stumpings from 68 matches. He has a cool head behind the stumps, and produces clean glovework as well.

    Nathan Lyon and Peter Nevill laughing

    (Ross Setford/SNPA via AP)

    As we count down to the Ashes this summer, stay tuned for an Australian All-Rounder XI.

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    The Crowd Says (24)

    • November 7th 2017 @ 9:06am
      Don Freo said | November 7th 2017 @ 9:06am | ! Report

      Who’s doing the rating? Whiteman is a better keeper than Nevill.

      Whiteman is a better batsman than Handscomb.

      Come back soon, Sammy!

      • Roar Rookie

        November 7th 2017 @ 9:19am
        Will Cuckson said | November 7th 2017 @ 9:19am | ! Report

        I found it tough to pick both the batting order and who would ‘keep, and I had Handscomb, Whiteman and Bancroft as the best batsmen.
        For mine, Nevill and Carey are the best ‘keepers. I chose Nevill for the ‘keeping role since he has more experience behind the stumps than others like Whiteman, and I find that he is one of the tidiest glovemen in the country at the moment.

        • November 7th 2017 @ 9:31am
          Don Freo said | November 7th 2017 @ 9:31am | ! Report

          He is that good a keeper. He was just too good a batsman to leave out while WA was giving the former Australian U19 keeper, Tom Triffitt his chance.

          If we hadn’t brought Triffitt over, Sammy would have been in as a kid.

          • Roar Guru

            November 7th 2017 @ 3:24pm
            Julian King said | November 7th 2017 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

            Josh Inglis is a talent too.

    • Roar Guru

      November 7th 2017 @ 9:57am
      Klaus Nannestad said | November 7th 2017 @ 9:57am | ! Report

      This is a really interesting list, and it actually makes me a bit more optimistic about Australia’s keeping options as there are some pretty talented players here.

      I also like that Wade is made captain. I know a lot of people criticize him for his glovework, but I think his days of captaining Victoria have showed him to be a really astute tactician, perhaps as a result of learning under Cameron White who was similarly a very good captain.

      • November 7th 2017 @ 10:10am
        Don Freo said | November 7th 2017 @ 10:10am | ! Report

        I can’t agree, Klaus, that ranking himself as a better batsman than Maxwell was good captaincy.

        • Roar Rookie

          November 7th 2017 @ 10:39am
          Will Cuckson said | November 7th 2017 @ 10:39am | ! Report

          Seems like you don’t agree with many peoples’ opinions, Don.

          • November 7th 2017 @ 10:41am
            Don Freo said | November 7th 2017 @ 10:41am | ! Report

            Interesting that you think Wade is a better batsman than Maxwell. I think I am agreeing with all of Australia…except you …on this one.

            • Roar Rookie

              November 7th 2017 @ 10:50am
              Will Cuckson said | November 7th 2017 @ 10:50am | ! Report

              I never said that Wade was a better batsman than Maxwell, I’m just saying to stop criticising peoples’ opinions.

              • November 7th 2017 @ 11:11am
                Don Freo said | November 7th 2017 @ 11:11am | ! Report

                Sounds like a criticism to me. You are on the wrong forum, Will, if you don’t want alternative opinions. Probably better to not try to correct an old man.

    • November 7th 2017 @ 11:57am
      Brainstrust said | November 7th 2017 @ 11:57am | ! Report

      The only wicketkeeper I remember being useful as a bowler was Tim Zoehrer.
      Why would you want a team of wicketkeepers in this era.

    • November 7th 2017 @ 12:59pm
      Trevor said | November 7th 2017 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

      Calling Wade a wicket keeper is very generous. He’s a backstop at best.

    • November 7th 2017 @ 1:10pm
      BurgyGreen said | November 7th 2017 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

      I’d drop Ludeman for Ben McDermott, who will bat at 3.

      • Roar Rookie

        November 7th 2017 @ 1:51pm
        Will Cuckson said | November 7th 2017 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

        I didn’t know McDermott was a keeper, if I did, he would be in there instead of Ludeman!

        • Roar Guru

          November 7th 2017 @ 3:01pm
          JamesH said | November 7th 2017 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

          Tassie has a remarkable five players who can comfortably keep at domestic level or higher (three of whom have even kept for Australia) – Wade, Paine, Dunk, McDermott and Doran. Wade may actually be the least talented keeper of the lot.

          • November 7th 2017 @ 3:02pm
            Don Freo said | November 7th 2017 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

            Tom Triffitt is probably a better keeper than all of them.

            • Roar Guru

              November 7th 2017 @ 3:54pm
              JamesH said | November 7th 2017 @ 3:54pm | ! Report

              I used to play club cricket in Hobart with Tom, Don, and he is definitely a talented keeper. Hard to judge whether he would be better than Paine but he wouldn’t be last on this list, not by a long shot. I only omitted him because he’s not part of the Tassie setup – probably for reasons other than his cricketing ability.

              He’s now a real estate agent:

              • November 7th 2017 @ 4:01pm
                Don Freo said | November 7th 2017 @ 4:01pm | ! Report

                Yeah…that’s a bit sad.

          • Roar Guru

            November 7th 2017 @ 3:09pm
            Rellum said | November 7th 2017 @ 3:09pm | ! Report

            I think sometimes people watch Wade keep and think he is doing a good job because he his diving all the time. To me he looks lead footed and has to dive for balls others keepers would skip across for.

    • November 7th 2017 @ 1:28pm
      Don Freo said | November 7th 2017 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

      We could always add Copeland for some bowling strength. Apparently started his grade career as a keeper.

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