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