Peter Nevill has rapidly emerged as Australia's first-choice wicketkeeper ©
Peter Nevill has rapidly emerged as Australia’s first-choice wicketkeeper ©

Peter Nevill plays the guitar. It was what he was expected to do in his free time during Ashes 2015. But the 29-year-old gloveman from New South Wales (NSW), who remained an understudy to Brad Haddin, got a surprise debut at Lord’s in the second Ashes 2015 Test when the senior cricketer had to pull out of contest due to personal reasons. Devarchit Varma goes through Nevill’s performances in the last two Tests where he witnessed swinging fortunes from massive win to a humiliating defeat, and underlines why he looks like one for the future. ALSO READ: Ashes 2015: Peter Nevill brushes off Australia dressing-room disharmony rumours

When it became evident that Peter Nevill will make his Test debut in the second Ashes 2015 Test, English media was quick to poke that Nevill will find it tough to keep wickets at Lord’s where the ball moves dangerously once it passes the batsman. Rarely was a word spoken about who this new bloke. Evidently, England did not see much danger in an unknown Australian who did not instil fear in them, but with a sublime 44 and a record seven catches on Ashes debut proved there was lot to Nevill than considered before.

Indeed, his leave on that James Anderson delivery when Australian batsmen were in a race to throw their wickets away on that gloomy Edgbaston morning looked daft, but Nevill proved in the second essay that he is here to stay. No Australian, not even Chris Rogers, looked more assured at the Edgbaston wicket in the third Test where England bowlers looked more than dangerous, but Nevill showed the batsman in him was as astute as the wicketkeeper. ALSO READ: Ashes 2015: Peter Nevill to be Australia’s wicketkeeper in 3rd Test at Edgbaston

Many a time has Nevill played for New South Wales as a regular batsman. Though six hundreds and 17 half-centuries in 58 First-Class matches do not highlight his run-making abilities, he seems to have a good head over those shoulders. When Australia floundered in the second innings as well, Nevill showed the right signs that he can mature in to a responsible lower-order batsman in years to come.

He has age on his side, and his aura suggests the likes of Tim Paine and Matthew Wade will have to wait for their chances. Even though he has played only two Tests, Nevill is yet to show frailties behind the wicket, and most importantly, his skills with the bat look neat. Nevill was quick to make amends on the mistake for the first innings at Edgbaston against Anderson; when he walked out to bat with Australia in the pits in the second, he showed tremendous character.

Nevill never got swayed into playing strokes on deliveries outside off; he left the ball alone on merit; he showed the men at the top how to handle the Englishmen on a conducive pitch. most of the occasions. All deliveries in Nevill’s zone, pitched on the pads or on the leg side — were dealt with ease and assuredness for runs. Australia may have lost with a massive margin at Edgbaston, but had something to take away from the loss: a wicketkeeper-batsman who showed character.

It is safe to say that on the back of his performances, Nevill has established himself as Australia’s first choice wicketkeeper ahead of Brad Haddin. Haddin has two Tests left in his career, and it will certainly be a challenges for Australian selectors to make a room for him.

(Devarchit Varma is a reporter with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)