Matthew Wade questions Australian selectors’ reason for Test exclusion
Matthew Wade: "It's a tough situation to be in, I'm not really sure what we're going to do." © Getty

The discarded wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade has not taken well the explanation given to him for his exclusion from Australia‘s Test squad to play Sri Lanka this month, after having, in his estimation, ticked all the boxes required for a recall.

Wade, who played the last of his 22 Tests in September 2017, is the highest run-getter of the Sheffield Shield with 571 at 63.44 and thus felt that the selectors’ reasoning that he was batting too low for Tasmania “doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

“It’s disappointing for me,” he said on SEN Radio Monday. “It seems the criteria when Justin [Langer] took over was weight of runs, hundreds. I feel like I’m ticking all those boxes and the reasons I’m not getting picked is I’m not batting in the top four. It doesn’t really make a lot of sense.” (ALSO READ: Matthew Wade’s a Justin Langer clone: David Hussey)

When revealing Australia’s squad for two Tests versus Sri Lanka, the chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns was asked why Wade’s name was missing. Hohns replied that selection criteria required Wade to score runs higher up the order; the 31-year-old has batted at No 6 for Tasmania in six games this Shield season.

Wade gave the example of Shaun Marsh batting at No 5 for Western Australia as proof that Australia’s selection panel previously did not look that closely at batting positions in domestic cricket. (ALSO READ: The door is certainly not closed for Shaun Marsh: Trevor Hohns)

“He (Hohns) voiced his opinion about me batting in the top four, I obviously raised that Shaun Marsh bats five for Western Australia,” he said. “The Bellerive pitch is a tough batting wicket. I’ve been at stages like 4 for 50 a lot and I think it’s a specialist position No.5 and No.6. You’ve got to bat with the tail, you probably need someone to set the pace a little bit down there with the tail and kind of build the total a different way than just a specialist batsman.

“I think you probably saw that with Peter Handscomb in the last Test. He batted No.6 but he is batting way out of position. He has never really batted too much with the tail in that position. So, yeah, I raised all those points.”

Wade has spent the past two seasons with Tasmania batting at No 5 and 6.

“That’s the reason that I’m getting. That puts me in a position that’s quite tough because I don’t want to be shuffling players around,” Wade said. “I feel like if I give up the gloves completely, and go bat at four, and it doesn’t pan out as well, I feel like the next thing I’ll be hearing is I can’t be picked as the back-up keeper because I’m not keeping. It’s a tough situation to be in, I’m not really sure what we’re going to do. I’m not going to do it just for my own good.

“I’ll sit down with Griff (coach Adam Griffiths), I’ve already had a conversation with him, and we will work out what’s best for Tasmania winning games and if that’s me batting No.5, if that’s me batting No.7, I don’t really care, I’ll go wherever I have to go.”