Out of favour Matthew Wade eyes World Cup berth
Matthew Wade has been in prolific form for Tasmania (Getty Images)

Matthew Wade has not played a one-day international for Australia since October last year but that hasn’t extinguished the wicketkeeper batsman’s desire to play for Australia at the World Cup in England last year. Wade revealed that he is willing to give up wicketkeeping altogether and concentrate solely on batting to grab a ticket to England.

After being dropped from the Ashes, Wade’s chances of wearing the gloves behind stumps in whites seem bleak, and with Tim Paine leading the side, the 30-year-old has decided to channel his entire concentration on batting.

“I don’t think I’ll probably play Test cricket again, not as a wicketkeeper-batter anyway,” Wade told cricket.com.au. “I still have the ambition to play white-ball cricket for Australia.

“With the World Cup just around the corner I don’t feel that anyone’s cemented their spots since I went out of the team 12 months ago in white-ball cricket. I feel like if I’m given the opportunity again, if things fall into place close to the World Cup I can still play in that for sure.”

Wade was dropped from Australia’s limited-overs squad during the tour of India last year, after which Paine took over. And while he has been impressive behind the stumps, Paine’s form with the bat hasn’t quite replicated the same. In the nine matches since October 2017, Paine has averaged 21.85 with a top score of 34.

Wade, on the other hand, went to play for Tasmania and had an inspiring run as a batsman. He scored back-to-back First-Class centuries against Western Australia and New South Wales and followed it with scores of 68 and 49 against South Australia and Victoria. In the previous game he played, he registered another century (108) against Queensland. Wade has 12 first-class centuries and an average of 38.16, and it’s this brilliant run of form that ups Wade’s hopes of booking the ticket to England.

“I want to be as good a batter as I can be,” Wade said. “I’d like to be able to not keep and play as a batter in the last few years of my career. That’s where I’d like to get to. Whether or not it happens I’ll continue to play my role for the team and at the moment that’s still keep wickets and bat. But I’m working towards becoming the best player I can be.

“I’ll play as a keeper-batter in the white-ball (formats) probably until the end of my career. I feel I’m moving towards becoming more of a batter toward the back end of my career but at the moment I’ll be playing as a wicketkeeper. ‘Painey’ will be away quite a bit and when he comes back I’ll be playing as a batter. It’s something that’s been on the cards for years to be honest I just feel more comfortable talking about it now.”