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Bird backs Wade to produce Shield runs

Tasmanian teammate backs embattled Test wicketkeeper to find form ahead of Ashes

A big score is just around the corner for under-fire Australia wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, according to his Tasmanian teammate Jackson Bird.

Wade's hopes of retaining the Test gloves for this month's Magellan Ashes series opener in Brisbane took a hit in the opening JLT Sheffield Shield round.


He posted scores of six and one as the Tigers were skittled for 63 in their second innings - their lowest first-class score - in a hefty 301-run loss to Western Australia in Perth.

Wade appears to be in a three-way battle with former Test gloveman Peter Nevill and bolter Alex Carey to be behind the stumps at the Gabba.

Fellow Ashes aspirant Bird reckons Wade is primed to turn net form into runs when Tasmania host Queensland in Hobart starting on Saturday.

"I think a big score is just around the corner. Bowling to him in the nets, he's certainly hitting the ball very well," Bird told AAP.

"He's definitely the number one candidate for the gloves in the Ashes."

Shield wrap: How Australia's Test hopefuls fared

Bird, who played one Ashes Test in England in 2013, is one of several quicks nipping at their heels of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.

He picked up six wickets for the match against WA, including the middle-order scalps of Mitch Marsh and Marcus Stoinis.

His new-ball battle against top-order Queensland bats Mathew Renshaw and Usman Khawaja will go a long way to deciding the match on a Bellerive Oval deck Bird expects to aid seam bowling.

Khawaja hit his 21st first-class ton last week in tricky Gabba pink-ball conditions to lead the Bulls to a 110-run victory over Victoria.

Ex-Australian wicketkeeper Tim Paine has again been left out of a struggling Tasmania side.

He'll link with a Cricket Australia XI to play England in a four-day warm-up game at the Adelaide Oval starting November 8.

Quick Andrew Fekete (foot) has been replaced by debutant Tom Rogers as the Tigers' sole change.

2017-18 International Fixtures:

Magellan Ashes Series

First Test Gabba, November 23-27. Buy tickets

Second Test Adelaide Oval, December 2-6 (Day-Night). Buy tickets

Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Buy tickets

Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Buy tickets

Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Buy tickets

Gillette ODI Series v England

First ODI MCG, January 14. Buy tickets

Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Buy tickets

Third ODI SCG, January 21. Buy tickets

Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Buy tickets

Fifth ODI Perth TBC, January 28. Join the ACF

Prime Minister's XI

PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Buy tickets

Gillette T20 INTL Series

First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Buy tickets

Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Buy tickets

Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Buy tickets

Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 13

Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21