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Matthew Wade

Wade wants to go unnoticed

Captaincy give former Test keeper greater focus

Wicketkeeping is a challenging discipline at the best of times. It’s physically and mentally draining during the longer format and a relentless task during limited-overs cricket.

For keepers on the fringe, it also presents the challenge that in order to get noticed by the powers that be, you need to not get noticed at all. 

Former Test gloveman Matthew Wade can relate to this better than most.

“You can go all day and not be noticed and I think that’s the goal of keeping,” Wade told cricket.com.au in Townsville.

“You want to be playing your role day in, day out without being noticed in a way.”

It seemed Wade was getting noticed more than he would have liked during the early stages of 2013, with the now 26-year-old losing his place in the Test XI after Australia’s horror tour of India that ended in a 4-0 humiliation.



It was just a few months after scoring his first ton on Australian soil in an SCG Test against Sri Lanka. But Wade was overlooked for the away Ashes series in the 2013 winter for the more experienced Brad Haddin.

While Haddin’s selection was described at the time as a solution to the team’s leadership vacuum, it was also widely seen as reflection of the diminishing standards Wade was displaying behind the stumps.

“You don’t have to be Einstein to work out what you need to do to get back into the team, so I think I’m a bit of a realist in that sense,” Wade admitted.

“I can sit down and work out the things that I know I need to improve on in order to play better cricket.

“I haven’t really sat down and thought about playing for Australia again. 

“Obviously if I can get stuff together and take my chances performance-wise then those things will take care of themselves. 

“It’s a different type of role, but there’s always time to improve for keeping.

“I try to put an emphasis on improvement and I think if I can improve day-by-day then the Australian call-up will come down the track.”

After spending a year as the nation’s preferred gloveman, Wade all of a sudden found himself on the outer heading into the Australian summer.

Not one to feel jealous about the success of his peers, Wade says he enjoyed watching the Ashes whitewash after England had “carried on a bit” during the one-day series in England the Victorian played in last September.

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While reluctant to spend too much time looking in the “rear-vision mirror”, Wade believes his appointment as captain of the Commonwealth Bank Bushrangers has played a crucial step in enhancing his development as a player.

“Getting back into the Australian team is obviously something that I’d love to do, but it’s not something that sits in the forefront of my mind every day,” Wade said.

“To have that other focus away from just personally trying to drive myself to get back into the Australian team was probably a good thing.

“I think it came at a good time for everyone involved. 

“Cameron (White) had been captain for a long time and had a lot of success for Victoria, so it was probably time for a change. 

“I think with him going away from the captaincy, you saw it freed him up a lot. 

“If you captain the team for 10 years, I’m guessing it’s nice just to be able to go out there and worry about yourself for a little bit.”

Wade admits it was a difficult summer for the Bushrangers line-up with an inability to find consistency as players came and went due to national call-ups.

On a personal level for the keeper-batsman, it was a summer marred by a bizarre code of behaviour breach during the third round of the Bupa Sheffield Shield season.

Wade was fined 50 per cent of his match fee and handed a one-match suspension for tampering with the pitch after creating what was officially described as a “long valley within the protected area, created by means other than natural wear and tear”.

Matthew Wade

The Bushrangers skipper denied the report and even flew to Perth for the ensuing Shield match such was his confidence, before losing his appeal against the ban on the eve of the clash.

After scoring a century in the match in which he was reported, Wade believes the penalty put a serious dent in his form that took months to recover from.

“It is what it is. I know what happened out there, the people that were playing the game know the situation,” he said this week.

“No doubt I was disappointed with the result. I wouldn’t have appealed it (otherwise).

“It was probably more disappointing that it put a stop to my momentum into the season. 

“I had to try and develop in the next few games to try and push my personal form and it probably didn’t come good until the end of the year.”

A handful of appearances in Australian colours during the shorter formats last summer suggests Wade is still well and truly in the mix to replace Haddin when the opportunity arises.

And while having a former wicketkeeping great in Rod Marsh as the chairman of the new National Selection Panel has its perks, Wade says it’s not all positive.

“It was interesting, I spoke to Rod (Marsh) before he was called up as chairman of selectors and I was always going to try to catch up and do a bit of work,” Wade explains. 

“I stayed away from him a little while there, I didn’t want to sound like a suck ringing him as soon as he got the chairman of selectors role (laughs). 

“Luckily, he called me and I got the opportunity to come up here (for the Australia A Tour). 

“I had a catch with him, so it’s nice to catch up and go back to Melbourne now that I know I’m on the right direction with things that I need to do.”

More than anything, Wade will be hoping for a summer where he barely gets noticed at all.