Wade 'answered critics' says Lehmann | cricket.com.au

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Wade 'answered critics' says Lehmann

Under-fire gloveman earns backing for his performance in Chittagong, including super stumping, that could shore up Ashes spot

Australia coach Darren Lehmann said wicketkeeper Matthew Wade let his gloves do the talking after his place in Australia's side came under heavy scrutiny in the lead-in to second Test against Bangladesh.

And with the match Australia's last outing in the Baggy Green before the Magellan Ashes, Wade's efforts could hardly have come at a better time.

Australia had openly flirted with dropping the Tasmanian, the only specialist 'keeper in their 14-man squad, for part-time gloveman Peter Handscomb in a bid to free up an extra spot in their XI.

Captain Steve Smith last week said he wanted a "little bit more" from Wade at the batting crease, with the Tasmanian having managed 255 runs at 21.25 in nine Tests since his recall to the Test team last summer.

While he's yet to get his chance with the willow in Chittagong – where Australia were 2-225 trailing their hosts by 80 runs stumps on day two – Wade was sharp behind the stumps during Bangladesh's first innings.

His stumping of Sabbir Rahman off off-spinner Nathan Lyon late on day one showed strong application in testing heat; Wade moved left to gather a ball way down the leg-side before flicking the bails off at precisely the right moment as Sabbir lost his footing.

Wade's super Sabbir stumping boost Australia


He also collected two catches off healthy edges induced by left-armer Ashton Agar and he let through only five byes – four of which were from a Pat Cummins loosener few 'keepers would have managed to stop – in 113.2 overs.

"I thought Matthew Wade answered his critics really well in this game," Lehmann told reporters after play.

"A great stumping, a couple of catches, so that was pleasing for Matthew."

Lehmann also admitted giving the gloves to Handscomb for this Test would have required a reshuffle of Australia's top-order.

Lehmann hails 'special day' from gutsy Aussies


The 25-year-old moved up to No.4 after first drop Usman Khawaja was axed and finished unbeaten at stumps on 69.

Having fielded at bat-pad for the majority of the Bangladesh innings, Handscomb was exhausted to the point of illness at the end of day two and Lehmann conceded 'keeping would have proved an even more demanding task.

"If he did it (wicketkeeping) … he probably couldn't bat as high," Lehmann said.

"He sat under the lid as well at bat-pad for really a day and a half.

"At the end of the day he's picked to bat No.4 or No.5 for Australia and we want him making runs."

Handscomb fights on in oppressive heat


While Wade was retained for the second Test, who will slot in to the wicketkeeping spot this summer looms as a major selection decision for the Ashes.

South Australia glovemen Alex Carey might well be considered next in line considering he was picked as Australia A's 'keeper for the abandoned tour of South Africa earlier this year.

But Peter Nevill, who Wade replaced after Australia's fifth successive Test defeat in Hobart last summer, impressed in the Sheffield Shield after squandering his Test spot, and is rated by the likes of Ian Healy and Brad Haddin as the best pure gloveman in the country.

Wade takes the edge to remove Nasir Hossain // Getty
Wade takes the edge to remove Nasir Hossain // Getty

"It’s all about playing the best cricket I can,” Nevill told the Illawarra Mercury of his hopes of returning for the first Test against England in November.

"And that’s going to be for NSW in the (JLT domestic) one-day tournament and then there’s going to be two or three Shield games before the Ashes squad gets announced."

Australia in Bangladesh 2017

Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Hilton Cartwright, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Steve O'Keefe, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade.

Bangladesh squad: Mushfiqur Rahim (c), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Shakib Al Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Liton Das, Taskin Ahmed, Shafiul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Taijul Islam, Mominul Haque.


27-31 August First Test, Dhaka, Bangladesh won by 20 runs


4-8 September Second Test, Chittagong