Wade to fight for Ashes spot: Clarke | cricket.com.au

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Wade could be in Ashes trouble // Getty

Wade to fight for Ashes spot: Clarke

Incumbent Test wicketkeeper in need of first-class runs to cement Ashes berth

Former Australia captain Michael Clarke says Matthew Wade’s chances of playing in the Magellan Ashes are in strife after the gloveman was dropped for Sunday’s third one-day international in Indore.

Wade has been tidy behind the stumps since conceding 30 byes in the first Test against Bangladesh last month, but his output with the bat – eight consecutive single-figure scores across Tests and ODIs – saw him replaced by part-time wicketkeeper Peter Handscomb.

"That’s a big decision from the Australian selectors," Clarke said on the Star Sports broadcast. 

"Because now I think it’s very hard for Matthew Wade to fight his way into that Test team as well. 

"He’s going to have to go back and play first-class cricket. 

"I can’t see them (the selectors) selecting him for the next two ODIs. 

"This is an opportunity for (Handscomb), can he grab it with both hands?"

Since his return to the Test team last November following Australia’s humiliating loss to South Africa in Hobart, Wade has averaged 20.23 with one half-century in 16 innings.

After Wade posted scores of four, five and eight in Australia’s drawn series against Bangladesh, skipper Steve Smith said the 29-year-old needs to produce runs for Tasmania to keep his name in Ashes calculations. 

"I think Matty knows himself … he came out to a few of the guys the other day and said he needed more runs," Smith said in Chittagong after the second Test. 

"He's open and honest about that. He'll go back and play (JLT Sheffield) Shield cricket and hopefully get a few big scores and 'keep really well and keep putting his name up. 

"We really love him around the Australian team, he provides a lot out on the field for us, great energy and good chat which is something that we need.

"He provides a lot there but hopefully he can continue to improve and put some performances on the board back home and keep putting his name back there."

New South Wales’ Peter Nevill and South Australia’s Alex Carey appear to be the leading contenders to replace Wade should the gloveman fail to retain his place in the Test team.

While Handscomb has taken the gloves in the one-day outfit, the new Victorian captain made it known to former Australia spinner Brad Hogg he had no intention on standing behind the stumps in the Baggy Green. 

"I was actually sitting next to him on the plane and he said he wouldn’t mind ‘keeping in the shorter forms of the game but definitely not the longer forms," Hogg said on broadcast. 

Wade, Nevill, Carey and those pushing for an Ashes berth will have three rounds of the JLT Sheffield Shield to impress the National Selection Panel ahead of the first Test against England in Brisbane on November 23.