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Matthew Wade


Wade ready to bat for his Test place

Matthew Wade has shown in two thrilling Test centuries that he can bat, but to get his next opportunity he must enter uncharted territory for Australian wicketkeepers.

Wade is looking to join the select club of glovemen who have moved away from their post behind the stumps and been selected for Test matches as specialist batsmen.

Adam Gilchrist has played as a fieldsmen in one-day matches, but never in Tests.

Wade did famously hand duties to Phil Hughes for one over in Hobart last summer, when he was brought on to bowl by Michael Clarke.

His sharp medium pacers delivered a maiden.

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But leaving the gloves permanently in the dressing room is the only avenue for Wade to play the third Ashes Test at Old Trafford.

Poor lapses behind the stumps and Australia's need for more experienced heads, resulted in Brad Haddin usurping him as the No.1 Test wicketkeeper.

Wade is certainly capable of racking up a big score in Friday's tour match against Sussex to win himself a place in the middle order, playing alongside Haddin.

Against the West Indies last year, he came in at 5-157, and batting with the tail, he smashed 106 from 146 balls and lifted Australia to a first innings total of 328.

Then at the SCG last summer, Wade blitzed 102 against Sri Lanka - his last 30 runs coming rapidly in a 10th wicket partnership with Jackson Bird - to put Australia in a winning position.

"I haven't spoken to anyone about a spot coming up. I'm just excited to have a game of cricket because I've been on the sidelines for a few weeks," he said.

"If you go into a game thinking, 'if I get runs I will play the Test match,' it won't do you any good.

"Any batsman who goes out and dominates and gets 150 or 200 will be a chance to play."

Wade's job has been made even harder by Warner's 193 for Australia A against South Africa A.

However, a big century will be tough to ignore in the climate of Australia's current batting woes.

In the short term Wade, 25, must make it as a bat, but in the long term he's still confident about returning as Australia's first-choice wicketkeeper, with Haddin 10 years his senior.

"Hadds' experience played a big part and they needed a vice captain and a leader. Things in my game need to improve though," he said.

"It makes me more hungry for my next opportunity."

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