Australia A Tour of England - Men's
'I'm batting better than ever': Wade
Tasmanian’s push for an Ashes spot to recommence during the Australia A tour of the UK
17 April 2019, 02:49 PM AEST
Matthew Wade may well be a late arrival in England for Australia's monster winter of cricket this year, but he hopes to be there for the long haul.
The Tasmanian was this week named in the one-day and four-day Australia A squads for a series of matches in June and July that will act as both support during Australia's World Cup campaign and a selection trial for the Ashes.
A 1000-run season in the JLT Sheffield Shield means Wade is one of the main challengers to Australia's incumbent batsmen ahead of the first Ashes Test in August, where he'll be chasing his first taste of international cricket since 2017.
The impending birth of his second child might delay his arrival in the UK for the A tour, which starts on June 20, but the left-hander hopes to still be in England when the Ashes wind down in September.
And he's called on selectors to consider all he's achieved in the past year, not just what he achieves on that A tour, when the time comes to finalise their Ashes squad.
"I'm not really looking at it as a small-window type opportunity," he said. "I feel like the selectors have been watching every player for a long period of time now.
"(The tour is) just an opportunity for someone else to put their hand up, obviously, but you would hope that it's looked over a long period of time and not just an isolated few games.
"It's been a little bit frustrating over the last 12 months especially, I feel like I've been playing good enough cricket that I could contribute to the Australian team in some way. So it's nice to get an opportunity to go over there.
"I feel like I've shown enough that I'm batting better than I've ever batted."
Given the four-day A side will be captained by Test skipper Tim Paine for matches against Sussex and the England Lions, Wade's chances with the A side will come as a batsman rather than with the gloves.
Having played the role of frontline batsman in six Shield matches last season for 592 runs at 54, and having also moved up and down the order during the summer, the 31-year-old says he's ready for whatever role he's given in the A side.
"I just feel like I've matured a lot more," he said. "It's always going to happen around my age, when you're hitting the peak of your career. I know my game better than I've probably ever known it.
"Batting down here (in Hobart) suits going to England a lot more than what it would if I was still at Victoria, at the MCG.
"I'm going there a lot more relaxed, comfortable with what I can provide off and on the field."
Australia A tour of the UK
Australia A one-day squad: Travis Head (c), Matthew Wade, Will Pucovski, Peter Handscomb, Ashton Turner, Mitch Marsh (vc), D'Arcy Short, Kurtis Patterson, Ashton Agar, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Josh Hazlewood (vc), Kane Richardson, Sean Abbott
Australia A four-day squad: Tim Paine (c), Marcus Harris, Kurtis Patterson, Will Pucovski, Travis Head (vc), Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade, Mitch Marsh, Michael Neser, Jon Holland, James Pattinson, Jackson Bird, Josh Hazlewood (vc), Chris Tremain
June 20: Australia A v Northamptonshire, The County Ground, Northamptonshire
June 23: Australia A v Derbyshire, County Ground, Derby
June 25: Australia A v Worcestershire, New Road, Worcester
June 30: Australia A v Gloucestershire, Bristol Country Ground, Bristol
July 2: Australia A v Gloucestershire, Bristol Country Ground, Bristol
July 7-10: Australia A v Sussex, Arundel Castle Cricket Ground, Arundel
July 13-16: Australia A v England Lions, The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury
July 23-26: Australia v Australia A, Ageas Bowl, Hampshire