Vodafone Test Series v India
Wade has 'no regrets' over position switch after Test axe
Veteran batter takes philosophical approach to being dumped from Australia's Test team after the India series where he was used as a stop-gap opener before returning to the middle order
20 February 2021, 11:33 AM AEST
Matthew Wade says he has no regrets over his move to open the batting at the start of Australia's Test series against India, saying he only has himself to blame for losing his spot.
Wade was dropped from Australia's Test squad for the tour of South Africa, which has since been cancelled, and is instead in New Zealand ahead of a five-match T20 series starting on Monday.
Despite passing 30 in four of his eight innings against India during the summer, the left-hander finished with a top score of 45 and was a selection casualty after Australia lost the series 2-1.
"I had the opportunity to turn starts into big scores and I didn't do it," he said. "If you don't do it, this is what happens.
"I got plenty of scores, 30s and 40s, which at my age and the level we're playing at, you've got to turn those into big scores.
"If I'd turned those into hundreds or 80s or 90s, we're not having this conversation.
"I know I missed my opportunity; I played some poor shots and I find myself in the scenario I'm in now.
"You can go into the nuts and bolts of why some players get dropped, but it's usually pretty simple – you're not performing at the level you should be. I don't really need to dive into it too much.
"I know where I'm at, I'm comfortable with what I did. There was probably always going to be someone left out when we lost the series, and that was me."
Wade said he turned down the offer of an in-depth chat with selector Trevor Hohns about his axing, saying the reasons were clear to him as a 33-year-old, with selectors instead opting for youngsters Cameron Green and Travis Head.
But he believes he's good enough make it back to Test cricket if he can continue to score big runs at domestic level, starting with the backend of the Marsh Sheffield Shield season with Tasmania.
"In terms of my path back into the Test team, I think that'll take care of itself," he said.
"If I perform and an opportunity comes up, they know that I can play at that level."
Wade opened in the first two Tests against India as a stop-gap measure before he shifted back down the order, a selfless move that came after David Warner and Will Pucovski were ruled out with injury.
At the time, former Australia allrounder Simon O'Donnell praised Wade but said he had "signed his own death warrant" by agreeing to the move, suggesting it would unsettle him and make him an easy target to be dropped from the side.
But Wade said he was the obvious candidate for the role and believes he could do it again in the future.
"The only regret I have is I didn't turn one of those good starts into a big score," he said.
"The two games I opened, I batted as good as I batted for the whole series. I felt really comfortable there.
"I actually enjoyed the experience, it's something I'd never done but I feel confident that if I had to do it again, I could do a good job."