Magellan Ashes 2017-18

Handscomb throws support behind Wade

Peter Handscomb knows how good Matthew Wade is at his best


10 November 2017, 06:46 PM AEST

Peter Handscomb feels for under-pressure Test wicketkeeper Matthew Wade as he struggles to find form with the Ashes looming.

The former state teammates will face off in the Sheffield Shield when Victoria host Tasmania from Monday at the MCG.

For Handscomb - assured of selection after a glowing 12 months - it will be a chance to simply tune up for the Ashes.

For Wade, it might well be the last chance to salvage his Test career.

The Tasmanian gloveman is seemingly battling with NSW's Peter Nevill, South Australia's Alex Carey and Western Australia's Cameron Bancroft to play in the first Test, starting on November 23 in Brisbane.

Wade has averaged just 20 with the bat since his Test recall last summer and has failed to impress in two rounds of Shield cricket.

But close mate Handscomb believes the 29-year-old is a better batsman than his recent performances suggest.

"I am a bit surprised with Matty because I know how well he can bat," the Victorian skipper said on Friday.

WATCH: Handscomb fights on in oppressive heat

"Obviously, he's under the microscope a little bit, so every little thing he seems to do wrong gets intensified ... which is a bit of a shame, because he does do so much right as well.

"I've been able to see, for the last year, all the things that he has been doing right.

"Hopefully, for his sake, he can focus on that a little bit and try to get away from the negatives."

Legendary Test wicketkeeper Ian Healy last month urged selectors to give the next gloveman a long and interrupted run in the position.

Australia's No.6 spot is another that has effectively come down to a shootout between a dozen candidates in the three Shield rounds preceding the Ashes.

Jake Lehmann have been talked up as a potential bolter but Handscomb says players should be judged on their career records.

"Jake's obviously a very, very good player," he said.

WATCH: Lehmann carves out sensational ton

"He went out there and basically made two hundreds, so that's a positive sign.

"But there are guys that have been scoring runs for three or four years.

"Ultimately, you want someone that's going consistently and, if they're only going to be judged on these three games, as opposed to what they've done throughout their career, that can be a bit tough."

2017-18 International Fixtures

Magellan Ashes Series

First Test Gabba, November 23-27. Buy tickets

Second Test Adelaide Oval, December 2-6 (Day-Night). Buy tickets

Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Buy tickets

Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Buy tickets

Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Buy tickets

ODI Series v England

First ODI MCG, January 14. Buy tickets

Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Buy tickets

Third ODI SCG, January 21. Buy tickets

Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Buy tickets

Fifth ODI Perth TBC, January 28. Join the ACF

Prime Minister's XI

PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Buy tickets

T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series

First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Buy tickets

Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Buy tickets

Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Buy tickets

Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 14

Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21