Full stretch ... Matt Wade dives for the ball during day four of the first Test between Australia and Sri Lanka. Photo: Getty Images
SOME tough love from Ian Healy has spurred Matthew Wade on to go "up a level" ahead of Australia's one-day clash with Sri Lanka at the Gabba on Friday.
Wade admitted it was tempting to be "grumpy" after hearing Healy's criticism of his technique behind the stumps this summer on Melbourne radio last week.
Australian teammate David Warner had even gone into bat for Wade, describing Healy's comments as "a bit sad".
However, Wade said he had not only cleared the air with the ex-Test keeper but flew up to Brisbane ahead of the team on Tuesday to work on problem areas with Healy.
"I suppose it would have been easy for me to get grumpy about it but I took it on board and tried to work on a few things," Wade said in Brisbane on Wednesday. I took it as constructive [criticism] to be honest.
"I flew up a couple of hours earlier yesterday and went and had a coffee with him and had a catch. I just went through a few different bits and pieces."
Healy criticised Wade's "elementary mistakes" during the summer Tests after the keeper fluffed some chances, namely off spinner Nathan Lyon, which let centurions Graeme Smith and Faf du Plessis help South Africa secure a second-Test draw in Adelaide.
"I rang him straight away and had a chat to him about it. He was a bit disappointed about what had been written and said," Wade said.
"I am sure he will call me up next time and deliver it straight to me. [But] he is one of the greatest keepers who has ever played. His feedback is always welcome."
It wasn't just Healy's thoughts that have motivated Wade ahead of game three against Sri Lanka. Wade said it was time to step up his game as he neared his one year anniversary in the national set-up.
"I got in the team in the T20s last year so it is almost 12 months to sit down and reflect on what I have done," he said. "Now I will look to push my career further. From this point onwards, I will look to go up a level."
Wade has been brought back into the ODI squad along with captain Michael Clarke and star batsman Warner as part of the Australian selectors' controversial rotation policy.
Wade claimed the trio's inclusion "wouldn't have [made] much of a difference" in Australia's last game, Sunday's eight-wicket loss to Sri Lanka in Adelaide.
He denied he was "looking over his shoulder" with ex-Test keeper Brad Haddin also in the squad, albeit on the sideline resting a hamstring complaint.
However, Wade joked that opener Phil Hughes was now a threat to him as well, after Hughes filled in behind the stumps for the injured Haddin in Adelaide.
"He said to me just then at breakfast he might take my spot," Wade joked. "He did well. I might get a few more overs now."